Toyota Financial Services is “in the planning stages” to replace its entire telephony system, which will allow for customer service channels including messaging and chatbots, said Kim Cockrell, vice president of service operations.
The Plano, Texas-based lender will move to a cloud-based system in 2020 and “hopefully we’ll see some early winds before 2021,” Cockrell said. Once fully transitioned, TFS will have the option to introduce several different communication tools including voice response, chatbots and actual messaging with a customer service agent, she said. “All of those capabilities we don’t have today or that we have in individualized solutions, we’re going to be replacing with a new system that has all of that integrated,” she added, “so that will lead us to many more opportunities to change customer service.”
The integration capabilities will allow customers to communicate in a single channel, say on a mobile device, and pick up on another device, like a laptop. It will also let service agents see previous communication history with a customer, Cockrell noted. “Hypothetically, an agent could say, ‘I see that you were having a chat last week and are you calling about the same issue,’” she explained. “Or if you’re in the middle of a transaction, so you start on your mobile app and your phone dies, you can go into your laptop [and you’re] able to pick up right where you were.”
Overhauling the lender’s telephony system is part of a larger goal to bolster customer service channels and make it easier for customers to access highly utilized actions, with a focus on payments and transactions. “We want to make that information available regardless of what channel you use,” Cockrell said. “If you pay on your mobile device or on a laptop or desktop — it’s really linking all of those transactions.”
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