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Case Studies : ABN AMRO

The Challenge
Like any mortgage and servicing company, ABN AMRO Mortgage faces the challenges of sharp price competition along with highly volatile interest rates.


With the average loan life now under five years, ABN AMRO Mortgage must retain and replace customers to maintain asset value and sustain revenue.

As long-term interest rates fell to record lows in late 2001, refinancing existing mortgages became a priority with many customers. ABN AMRO Mortgage recognized in 2000, before the dramatic fall in interest rates, that it needed to improve its service and cost-effectiveness to retain customers as well as generate new loans.

"Mortgage refinancing demand can be very unpredictable, and is typically driven by short-term interest rate fluctuations," according to Garth Graham, First Vice President, Customer Acquisition and Relationship Management at ABN AMRO Mortgage. "When short term rates show a substantial drop, customers are immediately on the phone asking us how much they can save by refinancing their mortgage. If we can’t handle their calls instantly and give them an answer right away, we risk losing their business."

Customers wanting to know how much they can save by refinancing create a huge demand on ABN AMRO Mortgage call center resources that is almost impossible to predict, Graham explained. To help manage this demand, Graham saw that ABN AMRO Mortgage had two main objectives. "We were looking for ways to give customers an immediate answer to the big refinance question: ‘Can I save money?’ And we wanted those who could save money to provide us with information through a speech-driven application that would speed up the entire refinancing process." This application would help to free loan agents from having to spend valuable time separating customers that can benefit from those that can’t, and allow them to concentrate on closing loans instead of performing routine calculations and handling repetitive questions. And all customers wait times are reduced, providing better customer service.

The Decision
Graham recognized the potential of speech recognition technology and was seeking a partner that could help. He wanted an advanced speech application that could handle large call volumes without increasing staff, while providing fast and effective responses to customer inquiries, telling them immediately if they could save money on a refinanced loan. He also wanted the speech application deployed quickly, without incurring the substantial upfront costs and risks associated with buying or building his own speech application.

Initially, Graham was attracted to TuVox’s hosted and managed services model since it allowed ABN AMRO to use voice self-service on a pay-per-call basis. TuVox’s track record of deploying applications in a matter of weeks without requiring large upfront purchase costs or IT infrastructure changes, made it a unique contender. As Graham delved deeper, he recalled discovering several distinct advantages ABN AMRO would gain from working with TuVox.

  • TuVox’s voice applications were able to integrate with ABN AMRO’s existing database systems.

  • TuVox’s voice applications use ANI (Automatic Number Identification), social security number, loan number or address to instantly identify and validate the caller.

  • TuVox’s voice applications could integrate with a back-end mortgage refinance savings calculator that was developed by ABN AMRO, along with standard pricing and eligibility engines.

  • TuVox manages the call flow according to specific yet customizable criteria set by ABN AMRO.

  • TuVox integrates with existing major telecom infrastructures such as those provided by MCI, and AT&T.

  • TuVox offloads call traffic as its voice response system filters out those customers who can’t save enough to justify refinancing.

  • TuVox’s voice applications enable ABN AMRO to collect and process loan application information without involving a live agent. It is able to prequalify and streamline the application process by capturing caller information, converting it to data and getting back a response using industry (MISMO) standards.

  • TuVox applications provide for a secure query and posting of data to ABN systems.

The Solution
ABN AMRO Mortgage selected TuVox’s Loan Capture as the hosted application and interface for its voice self-service refinance qualification system. Through the TuVox Loan Capture application, ABN AMRO Mortgage customers call a toll free number and are immediately recognized through ANI, the customer’s loan number and/or Social Security number. Based on current account information, customers receive an instant refinancing savings calculation from a speech application in as little as 30 seconds.

Those who meet the qualification criteria have the opportunity to use the voice response system to begin the refinance process immediately. The speech application has a natural, friendly and polite conversational manner that leads callers through the information collection process. The TuVox voice application is dynamic so questions can be based on caller responses (e.g., if no co-borrower, then there is no need to ask any co-borrower questions). Depending on call type, a customer is routed directly to a live agent or is handled entirely by the voice response system.

"One of the main reasons for our success with voice self-service is ABN AMRO Mortgage’s willingness to trade information with the customer so there is value in the transaction for both parties," Graham emphasized. "With TuVox’s Loan Capture application, our customers learn immediately if they can save with a refinance through us, and within half a minute know how much they can save."

Customers who understand how much they can save are then willing to hold for a live agent, or use the speech application to provide more information that will help speed the processing of their refinance loan transaction.

Increased Customer Satisfaction
Reduced hold times and a prompt response to inquiries about refinancing savings have contributed to boosting customer satisfaction at ABN AMRO Mortgage. According to customer satisfaction surveys taken before and after the introduction of the self-service loan qualification system, overall satisfaction with loan services increased significantly, according to Graham. He noted that customers also now have convenient 24x7 access to answering the "how much can I save" refinancing question.

