Banks are increasingly looking towards AI and machine-learning solutions on top of Workforce Management (WFM) systems to ensure better remote management and training scheduling
In a speech delivered by the FCA’s director of market insight, Julia Hoggart, the authority’s stance on bank staff working from home was set out. As we all know the pandemic has seen a significant shift towards home working as often crowded contact centre spaces are shut down or are now restricting the number of staff allowed in.
This has undoubtedly caused issues for many, especially in a highly regulated sector such as financial services. The usual processes that take place within a corporate environment cannot be replicated easily when employees are at home. Understandably though, these levels are now expected to be brought in for home workers, who obviously are working on the same types of accounts and with the same customers. Hoggart, insisted that “We expect firms to have updated their policies, refreshed their training and put in place rigorous oversight reflecting the new environment – particularly regarding the risk of use of privately owned devices.”
However, with many firms struggling to implement training for agents, pre-pandemic it is now a real test for firms in the financial sector to ensure that the latest training is implemented to ensure that they are adhering to regulation and the latest FCA advice.
Paddy Coleman, founder of QStory commented. “This FCA advice is unsurprising. In the rush to implement home working solutions to allow businesses to continuing running effectively, many in this sector have now got to play catch in ensuring that agents are trained and in-line with FCA advice.
“The importance is clear. Data, particularly in this sector, is hugely sensitive and any breach comes at a huge cost from reputational, regulatory and financial perspectives. Therefore, finding time to train agents is critical. The issue of course is that many firms using WFM systems have to plan ahead of time and cannot add the layers of flexibility needed to allow agents to catch up on their training.
“Many firms are turning to innovative technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) that works on top of their WFM system. The AI solution predicts areas of downtime during the day not visible for those planning weeks in advance. We have seen customers dealing with similar situations, having to evidence many hours of training per employee over the course of the year. Without AI, finding time in an inflexible and pre-planned schedule makes it almost impossible to complete. With such technology that analyses data throughout the day, areas of downtime can be easily identified and periods of training can be implemented.
“This brings other advantages. Well trained employees using innovative solutions that bring about previously unthought levels of flexibility to their working day, will undoubtedly also help to reduce the level of employee churn and ensure that organisations are able to retain the very best talent.
“The way all of us work has changed significantly, but levels of service and security have to remain high. By using innovative solutions companies can be assured that the key training is taking place, at the best moments during the working day ensuring levels of customer service do not drop as a result,” Coleman concluded.