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Contact centre top priority for KTC to boost credit

KRUNGTHAI CARD (KTC) has attaching importance to the operations of its contact centre, as this is the front-end service for providing customer satisfaction, encouraging them to spend with their credit cards while enhancing brand loyalty.

Patrin Jirathitivanich, KTC executive vice president and head of the contact centre, said yesterday her agents were on the front line of the business because they were the ones who had to communicate with customers for everything from card activation to problem resolution.

Most inquiries concern account information and balances at 51 per cent, followed by card activation at 11 per cent, while 7 per cent are about blocked or lost cards and 4 per cent of customers ask about PINs (personal identification numbers) and the Flexi instalment programme.

KTC decided to use its own contact-centre agents instead of an outsourcing company to save cost and improve efficiency, following the policy of its president and chief executive officer, Rathian Srimongkol.

The company can reduce costs by 33 per cent by using an internal contact centre, allowing it to spend a lot of money and time on training to ensure all 230 agents can deliver satisfactory service to the customer and sustain their loyalty, Patrin said.

New agents will be trained for eight weeks before being assigned to the contact centre.

She said the company had trained contact-centre agents as professionals who must be proficient in 15 skills from only one in the past.

"When the customers are satisfied with the contact centre, the agents can turn to selling [products]. However, selling is not the goal of the contact centre, and its agents do not receive incentives from selling products, but it is used as a key performance indicator," she said.

As the contact centre has to operate 24 hours per day, the company divides shifts among its 230 agents and adds extra agents at peak times of receiving calls.

On average, there are 100,000 calls per day, which in peak periods (10am to 3pm on weekdays) surge by 20-30 per cent. Calls on weekends fall to 5,000-6,000 a day.

An agent should be able to handle 100 calls per day and sell at least one product. At present, agents are servicing 70-80 calls per day on average, so that should mean KTC won't need to recruit any more this year, even as it aims to issue 400,000 new credit cards.

Since the company fine-tuned its agents' shifts management and customised its services according to product segments, customer satisfaction rate improved to 90 per cent. KTC aims for 98 per cent in the long run.

The abandon rate - customers deciding to hang up the phone before receiving service - is now less than 3 per cent, compared with 8-9 per cent when it used an outsourcing company. More than 80 per cent of customers now receive service within 20 seconds, up from 60-70 per cent.

"As KTC plans to resume its leadership in credit-card business within five years, the contact centre must improve itself to serve new cardholders and encourage more spending, so customer satisfaction is our goal," Patrin said.


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