Yes Bank Gets Edge with Speech-based IVR

by Tabrez Khan    Dec 24, 2008


Yes Bank, founded in 2003, has the distinction of being the only new bank to be awarded a banking license in the last 14 years. Founded by renowned banker Rana Kapoor, the bank today has 109 branches in 80 locations and has banked heavily on technology to carve a niche for itself. Being a new bank, it has utilized the advantage of not being restricted by heritage technology and has also benefited by outsourcing some of its infrastructure requirements.

The Challenge

Till fiscal 2008, Yes Bank did not have a contact centre which is primarily viewed as a profit center in current market environment. It was therefore imperative to build one at the earliest, keeping cost dynamics in mind, says Ravishankar, executive vice president & country head-Cash Management & Direct Banking, Yes Bank.

The key challenges that the solution needed to address were:
* Reduce/migrate services from branches
* Centralize outbound voice marketing
* Centralize customer grievance and resolution unit

“A contact center has always been envisaged as a point-of-sale and is defined as the biggest branch of a bank. However, it has not lived up to its promise because banks have tried to automate with workforce reduction as the primary objective,” says Ravishankar.

Traditional touchtone-based IVRs have their limitations says Ravishankar and often leave the customer irritated. For instance while calling the contact center from cellphones it was very inconvenient to alternate between listening and moving the phone away from the ear to punch in numbers.

Secondly consumers communicate with their institutions equally via email and voice, hence Yes Bank wanted a solution which integrated Email, chat and voice response on a single platform. Also Yes Bank wanted a solution which was scalable easily from 0 to 1 million customers.

The Solution

The solution was to provide a speech-enabled contact center for Yes Bank to support all business related queries and transactions (across all customer segments), using both the IVR and voice-driven responses. Yes Bank decided to go ahead with the IPCC (IP Contact Center) to be implemented by Servion, a Cisco partner.

Cisco provided network lifecycle services that included design, installation, integration, operation and supporting the solution through managed services.

The applications that comprised this solution included Cisco IPCC Suite, Scansoft Speech Engine and Real Speak TTS (Text-to-Speech), Knoahsoft Logger, Survey Application and System Integration & application development on IVR (Integrated Voice Response).

Key Elements of the YES Touch Phone Banking Services are:

* Speech enabled with Voice recognition: Customers can perform routine enquiries or transactions just by speaking out pre-defined, aided keywords

* Integrated access across all channels: Customers can avail of multiple channels, currently email, web-chat, IVR and Voice (& Video, in future) to access these services

* Single PIN: Customers have to use their ATM PIN to generate a 4-digit TPIN of their choice

* Single number per Telecom Circle for instant access: Customer can choose a local number to call in any of the states in India

* Anytime, anywhere availability: The IVR will be available 24 x 7 for assistance, while Service partners will be available from 7am to 11pm, all seven days of the week.

Once the platform was selected, the project was completed within the stipulated time frame of 8 months.

The Benefits

The solution has enabled Yes Bank to offer its customers round the clock accessibility regardless of cellular provider, mobile plan, network coverage or geographical location of the customer, says Ravishankar.

Resource utilization has also improved because specialized experts manning the contact center are able to provide better and consistent service to customers.

The ability to generate, classify and handle leads has provided YES BANK with new opportunities to increase cross-sell & up-sell of services and offerings. The contact centre also enables Yes Bank to operate outbound campaigns to tap into new business opportunities and also provides a centralised query and resolution mechanism for the bank, significantly enhancing the overall customer experience, according to Ravishankar.

Customer service has improved as customers can choose any mode of communication at anytime and from anywhere. It is also very convenient as customers can now perform multiple transactions, such as accessing their account details, requests for statements/cheque books, report lost card, etc., using this channel.

Why Cisco?

“We chose Cisco because their business model entailed implementing a superior service solution which could be leveraged by the Bank for enhanced cross sell, thereby leading to greater revenue. In addition, the Cisco solution scored higher than competing solutions on an all overall basis,” said Ravishankar.

Future Plans

With the advent of 3G mobile services, the bank is planning to enable videocalls by customers to contact centers, which will take interactivity a step further, according to Ravishankar.