HSBC UK has begun the introduction of a new voice-driven menu to assist its telephone banking customers, enabling callers to state their intent verbally and be directed to the correct team automatically, saving time for both customers and customer service colleagues, the bank announced today.
The new service uses smart technology to recognise the reason for the call and navigates customers to the correct team for help, replacing the touch-tone menu and reducing the need for internal transfers. With the launch of the new IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system, customers will get the correct help, more quickly.
Kerri-Anne Mills, Head of Contact Centre and Customer Service at HSBC UK, said: “The introduction of the new voice-driven menu, means our customers can now tell us what they’re calling to do, as opposed to using a touch tone “Press 1 for this, press 2 for that” system, making it quicker and easier to access their bank account and any additional support at a time when they may need us most.”
With this enhanced IVR service, customers will be able to identify and verify themselves before they are transferred to the correct team, providing the customer service agent with the relevant information to assist the caller.
While HSBC UK’s previous system only recognised around 16 different specific customer queries, the new platform uses advanced speech recognition that understands natural language and the nuances of how customer queries are phrased, as well as different accents.
As well as the speech-enabling service, a brand new self-serve option will be introduced later this year, meaning that customers can report their Debit or Credit card as lost, stolen or damaged via the IVR, without waiting to be transferred to an agent, saving the customer valuable time.
As the new service is rolled out, customers will notice a new voice when they call HSBC UK. Jessica Temple, who replaces Maggie Mash after more than 23 years, will greet customers with the new phrase: “In a few words, tell me the reason for your call”.
Maggie Mash was recruited for the first deployment of HSBC’s IVR in 1997 and has answered around four million customer calls every month - more than one billion calls in her HSBC career.
Kerri-Anne continued: “Maggie has gone beyond being a household name, she has become a household voice, answering over a billion customer calls across the last 23 years, so finding her replacement wasn’t an easy task. Jessica, alongside the introduction of voice-driven technology, will improve the experience for our customers and help us support those with the greatest needs quickly.”
As more people turn to digital channels and telephone banking, HSBC UK has seen an increase in customers signing up to its innovative voice biometrics system, VoiceID.
Voice ID makes telephone banking easier and more secure, preventing £400 million of customers’ money from falling into the hands of telephone fraudsters in 2019. Fraud attempts have continued this year, and another £208 million has already been saved through our system, identifying bad voice matches.
Voice ID is now used by over 2.5 million active HSBC UK customers. Since the technology was introduced in 2016, HSBC UK have answered just under 30 million Voice ID verified calls.
HSBC UK are enrolling around 14,000 customers in Voice ID each week and the technology continues to be instrumental in the fight against fraud, providing a library of fraudsters’ voice prints to cross check against new incoming calls.
HSBC UK is encouraging customers with general queries to initially contact the bank via digital chat channels for support, now including Apple Business Chat, as well as on the HSBC mobile app and Live Chat on HSBC online banking. This helps the bank to meet the needs of more vulnerable customers at this difficult time.
For the latest news and updates, visit the HSBC UK newsroom:
HSBC UK serves around 14.5 million customers across the UK, supported by 32,000 colleagues. HSBC UK offers a complete range of retail banking and wealth management to personal and private banking customers, as well as commercial banking for small to medium businesses and large corporates.
HSBC Holdings plc
HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of the HSBC Group, is headquartered in London. HSBC serves customers worldwide from offices in 64 countries and territories in our geographical regions: Europe, Asia, North America, Latin America, and Middle East and North Africa. With assets of US$2,923bn at 30 June 2020, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.