NBAD builds loyalty with customer contact centre

National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) has consolidated its disparate contact centres into one.

  • E-Mail
By  Matthew Southwell Published  December 31, 2003

National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) has consolidated its disparate contact centres into one and overhauled its customer centric technology. Carried out by an inhouse team and HP’s services division, the project has seen the finance house’s infrastructure upgraded and Altitude Software’s uCI suite implemented. The solution replaces NBAD’s aging legacy system, which was inefficient and unable to deliver the service levels required by the bank’s burgeoning customer base. “We had smaller scale call centres with a system that gave them [the contact centre agents] access to the areas the customer usually asked about, such as balance enquiry and credit cards. However, the PC had to establish different sessions with each of the systems they were querying,” explains Srood Sherif, NBAD’s head of information technology. “As such, there was no mechanism for tracing calls or logging customer complaints apart from manually writing them down. There was no systematic way of doing things and this meant there were efficiency issues. It took a long time to answer the customer’s enquiry,” he says. The decision to overhaul the bank’s existing set up came when its senior management expressed a desire to transform the call centre from a cost centre into a self-funding and profitable business unit capable of cross selling NBAD’s portfolio of products. “They wanted it to be another channel, one that it is going to be a profit centre and will improve service,” says Sherif. HP was recruited to oversee the design, consultancy and project management of the new contact centre. Work began in July 2002. Rather than building a specific facility to house the centre, NBAD opted to use an existing property that had housed the IT team’s development unit. “This was excellent because the infrastructure was already there, such as the cabling and so on. What we have had to do is increase the bandwidth and introduce some more reliability and fault tolerance [to the network] because the call centre was going to be a critical service,” says Sherif. To ensure the contact centre is capable of delivering a 24x7 service, NBAD duplicated the lines going to and from the facility and upgraded its PABX and ATM link, which also provided the necessary increase in bandwidth. On the hardware side, the bank installed fault tolerant and mirrored servers. The Altitude uCI suite, which forms the heart of the new call centre, was selected by the joint HP and NBAD team following an extensive evaluation process. It comprises support for both inbound and outbound voice, interactive voice response (IVR), e-mail, web collaboration and chat. It allows NBAD’s service agents to handle telephone interactions as well as requests made via e-mail. “Clients can be handled according to their individual needs, depending on their profile with the bank. Once a client’s needs are identified, he or she can be routed to the best available customer service representative without frustrating transfers or long waits in queues,” says Jehad Masoud, project manager, NBAD. In addition to interacting with the bank’s service agents, the IVR component of the uCI suite allows customers to serve themselves using voice menus and touch-tone phone controls. “Customers can go through the IVR to do their business, but if they want to talk to an agent then they press a button,” confirms Sherif. “However, the agent knows who the customer is and that they have been identified. This means they [the customers] do not have to go through the whole identification process again,” he explains. Although the contact centre was only being used with select customers at the time of going to press, pilot projects and an internal audit show that the Altitude solution will improve the number of calls answered within 15 seconds by 41% and enhance the average speed of answer by 48%. When it opens officially, the centre will also help NBAD reduce its operational costs and pay for itself as it generates additional revenue from cross-selling opportunities and the additional customer loyalty it helps create. “We have very high hopes for the contact centre and we will be treating it not only as a service but as a business generator,” says Sherif.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code