Increased Revenue
Because of the ability to handle increased call volumes, plus the improved productivity of agents due to automated pre-qualification built into the system, Graham estimates that ABN AMRO Mortgage has been able to generate an additional $1 million in net revenue within the first three months of introducing the voice self-service system. "The return on investment for introducing the TuVox hosted Loan Capture application has been phenomenal," he said. "It’s paid for itself within the first month, especially given the recent high call volumes we’ve been experiencing."

Looking To Expand Voice Self-service
Given the high level of accuracy and customer acceptance of TuVox’s voice self-service applications, Graham is looking forward to introducing more packaged voice applications. "Ultimately, our goal will be to streamline as much of the loan refinance process as possible," he said, "so that we can continually improve our customer self-service and maximize the use of our live agents in helping customers and closing more loan transactions."

The Results
Increased agent productivity and reduced costs By providing an instant savings calculation and sorting out those customers who can benefit from a mortgage refinance, ABN AMRO has more than doubled the productivity of its telephone agents. Agents are converting an average of twice as many calls as they were before introducing the TuVox Loan Capture application. This represents a significant cost savings as well, since the average cost for closing a loan refinance transaction with live agents can easily be $100 or more. ABN AMRO was also able to handle large call volume increases in the fall of 2001 due to rapidly falling interest rates without a similar increase in its agent staff. "Our call volumes have in some weeks tripled or quadrupled over the same period last year," Graham noted. "Without this new voice self-service qualification we would have been overwhelmed and unable to handle such volumes. Now we can provide better information upfront to the customer, and ensure that those that are able to save money can be helped."

Increased Customer Satisfaction
Reduced hold times and a prompt response to inquiries about refinancing savings have contributed to boosting customer satisfaction at ABN AMRO Mortgage. According to customer satisfaction surveys taken before and after the introduction of the self-service loan qualification system, overall satisfaction with loan services increased significantly, according to Graham. He noted that customers also now have convenient 24x7 access to answering the "how much can I save" refinancing question.

Increased Revenue
Because of the ability to handle increased call volumes, plus the improved productivity of agents due to automated pre-qualification built into the system, Graham estimates that ABN AMRO Mortgage has been able to generate an additional $1 million in net revenue within the first three months of introducing the voice self-service system. "The return on investment for introducing the TuVox hosted Loan Capture application has been phenomenal," he said. "It’s paid for itself within the first month, especially given the recent high call volumes we’ve been experiencing."

Looking To Expand Voice Self-Service
Given the high level of accuracy and customer acceptance of TuVox’s voice self-service applications, Graham is looking forward to introducing more packaged voice applications. "Ultimately, our goal will be to streamline as much of the loan refinance process as possible," he said, "so that we can continually improve our customer sel-service and maximize the use of our live agents in helping customers and closing more loan transactions.

Pull Quote:
"The return on investment for introducing the TuVox hosted Loan Capture application has been phenomenal. It’s paid for itself in the first month, especially given the recent high call volumes." -Garth Graham, First Vice President, ABN AMRO Mortgage


About ABN AMRO:
Company LogoABN AMRO is an international bank with European roots. We have a clear focus on consumer and commercial clients in our local markets and focus globally on select multinational corporations and financial institutions, as well as private clients. We implement our strategy through a number of Business Units (BUs). These units are responsible for managing a distinct region, client segment or product segment.
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Today's Tip of the Day - Channel Selection

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Friday, December 29, 2006

Printer Friendly Version Printer friendly version

2021 Buyers Guide Consultancies

 
1.) 
Call Center Masters

Giving consulting services to call centers

2.) 
CC-CMM Certification Institute

CC-CMM Certification

3.) 
COPC

Service Journey Thinking
Service Journey Thinking is a comprehensive approach for improving the experience customers have along the service journey. It considers the service journey not only from the customer’s perspective, but it also examines the components that support the experience, including people, technology, processes and policies. By applying Service Journey Thinking, COPC Inc. helps brands promote greater efficiency, improved performance and reduced cost within their operations. For customers, this means reduced effort, improved satisfaction and enhanced loyalty.

4.) 
CTCOMM

Genesys PureConnect
Call Centers, Contact Centers and Cloud Solutions Consultancies

5.) 
Customer Support Asia

Offshoring
Customer Support Asia assures the success of service offshoring initiatives in the Philippines. Our consultancy serves both:
- clients that have service partners in the Philippines, and need to implement a major service initiative (performance/CX improvement, service change, site expansion, etc); and
- clients that desire to outsource services to the Philippines for the first time, and need expert help to qualify an an "ideal fit" partner, and manage an end-to-end service transition

We support both contact center services and "back office" BPO projects, limiting our practice to sites in the Philippines

6.) 
CX Central

Contact Centre Specialist Consulting
CX Consult provides specialist contact centre consulting with decades of experience across Australia and Asia/Pacific lead by industry expert Justin Tippett. Services include health checks, optimisation, outsourcing (local and offshore), technology upgrades, strategy and more.

