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Written by: Pindrop

Contact Center Fraud & Authentication Expert

Whole segments of the financial services industry have had to transition to remote working. As a result, banks, insurance companies, retailers, and credit card issuers are pivoting to address new and increasing risks proactively.

As a response to unprecedented circumstances, businesses across the world are being forced to adapt to widespread moves in telecommuting regardless of size or profile. These sweeping changes are particularly relevant for firms in the financial services industry, which rely upon call centers to protect against targeted threats and to provide an excellent customer experience even amid new challenges.

This article takes a look at these challenges and presents recommendations you can adopt to thrive in response to them.

Telecommuting Call Centers Face New Challenges 

After overcoming any technical and operational hurdles involved in the transition to telecommuting, call center agents and fraud analysts are forced to deal with the natural distractions of working from home in addition to long hours and an unremitting workload. A lack of access to a bullpen of associates for group problem solving, sub-optimized tech tools and fewer screens create headwinds for the agents and a perfect storm environment for opportunistic fraudsters.

At a time when more people than ever require clear communication with their financial institutions, and with customers facing increasing difficulties reaching their banks on the phone, call centers are experiencing a much higher call volume and longer average hold times. This opens the door for more fraudulent activity to go unnoticed, and negatively impacts customer experience while placing more pressure on agents to authenticate callers faster.

The unfortunate reality is that fraudsters love chaos, and we are seeing spikes in fraudulent activity. The tactics are largely the same, only with new scripts, and more sophisticated fraudsters continue to adapt to evolving technologies in an attempt to slip between the cracks.

Here are three tactics that telecommuting call centers can adopt to respond to these new challenges:

1. Equip Employees With the Tools They Need to Succeed

It’s simply not realistic for many large companies to equip all of their agents and analysts now working remotely with high-speed internet, multiple monitors and the collaborative communication tools they have access to at the office.

There are, however, some stopgap measures you can put into place, including making sure your agents are set up for multi-factor authentication and have access to your VPN service. You may also consider communication and collaboration tools such as Slack, Google Drive and Zoom to keep employees engaged and in touch.

Most importantly, keep the lines of communication with your employees wide open, and make sure you have a handle on what they need from you to reinforce their ability to do their jobs effectively while working from home.

2. Repurpose Additional Resources & Teams

Times such as these require an all-hands-on-deck approach to ensure that business operations continue efficiently, and clients continue to receive an optimized and secure customer experience.

Financial services businesses might take advantage of teams with available bandwidth to help field the influx of inbound calls and provide support in the call center. With many departments’ activities currently on hold, such as collections or even product teams, there’s an opportunity to leverage underutilized staff to augment contact center teams, whether or not they are typically in client-facing roles. 

3. Implement Advanced Fraud Protection & Streamlined Authentication

Sophisticated fraud prevention and identity verification solutions are critical for the successful operation of call centers under any circumstances, whether agents are working remotely or not.

Employing tools that use AI-based authentication and advanced anti-fraud technology can take some of the burden off of call center agents and fraud analysts, and help them do their job better. These solutions can increase call center efficiency no matter what new challenges arise, while reducing the risk of fraud even as threats continue to evolve.

Advanced technology like multi-factor authentication and fraud risk scoring can help prevent fraud while reducing backlogged calls and AHT, which translates to significant savings and optimizes the customer experience. 

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