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When the pandemic hit, UniCredit Bank reacted quickly and enabled their customer service agents to work from home with the same level of efficiency thanks to Smart Working. Read more about their success.
Has the global crisis brought up the need to give your agents more autonomy? What advantages and disadvantages is it connected with?
When the pandemic will be completely behind us – hopefully as soon as possible – this period will be remembered as the greatest evolutionary acceleration of companies’ business models, especially of the banking system, which, to the extent that it has maintained and ensured continuity of performance, had to adapt quickly to the modes of interaction compatible with people’s need for protection and safety. We have seen innovations in the forms of work, in the activation of remote processes and in the use of technology which in the absence of this emergency we would have achieved in a longer time frame. Our consultants were able to work from home thanks to “Smart Working”, guaranteeing the same standards of efficiency as in the office. We also note a result of positive experimentation with “Smart Working” in customer structures where the mix between the responsibility and professionalism of colleagues and the technology adopted was successful. The entire structure had to adapt to new methods of communication, training, coaching and certainly the people had to express more autonomy managing contact with our customers. The component where there is certainly still a lot to learn and experiment is how to best manage our team by staying constantly phisically separated.
Do you see empathy as the main differentiator in creating the best customer service? How to manage the best personilised approach?
We give the best service to the customer when at the end of the conversation we were able to make him feel known, important to us and we were able to quickly resolve his reason for contact. Empathy is one of the main skills that a consultant must have and develop but it is absolutely necessary to put at his disposal all the useful information to ensure that he is able to give timely and fast answers. In this, technology helps us, a large amount of data available and artificial intelligence are and will increasingly be the driver to accompany the always essential human skills to create an experience that can be unique, remembered and told. Every moment of contact with the customer counts.
How do you deal with the biggest challenge of hiring and training your support staff?
UniCredit Direct in Italy is the gateway for the majority of hiring in the Commercial Bank; working in customer service is an excellent way to get to know all the bank’s products and services, to hone important relationship skills, to learn how to work in a team and by objectives. My whole Team of Managers feels a great responsibility, right from the moment of hiring (managed in close collaboration with HR department) and throughout the training period of our people. One of my greatest satisfactions is to see my people grow serenely, gaining more and more responsibility by doing things the right way.
Andrea Eusebi, is currently Co-Head in UniCredit Direct (Customer service and remote sales centre in Italy) at UniCredit Bank is a law graduate and he started working at UniCredit in 1997. The most recent experience before his current role is as head of multichannel strategic projects that led to the direct sales and remote advisory processes in UniCredit. He has a strong vocation for teamwork, innovation and the achievement of sustainable results oriented to the best customer experience.