Staying connected to customers
With Stéphane Moissette,
Chief Operations Officer at Prosodie (Capgemini)
Staying connected to customers
In the mid-1990s, Capgemini helped businesses implement new technological solutions geared for a new demand: customers who expect to get in touch right away and at any hour of the day.
Speed, flexibility, and simplicity
In the 1990s most, if not all, major companies operating in consumer markets were looking for new ways to build customer loyalty. At the time the increasing competition caused by deregulation in many sectors was changing consumer habits. Much more demanding than 10 or 20 years prior, consumers became eager to comparison shop. They also started to pay closer attention to the services offered. This was particularly true in the banking sector where companies do everything they can to attract new clients. To keep their customers, the major establishments had to gear up and get creative. The time to innovate was now.
The main challenge in terms of customer experience is to put yourself in the customer’s shoes -- to think like them in order to meet their needs.
Interactive voice response agent
Retaining customers is precisely what drove the Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP) in 1995 to contact Prosodie, an IT and telecom services provider specialized in customer service, acquired by the Capgemini group in 2011.
“People had new expectations in terms of dealing with their banks. They wanted to get in contact quickly and at any time, without having to visit their branch or spend a long time on hold. BNP was looking for a new way to interact with customers that would set it apart from the competition,” says Stéphane Moisette, then a young development engineer at Prosodie.
This “new way of interacting” with customers involved an interactive voice response server, a technique that was still very new and had started to win over companies.
“Bank customers wanted simplicity, responsiveness and, above all, personalization. BNP’s interactive voice response server met these demands. It enabled them to access their account balances instantly, rather than waiting for a monthly statement or visiting a branch,” continues Moisette.
Information in seconds
The process was very simple: when a customer dialed the appropriate phone number he or she was redirected to a Prosodie call center which automatically picked up the call and asked for a pin code. In a few short seconds the account balance was vocalized to the customer.
The solution may seem self-evident today, but it was extremely innovative at the time, explains Moisette.
“It was a simple solution for the user but a real challenge to implement! Prosodie designed and developed the server from end-to-end on its infrastructure, better known today as the private cloud. The service was a first in Europe due to its rapid implementation, reliability, and the nature of information it could deliver.”
And the bank’s customers were not disappointed. The service offered high value and BNP was quickly imitated by other major banking networks.