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DBS reskills 500 customer centre employees to take on 13 new job roles

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In recent years, DBS has introduced 13 new job roles – including voice biometrics specialists, live chat agents and customer experience designers – to create the customer centre of the future and serve customers better.

The bank revealed in a press statement that in the process, it has upskilled and retrained over 500 customer centre employees, and eliminated traditional customer pain-points such as long wait times to speak to customer service officers (CSOs).

The 13 new roles introduced were:

  • Social media relations manager – DBS was the first bank in Singapore to introduce this role. As a social media relations manager, customer service officers manage customer reviews and feedback on DBS’ social media channels.
  • ‘Live’ chat agents – CSOs who manage ‘live’ chats with customers via the DBS and POSB website and mobile banking app.
  • Customer experience designer – Creates a more thoughtful user experience by analysing the customer’s interaction with the bank’s contact centre services.
  • Demand managers – Forecast, plan for and manage the demand for products and services using a planning methodology.
  • Mobile app developer – Create applications for Android, iOS and Windows mobile platforms.
  • Business intelligence lead – Leads the planning, design, development, implementation and maintenance of new reporting and analytical applications.
  • Content creators –Creates self-help guides to help customers find answers to general enquiries. These guides are posted on the DBS website.
  • Knowledge platform designers – Create the bank’s Help and Support page.
  • Voice biometrics specialists – Manages the process of call authentication, security and identifying and storing voice prints.
  • Natural language processing engineer – Analyses and generates language that people naturally use to interface with artificial intelligence.
  • Scrum masters – Institutionalise the agile methodology within the department
  • Digital evangelists – Lead the promotion of digital channels to customers through outbound calls and monthly roadshows at community centres or DBS/POSB branches.
  • VTM managers – Team managers leading customer service officers who are available via DBS’ video teller machines.

The business impact of upskilling

Customer Centres are traditionally labour-intensive departments. In fact, DBS revealed that its Customer Centre in Singapore processes over four million inbound customer calls every year.

However, the creation of the new roles has allowed DBS to expand its service channels online and on social media to engage and serve digitally-savvy customers in a way that is relevant to them.

Shorter call waiting times with voice biometrics

CSOs have been trained in new areas including on technologies such as voice biometrics, chatbots and data analytics. This allows the bank’s customers to enjoy shorter call waiting times and opt to resolve their banking queries independently via the bank’s website, on their mobile banking app or through the bank’s Facebook or Twitter channels.

For example, voice biometrics verifies customers’ identities through a system that digitises a person’s speech. This is possible as the human voice is as unique as the fingerprint. This allows CSOs to automatically verify customers when they call in and customers no longer need to reveal personal information such as their date of birth or identity number when they are out in public. Automatic verification through voice biometrics also reduces the time taken to verify customers by up to 40 seconds from the usual average time of 80 seconds.

Providing customers with service at their fingertips with ‘live’ chats and chatbots

DBS understands that customers are becoming more comfortable with communicating with the bank digitally, and now want service at their fingertips and through social media channels that they are familiar with.

Hence, the bank has built a ‘live’ chat and chatbot function into the DBS and POSB website and mobile banking app. Customers are benefitting from access to chatbots that can answer simple but popular banking questions such as “How do I check my bank account balance?” and “What is my credit card bill for this month?” in a few seconds.

This function has proven to be popular among customers, and DBS is seeing a 10% increase in the number of chatbot engagements every month.

Anticipating and solving potential issues with data and predictive analytics

Data and digital dashboards are also used to map a customer’s journey with the bank. For example, by using behavioural and device performance data, the Customer Centre team can anticipate and solve potential issues – such as failed card transactions or having their card retained in an ATM – by assisting the customer via SMS, email or chatbot.

Building on DBS’ predictive analytics model and using customers’ transaction patterns, the team will also be able to predict the services callers want by the second half of this year.

The results

These new roles and new ways of serving customers better, call volumes have dropped 12% over the last year, and the bank expects call volumes to drop by a further 20% over the next three years.

Geeta Sreeraman, DBS’ Head of Customer Centre, Singapore said that DBS’ Customer Centre transformation is an example of how the bank has invested in its employees, as well as in technology, to improve the overall customer experience.

“By investing in our people, we have been able to transform from a labour-intensive department with a high turnover rate to one that is technology-enabled where employees are more fulfilled and armed with future-forward skills,” she said.

Building a digitally-ready workforce to create a better banking experience for customers is a priority for DBS, and this echoes Minister Heng Swee Keat’s recent comment about Singapore companies taking innovation and technology seriously, adapting to change quickly and not leaving any employee behind.

“Our goal is to make our customers’ lives easier, especially when their lifestyle habits and expectations of how they would like to be served have changed. To do so, we need to ensure our employees have the skills and resources to better serve them,” Sreeraman added.

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