Most Americans may not know it, but the staff and technology being put to work answering their questions, solving their problems and selling products over the phone at call centers are now part of a bustling (and revenue-producing) industry.
Just how bustling? It brought in roughly $13 billion in the U.S. alone last year, through product sales and subscription revenue.
Enter the PYMNTS Call Center Commerce Tracker™, powered by IntraNext Systems, designed to take a monthly dive into the call center world: how they serve consumers and corporations, and how the solutions – both point solutions and platform or all-encompassing solutions – serve call centers. We’ll monitor the latest trends in the industry, what the biggest companies in the space are doing and what innovations or changes are coming down the road.
The inaugural edition of the Tracker features headlines on the latest technology being used to assist customers and to fight an increase in fraud targeting call centers, along with an interview with Jeannie Sugaoka, senior vice president of support services at Silicon Valley-based Technology Credit Union, who discussed the rapidly changing call center industry.
Around the Call Center World
As cybercriminals have become increasingly sophisticated, they are turning their attention to call centers. Fraud has increased by 113 percent in the call center market over the past year alone, with 94 percent of scams involving ID spoofing.
It’s an ugly situation, and without a magic bullet or perfect solution, it could last a long time, as IntraNext Systems’ CEO Patrick Brown recently told PYMNTS’ Karen Webster. But, he said, call centers looking to safeguard against attacks can mitigate the situation with a multifaceted approach, including changing the authentication questions posed to customers.
Meanwhile, security solution providers like Next Caller are working to build solutions to help win the fight against fraud. The company recently announced it had received $5 million as part of a new funding round led by Crystal Towers.
To find the rest of the latest headlines from the space, check out the inaugural Tracker’s News and Trends section.
How Call Centers Cope With Changing Tech and Changing Threats
As fraudsters have increasingly targeted credit unions, breaches like this year’s Equifax leak made call centers – particularly those at banks and credit unions – even more vulnerable.
According to data published by PYMNTS, one in every 2,500 calls to a financial institution’s call centers is fraudulent. As such, it is more important than ever that the centers verify the identity of customers when they call in.
In an interview with PYMNTS for the debut edition of the Call Center Commerce Tracker™, Sugaoka said the recent increase in fraud at call centers can cause friction for both the centers and their customers.
“It’s a delicate balance to strike, because we want members to feel like this is convenient and easy and not a difficult process, especially when it comes to authentication,” she explained. “But we [also] have to stick to our guns when it comes to verification. We know that when people do have their [identities] stolen, they come back to us and say they’re really appreciative of all the precautions we take when they call in, and they understand why we do it.”
To read the full story, download the Call Center Commerce Tracker™ below.
To download the inaugural edition of the the PYMNTS Call Center Commerce Tracker™, click the button below.
About the Tracker
The PYMNTS Call Center Commerce Tracker™, powered by IntraNext Systems, serves as a monthly framework for the space, providing coverage of the most recent call center commerce news and trends. The Tracker also includes a provider directory highlighting the key players comprising the call center ecosystem.