Most bank customers want their trips to the branch to be faster…more efficient. They expect the same convenience from a brick and mortar bank that they get with their favorite phone or web apps.
That means banks must keep up.
New technologies can help banks better predict customer needs and provide more customized financial options to more effectively meet increasing customer demands. Here are three technologies that can revolutionize the quality of service in your branch.
1. Tablets for omnichannel and anticipatory customer service
Customers don’t want to wait in line only to explain to the teller who they are and what they want. With mobile technology like tablets and phones, you can modernize — and vastly improve — the customer experience.
For instance, a teller, equipped with a tablet, can greet customers and take their names and the purpose of their visit. The greeter can handle requests on the spot or direct customers with more complex needs to another associate. An omnichannel support system allows associates to share the information collected at arrival with other associates, digitally. So, when the customer approaches the counter, the teller already knows what he needs and is prepared to provide it.
The benefits of this service extend far beyond the branch. With a truly robust omnichannel customer support system, you can seamlessly continue conversations that began online or over the phone. Your busy customers will appreciate this level of service and data suggests that they’ll come back. Researchers from the Aberdeen Group found that companies with extremely strong omnichannel support retained 89 percent of their customers, on average, versus those with weak omnichannel support who retained only 33 percent.
For repeat customers, such a system provides an even greater benefit — the beginning of a personal profile. Each time the customer visits and new information is added to the profile, it provides a more complete picture of that consumer. Forward thinking companies, like Apple, use these profiles to monitor customer behavior in order to anticipate future needs.
This virtual omniscience allows banks to accurately prescribe services to suit consumer needs and preferences. For example, if a customer has mentioned buying a house on several occasions, even casually, an associate see that information in the profile and can broach the subject. Customers, in turn, are assured their unique needs are being addressed.
2. Customized loan platforms for on-the-spot loan offers
When a customer comes in seeking a loan, you have a fleeting opportunity. If you can’t offer a loan with agreeable terms, your customer will go elsewhere – and maybe never return.
The once secure loan landscape is now highly competitive. Customers have all sorts of financing options including client-direct online lenders. Customers can obtain these eLoans, in many cases, cheaper and faster than at the bank. So to keep valuable loan customers, banks need to woo and wow them.
Customized loan platforms like Precision Lender give bankers a competitive edge. These platforms allow associates to select from a wider array of loan products, improving the chances of finding a financing option to suit each customer.
This tool — and tools like it — provide better information about risk-adjusted return, and allow banks to avoid setting hurdle rates. No customer wants to hear, “We just can’t do better than 5%, no matter who you are.” Firm bottom lines can cost you the most credit worthy customers — the customers you really want to retain.
With loan technology tools banks can:
- More easily deliver tailored loan offers
- Increase the number of customers who qualify for loans
- Make those customers feel unique and valued
Technology can relieve the pressure associated with guesswork so you can spend more time improving the lender/borrower interaction and fostering long-lasting relationships with customers.
3. Cash recyclers for faster transactions and efficient operations
Cash automation technologies can eliminate the mind-numbing (and time-consuming) task of counting cash. Solutions like cash recyclers allow branch staff to focus on problem solving and meeting financial services needs rather than just counting cash and overseeing transactions. More productive, happier branch staff will deliver better customer service.
Research supports the time-saving benefit of these machines. An iTrade report compared the amount of time it took customers to change out cash with a teller and the time to perform the same task with a cash recycler. Even though they were speedy, tellers clocked in at 45 seconds, while the cash recycler took a mere 8.
Recyclers also reduce the number and frequency of dual custody transactions and virtually eliminate balancing tasks, adding up to hours of labor savings per day. Combine the time saved by automating all manual cash handling processes and you can operate more efficiently with less staff.
Getting started with new technology doesn’t have to complex. Fortunately, there are tools available. And there’s no question… your customers want them.