Bank call centers are getting better at establishing a rapport with customers and closing calls politely, but they are getting worse at identifying customers' needs and cross-selling, according to a semiannual survey released Nov. 9 by O'Connor & Associates.

Call centers at 15 of the country's largest banking companies, which were evaluated 100 times in August for the twice-yearly survey, got a combined score of 74% for customer rapport, a four-percentage-point increase from March. This score was based on attributes such as using customers' names and otherwise welcoming them. The centers' ability to leave a positive final impression on customers and to offer future help increased eight percentage points, to 60%.

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