The First Financial Bank of Arkansas realized that its previous IVR system had reached the end of its useful life. The system couldn’t respond quickly enough to customer demands, and maintaining the proprietary architecture took a great deal of time. The bank chose a solution from Fiserv, Inc. called ConvergeIT: IVR. So far, bank officials are happy with the results.
The new system allows First Financial to automate many of its incoming calls. For instance, many customers call the bank regarding electronic fund transfers. In the past, these calls were directed to an EFT specialist. However, with the new IVR system in place, customers can obtain account balances and transfer funds in real-time. Also, bank staff members are freed up for revenue generating activities such as cross-promoting bank products and services.
ConvergeIT: IVR integrated seamlessly with Fiserv’s Signature platform, which First Financial uses as its core banking platform. The system is built on a vXML network architecture, which allows the system to deliver advanced self-service voice applications. Part of First Financial’s strategy was to avoid having to purchase additional external hardware. ConvergeIT: IVR helped them to stick with their strategy.
“With their expected growth, First Financial Bank can now move forward with a solution that will scale to its specifications," said Fiserv Bank Solutions division president Dave Santi. “At Fiserv, we realize that delivering an integrated IP telephony solution can help deliver sustainable productivity and growth for our clients.”
First Financial Bank of Arkansas has deep roots within its home base of El Dorado, Arkansas. “Maintaining excellence in customer service is the cornerstone of First Financial Bank’s success,” said Stewart Wilson, the executive vice president of Operations. “When we hear about a problem with the IVR system from a frustrated customer, it is already too late. The chances are that there are other frustrated customers who didn’t report the issue, but may talk about it to their friends and family members as well as anybody on Facebook (News - Alert) or Twitter.”
The new IVR program offers additional helpful features beyond just call automation for bank employees. The program can pass on caller details to operators that show up as a popup on their computer screens. The caller data is retrieved from the corporate database or CRM system. Also, speech recognition capabilities make the IVR more interactive for customers. If the bank needs to handle increases in demand, then all they have to do is add more servers.
Wilson praised Fiserv’s “experienced implementation capabilities.” The new IVR was put into place without any interruptions in service for bank customers.
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Julie Griffin has a B.A. in English from the University of Kentucky and covers technology news and communications related topics. Known best for her various web publications, Griffin also occasionally contributes to local press.
Edited by Jamie Epstein