Whether you have a 5 seat contact centre or a large multi-site operation we'll provide you with expert advice to ensure you can achieve your business objectives.

7.) 
ERIC YOUNG ASSOCIATES (Tele-Centre Assist Inc.)

Contact Center Consulting & Profit Improvement (Lean Six Sigma), Inside Sales, Efficiencies, Call Center Audit, Technology & vendor selection, Telephony, Recruiting, Training, Performance Management, Customer Journey Mapping, Software (CRM) Implementations

8.) 
Lieber & Associates

Contact Center Consulting
Lieber & Associates assists organizations with contact center issues.This includes management, processes, training, and technology. The firm's assessments evaluate and make recommendations for 15 call center areas ranging from call seasonalities to staffing to better use of the telephone systems. Contact center technology services range from new technology selection and implementation to problem-solving and optimization to technical trouble-shooting. Senior consultants have more than 20 years of experience each and are leaders in their discipline. Clients span most business sectors.

9.) 
Mpathy Plus

Mpathy Plus transform service, improve performance and provide operational support. We work in all areas of customer service and contact centres from initial strategy, feasibility studies, business cases, project management through to operational reviews, resource planning etc. We are independent and have vast experience of implementing, managing and changing contact centres and the customer experience.

10.) 
Outsourcing Solutions Europe

Outsourcing Solutions Europe is an advisory firm that helps companies to find the right contact center/BPO partner to serve European customers

11.) 
PCA Advisors Ltd

Contact Center Sales - growth and marketing strategies
I work with contact centers to position their companies to take advantage of opportunities that exist for them. We also work with their existing sales team to improve their communication and hunting skills. 'Growth' is our greatest ability.

12.) 
Pelorus Associates

Marketing Communications
Pelorus Associates is a market research and marketing communications company that assists developers of contact center solutions by providing in-depth market research and by authoring white papers, e-books, and blog posts.

13.) 
proceo.consulting

We can help You boost Your business results by:

- Building or developing high performing multi-channel customer care operations

- Improving metrics like Customer Satisfaction, Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Effort Score (CES), First Contact Resolution (FCR), Customer Retention rate, Inbound conversions

- Developing Your teams' skills to excel front and back-office operations and Customer relations

- Preparing and executing efficient Voice of the Customer and Customer Advocacy approach

- We will help You manage challenges and risks when changes affect people, operations and technology.

14.) 
Vads

PT VADS Indonesia provides consultancies with trainers, modules, a development programs for individuals and/or teams. Types of consultancies provided by PT VADS: Knowledge Process, Transformation Consultancy, Customer Services, Contact Center, Leadership, Interpersonal Development, Motivation, Training for Trainers and Digital Marketing.

15.) 
SCC Services Group

Contact Center Operations Performance Management
In today’s competitive business environment, contact center and marketing professionals are constantly challenged to manage a growing business, achieve superior performance levels and at times are asked to support services and products that are becoming more complex.

Faced with this reality, the consulting disciplines that SCC Services Group focuses on are operations management and service delivery excellence in the customer service, contact center and brand marketing arenas.

Our consulting practice puts emphasis on:

- Contact Center Operational Assessments
- Human Capital Management
- Organizational Structure
- Brand Marketing
- Strategic Planning
- Sales and Customer Care Tra...
(read more)

16.) 
The Taylor Reach Group

Established in 2003, The Taylor Reach Group is an award winning, call, contact centre and customer experience consulting and advisory firm. The company is based in Toronto and has offices in New York, Atlanta, Washington, Ottawa, London, Bangalore, Hong Kong and Beijing. We are vendor agnostic and do not partner with technology or outsource agencies. The only one who pays us are our clients. Each of our consultants possess a minimum of 20 years of ‘hands-on’ call/contact center operational management experience. We do not sell the pyramid, the seasoned experts you deal with through the sales process are the same people who will complete your project.
Taylor Reach has worked with contact cen...
(read more)

17.) 
Triad Services

Services Triad is a consulting firm with experience in the field of customer relations. He will celebrate his 25th professional anniversary in 2021. His facilitation skills and creativity allow him to work on many transformations related to the operational management challenges of customer contact centers.
With the support of his consulting team, he collaborates to many projects in Canada and abroad for public and private sector organizations. More than 275 consulting assignments and 150 benchmarking studies are part of his curriculum.
 

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