Can contact centres achieve frictionless authentication?

A change of authentication strategy in the contact centre could significantly reduce both customer and agent frustration.

Can contact centres achieve frictionless authentication?

A change of authentication strategy in the contact centre could significantly reduce both customer and agent frustration.

Richard Atherton
Richard AthertonSenior Manager, Cloud Contact

Caller authentication is often the worst part of the customer experience in the contact centre.

At its worst, it can make accessing an account feel like jumping through hoops. Protocols put in place to meet regulations and improve security can start to feel like deliberate, unnecessary barriers between genuine callers and their accounts.

These procedures regularly create challenges on both sides of the experience – providing a major source of customer dissatisfaction and putting an added burden on already-stretched agents. In our experience, traditional verification methods like PINs, passwords and security questions can add between 2-7 minutes to the average call.

So how can contact centres upgrade their authentication strategy to maintain essential security standards while reducing friction in their service at the same time?

The customer perspective: a test of patience

A customer is often feeling confused, impatient, or frustrated at the start of their call – and lengthy security protocols can make these feelings worse.

This was most evident during the pandemic when physical branches closed. Suddenly, call volumes soared and people were understandably more agitated. 

For some this meant accessing remote services for the first time, and many legitimate customers found they couldn’t remember their account credentials or answers to security questions or didn’t have what they needed on hand for multi-factor authentication over the phone. 

Plus, if they failed to get over this hurdle, the problem often got worse; a manual password reset could take days or require a visit to a physical branch – which was especially challenging at the time.

Delivering seamless customer and agent experiences

It doesn’t have to be this way. Integrating network authentication and voice biometrics into your contact centre operations can significantly streamline the authentication process and improve the experience for both customers and agents.

Working in the background to reduce unnecessary friction, a network authentication solution focuses on call signalling data like the phone number, location and caller behaviour. This ensures that calls are coming from a physical, trustworthy source and aren’t being spoofed or manipulated.

Then, for the next layer of authentication, voice biometrics technology uses deep neural networks to analyse the unique characteristics of each caller’s voice in seconds as they speak naturally, comparing their voiceprint to the voiceprint saved for the known customer. Once customers are enrolled in this system, their voice can serve as their friction-free password for life, working across contact centres and digital channels.

Already, this technology is revolutionising efficiency and customer experience for organisations around the globe. According to Opus Research, authentication success rates have reached up to 99%, and fraud detection rates are at 90% and higher.

Improving contact centre experiences while maintaining security

We can help organisations significantly improve their contact centre experiences – offering you the latest in authentication technology.

We partner with Smartnumbers to provide Smartnumbers Protect a network authentication solution designed to verify the authenticity of calling numbers before they even reach an agent. It works particularly well in combination with Nuance Gatekeeper, a voice biometrics security solution designed to prevent fraud without adding friction to the customer experience, authenticating callers and detecting fraud through natural conversations with agents or speech-enabled IVRs.

To discover more about how you can use these technologies to boost security while improving the customer experience in your contact centre, visit our fraud, security and compliance page.