The Great Resignation is one of the most defining results of the pandemic era. Almost every industry worldwide from food service to banking has been directly impacted.
A June 2021 Microsoft survey reported that 54% of Gen Z employees — which make up 41% of the entire workforce — were considering quitting their current jobs.
It’s hard to blame one single force or set of influences for this. Many different factors are pointed to as root causes including the pandemic and work-from-home culture, rising inflation paired with stagnant wages, and employee burnout. Whatever the cause, its effects can be seen across many industries and curbing these problems has become a key priority for financial institutions.
Over half of the next generation of employees — Gen Z — could walk away from the traditional workforce. Banks and credit unions must have the right tools in place in case it happens.
How This Affects Call Centers
The effects of the Great Resignation on financial institution call centers has been ongoing. For many banks or credit unions, this is the main channel by which their live support staff interacts with their customers. In the past year, finding staff to be on-call for customer questions has become increasingly difficult, and maintaining adequately trained staff even harder.
A July 2021 report stated that 44% of contact centers have reported staffing issues as a major roadblock to a positive customer experience. Not only this, but 55% also report increased call volume.
This means that there are more calls coming in and less staff to answer them, increasing wait times and frustration for customers. This increased volume also leads to further employee attrition, leading to faster burnout and even further staffing problems.
This vicious cycle does not appear to be ending any time soon, with many predicting that the Great Resignation will continue until 2023 or even longer. Financial institutions that want to end this feedback loop must think outside the box to address these issues.
How Conversational AI Can Help
Some financial institutions have found that using sophisticated automation tools — like an artificial-intelligence powered chat — can help lower call volumes to contact centers. Almost 80% of live customer service requests are straightforward questions, such as ‘What’s my password?’ or ‘Where is the closest ATM?’. These can be easily answered by a chatbot.
Conversational AI provides users with a self-service option that’s available for them 24/7, freeing up call center staff to only take on user requests that truly need human agent assistance. Virtual assistants don’t just answer simple questions, but can also perform routine banking tasks such as paying bills or freezing cards, further lightening the load for support staff.
Automate the Routine
Four out of five call center questions could be answered by a virtual assistant, without ever tying up employee resources.
Solution at Hand
The Great Resignation cannot be ignored. The strain that it creates on both the customer experience and the retention of support staff will pose a significant risk for the foreseeable future.
It is crucial that financial institutions find ways to mitigate the problems of high call volumes and high staff turnover. Automated chat functionality is one proven successful way to do so. Using this tool will allow your call center staff the relief they need, and provide them with more time to focus on important, relationship-building calls.