New Research: Amidst Margin Compression and Increasing Competition, IVR Provides Retail Banks with Avenue to Improve Customer Experience, Retain Clientele

Whitepaper from economist examines the role of IVR in retail banking

Mar 26, 2013, 15:00 ET from Contact Solutions

RESTON, Va., March 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A whitepaper released today indicates that when used appropriately, Interactive Voice Response (IVR) can save costs and promote customer satisfaction and loyalty at a time when both are desperately needed in the retail banking industry. The whitepaper, "Retail Banking Success: The Important Role of Optimized Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Systems" was written and researched independently by economist G. Michael Flores.

"Retail banking is experiencing a sea change. Margin compression, increasing regulatory requirements and shifting preferences of an evolving customer base are giving the industry pause," said Flores, President and CEO of Bretton Woods, a specialty management consulting firm serving financial institutions. "To deal with these difficulties, many banks are wisely reexamining their customer experience strategies, including IVR."

Key findings discussed in the report include:

  • Superior customer experience across all customer service channels is lacking in retail banks
  • At a time of mounting consumer dissatisfaction, it is more crucial than ever for banks to focus on creating positive customer experiences
  • While in-person transactions at banks are declining, mobile and web services are growing. However, the phone channel (call center + IVR) has remained steady since 2007 and is forecasted to continue to grow slightly into the future
  • Although nearly every bank already employs IVR today, in most instances it has become a "set it and forget it" technology
  • Optimized IVR provides excellent, yet cost-effective customer service, and stellar service is a linchpin to maintaining customer loyalty in banks

"With this whitepaper we set out to examine the role of IVR within retail banks' customer experience strategies," said Paul Logan, CEO of Contact Solutions, a leading provider of cloud-based customer self-service solutions, which commissioned the whitepaper. "Research and anecdotal evidence directly from bankers revealed that at a time when retaining customers and minimizing costs are paramount, intelligent IVR systems offer retail banks a method for competitive differentiation and maintaining loyalty."

"Retail Banking Success: The Important Role of Optimized Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Systems" can be downloaded for free here.

About Contact Solutions
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Contact Solutions' Continuous Improvement Methodology™ has improved the customer experience for every client — with an average CX rating increase of more than 27 percent — while lowering costs. This unique model quantifies the customer experience, enabling our clients to continuously improve performance and achieve ROI, year after year. Contact Solutions is one of the top five largest hosted IVR providers in North America and the recipient of the Frost & Sullivan Product Differentiation Award.  For more, visit

About G. Michael Flores and Bretton Woods, Inc.
Mr. Flores is President and CEO of Bretton Woods, Inc, a specialty management consulting firm serving financial institutions. He has over 30 years of financial institution experience through his employment in banking as well as consulting. Mr. Flores' consulting work focuses on the areas of strategic planning, strategic technology planning, payment systems and process improvement and reengineering through enabling technologies.

Since 1988, Bretton Woods has been dedicated to providing services of lasting value to our clients by applying technology, core deposit and earnings improvement strategies through a methodology that encourages client participation. It also conducts industry studies on consumer credit, fee income generation and alternative payments including network branded prepaid cards.

SOURCE Contact Solutions