Contact Center Customer Experience

fintech services


A super regional bank’s customers were complaining about contact center wait times, difficulty getting resolutions to their inquiries that were accurate or timely. Internal lines of business felt that they’re operating personnel were fulfilling the majority of the inquiry resolutions. Executive management felt the contact center was extremely expensive for the service provided and the contact center believed they were being unfairly measured.


An end-to-end analysis of 6 months of customer inquiries was performed to understand the contact center services and the customer experience through the lifecycle of an inquiry inclusive of initial call to IVR to customer service rep to the relevant back – office operation to the resolution to the delivery of the resolution to the customer. The analysis measured the duration of each phase, the point at which the resolution occurred, the customer satisfaction, and evaluated the technology solutions, processes, and customer service reps roles and responsibilities. As a result of the analysis, the IVR menus were rewritten, inquiry resolutions were automated and moved earlier in the cycle, functions were automated, the customer service reps roles were redefined, operating dashboards were implemented, and the contact center revenue generation and cost were reevaluated.


Over 50% of the customer inquiries were resolved earlier in the inquiry lifecycle, inquiries making it to the back office for resolution were reduced by 25%, customer satisfaction increased 30%, and product cross sell revenues increased by 6% while the contact center operating cost remained flat.

Personalized Digitalization – An Oxymoron or a Real Thing?

Financial institutions continue to invest in automation, analytics, AI, and digital technologies in an effort to provide more services, mitigate risk, increase efficiencies, drive revenue, and reduce costs.

But does it drive greater personalization and improved consumer experience or reduce it?

Consumers want their financial institutions to demonstrate that they understand them, and consumers want to be rewarded for their loyalty. Consumers want to receive outstanding service. But what does this mean in practical terms?

A recent bank consumer survey attempted to better understand what “personalization” meant to them. Here’s what some said.

1. “Bells and whistles great, but so what.”
2. “Keep my money safe and secure. That’s what banks are supposed to do.”
3. “Just make it easier to start new services and open accounts. Why is it so hard? Why do I have to go into the branch in this day and age?”
4. ‘It’s a pandemic. Branch hours were reduced. So now I have to do more virtually. So, make it easier for me. There’s so much technology for virtual meetings. Why do I have to make an appointment online to go into the branch? Why can’t I just make an appointment to meet online? Or just get in an online queue, no different than standing in line in the branch? My doctor can do it. Why can’t my banker?
5. “Why do I call a contact center, have to verify my identity in the system, then wait for a long time to get to a customer service rep, then have to verify again over the phone with the human. Why do I get verified twice? By the time I get to the customer service rep and actually get to the reason I called, 10 minutes have passed. Personalization means you respect my time as much as you respect your time.”
6. “Really all I want is for the time bank to try and get my item resolved as quickly as possible. Be efficient. That’s personalization to me. That’s how I pick an institution.”
7. “Personalization? Keep fraud and breaches from happening and don’t make mistakes with my money. This makes me trust you. This let’s me know you take my money seriously.”
8. “If you want to ‘personalize me’, make it easy for me to do all my transactions on my mobile device, on my laptop, on all my points of contact.”
9. “If personalization means getting more of my wallet, it doesn’t sound like personalization to me.”
10. “If I’m conducting my business digitally and have a challenge, make it easy for me to get interact with a human and get help. Don’t make me wrestle with a chatbot before it becomes apparent that this can’t help.”
11. “I’d like my financial institution to understand my needs and to treat me like they know me.”
12. “I’ve been a long-time customer of one bank. I’m leaving them. Why do I always see incentive programs offered to get new customers but in all my years at the bank, I never see an incentive or reward program as a loyal customer. They don’t care about me. I don’t care about them.”

The survey highlights that consumers want their digital experience to respect their time, get their issues resolved quickly, increase their ability to bank outside of the confines of the brick and mortar, increase their ability to get human help, recognize their loyalty, and personalize their experience.

Some financial services institutions are achieving these customer goals with their digitalization, some are not. Does your institution’s digital strategy include or align with these customer asks as well as meeting the institutional revenue and cost goals?

AscentBT can help your firm develop and execute a digital plan that will meet both the customer and institutions goals.

Tax and Accounting Principles for Hedge Funds

tax plan

Today’s environment and market volatility have prompted fund managers and investors to evaluate the tax implications of their portfolios. The dislocation of markets has created a dynamic that is more important than ever to monitor your portfolio from a tax perspective. 

The main events influencing tax planning this year are lessons learned from the 2008 financial crisis, the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act, the COVID-19 pandemic, and various regulatory changes. There are a variety of topics that are of particular importance this tax season, as well as considerations that might arise in the coming year, such as modifications to the 2017 tax bill. Another area of special relevance this year is how the CARES Act impacts taxes. For instance, how should Paycheck Protection Program loans and Employee Retention credits be treated? What are the state and local impacts of a remote workforce? Also influencing tax planning this year is the recently released “The Made in America Tax Plan[1]” by President Biden.

The current corporate income tax regime contains incentives for corporations to shift their production and profits overseas. Declining corporate tax revenues hinder the ability of the United States to fund investments in infrastructure, research, technology, and green energy. The Made in America tax plan would fundamentally reorient corporate taxation to reverse this legacy.

The proposed tax plan implements a series of corporate tax reforms to address profit shifting and offshoring incentives and to level the playing field between domestic and foreign corporations. These include:

  1. Raising the corporate income tax rate to 28%.
  2. Strengthening the global minimum tax for U.S. multinational corporations.
  3. Reducing incentives for foreign jurisdictions to maintain ultra-low corporate tax rates by encouraging global adoption of robust minimum taxes.
  4. Enacting a 15% minimum tax on book income of large companies that report high profits, but have little taxable income.
  5. Replacing flawed incentives that reward excess profits from intangible assets with more generous incentives for new research and development.
  6. Replacing fossil fuel subsidies with incentives for clean energy production.
  7. Ramping up enforcement to address corporate tax avoidance.

These are the major elements of the Made in America tax plan, but the proposal contains several additional tax incentives that would directly benefit U.S. corporations, pass-through entities, and small businesses. These include, for example, a marked increase in the resources available through the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and other housing incentives. These unique issues make it more important than ever to have a timely tax analysis on your portfolio, outlining tax efficiency goals and tools like a wash sale watch list, lost harvesting and aging reports.