Kathy Gibson reports – Access Bank Ghana has implemented a video channel in its contact centre, giving its approximately 1-million customers a new and convenient way of engaging with the bank.

Chimbar Nurokinan, head of contact centre at Access Bank Ghana, explains that the bank has been using Avaya’s voice-based contact centre solution for the last nine years, and decided to add video as a result of customer demand and changing market dynamics.

“One of our concerns was how to make customer engagement more personal. Virtual channels were working, but customers wanted a more personal touch.”

Efficiency and cost were also considerations, he says. “Customers didn’t want to go into the branch anymore and, particularly with the Covid times, we found that people were quickly engaging new trends, Nurokinan says.

“So adding video was good for the customer in terms of convenience and retaining the personal touch, and good for the bank in that we could save some of the cost of the branch infrastructure.”

One of the main selling points for video, however, was security. “We are a financial institution so are naturally most concerned about our customer information,” says Nurokinan. “Using digital channels brought a new challenge in customer authentication. When using digital channels we have to be 100% sure that we are dealing with the real customer.

“So the video call centre happened at the right time, and allows us to quickly and accurately authenticate the customer against our information.”

The most important result of the video deployment has been seen in improved customer satisfaction, Nurokinan adds. “We can offer many offer many of the services that would previously have required a branch visit; the channel has helped up to improve issue resolution because the customer can engage directly with the agent and their complaint or request can be actioned in a much shorter time.”

Those customers already using the video channel are reporting a positive experience, and Nurokinan believes the traffic will increase as more customers recognise the benefits.

Access Bank plans to increase the number of services and channels it offers customers in the future, and is also evaluating its options with introducing artificial intelligence (AI) into its offerings.

“It aligns with our strategy to use technology, including the emerging AI services, to deliver a better experience to the customer,” Nurokinan says. “Coming to Gitex, we have been exposed to a number of the new services Avaya has rolled out in in terms of cloud services and how leveraging AI to improve the customer and agent experience.

“We know that AI is the way to go, and we have to embrace it.”

Access Bank’s voice contact centre runs on-premise with some channels and services like workforce automation delivered via the cloud.

Ben Atitsogbui, solution consultant at Avaya partner RayCom Technologies in Ghana, points out that the system is truly hybrid, which is one of the benefits that Avaya offers. “The move to the cloud is a journey we are taking with our customers.”

The bank’s digital channels are running on Avaya Cloud Services.