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Rethinking the waiting room management strategy in the branch

February 8, 2019

New recorded webinar featuring two banking executives discussing how they’ve re-imagined their waiting rooms with technology to improve performance.

Watch the webinar here.

Replay this webinar to hear how two innovative service leaders — Jenny Torres, vice president of service center operations at Suncoast Credit Union, and Jacque Valdez, associate vice president of branch operations at GECU — used workforce and customer management software to rethink their waiting room management strategy. You’ll hear best practices that will provide you with tips to maximize operational efficiencies and leverage your own workforce data so you can streamline service and offer a better experience. The webinar will help you:

  • Understand the latest technology trends in managing a better customer waiting area experience
  • Learn what kind of data should be collected to achieve better service outcomes
  • Get insight into specific methods for improving operational efficiencies to create a positive waiting area experience

How much of an advantage do the largest banks have?

February 1, 2019

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This new chart from American Banker helps to quantify how much of an advantage the largest banks have over their smaller competitors. The combination of their convenient branch networks and strong digital offerings makes large, national banks tough to beat.

Learn how new lobby management software can help improve your satisfaction index through a superior branch experience.

 

Are you on top of pay equity in the branch?

January 28, 2019

Recent news from Citi that their “median pay for women globally is 71% of the median for men,” highlights the real possibility that many financial institutions could have pay equity challenges.

All sorts of consequences come out of this serious issue, including but not limited to: damaging your brand, hurting recruiting efforts, and increasing turnover.

One avenue for banks and credit unions to pursue, to help stay ahead of problems caused by pay equity, is having the right reporting solution to identify trends in pay and take the right steps to course correct.

Properly harnessing data to identify any potential pay equity happenings by position and location within your organization on an ongoing basis can:

  • Mitigate compliance risks– staying ahead of everchanging government regulations
  • Protect your brand – avoiding costly negative press around pay inequity
  • Improve recruiting – ensuring equal pay sends the right message to your potential candidates
  • Decrease turnover – caused by possible inequitable pay practices

Learn more about about the Kronos analytics solution here.

 

It’s time to stop ignoring the branch waiting area

January 16, 2019

Since people have been gathering to make purchases, there have been waiting areas—queues or rows of chairs where people wait for their turn to be served, with varying levels of patience and yearning about how else they might be spending their time.

With the majority of focus being paid to other aspects of the account holder experience, the waiting area has widely been ignored. But let’s face it: no one wants to wait. No one walks into a branch looking forward to being shown to a row of chairs knowing they will soon occupy one of them.  Anything that banks can do to eliminate or at least reduce wait time has an outsized impact on account holder satisfaction. And that is something Suncoast bank cared very much about.

As part of their training, employees at the 66 branches of Suncoast Credit Union are instructed to wait for a single minute, to underscore how long 60 seconds can feel to account holders, says Jenny Torres, Vice President, Service Center Operations. That exercise drives home the importance of prompt service, and Suncoast staff and managers have new tools to help reduce wait time and assist account holders who prefer face-to-face interactions when discussing services ranging from opening a CD to applying for a mortgage to planning their retirement savings strategy.

Personal service remains at the core of Suncoast’s promise to account holders, so the bank is continuously looking for modern tools based on the specific needs and expectations in each market, including maintaining larger facilities in areas with high transaction volume to smaller “coffeehouse-style” locations. Recent extended hours for Saturday access to service personnel and Spanish-speaking staff to serve a growing Hispanic population are examples of their adaptation with account holder needs in mind.

Connecting account holders with the service they’re seeking begins as soon as they walk into a branch. Account holder sign in via Kronos Lobby Tracker system via a convenient kiosk, identify the purpose for their visit, and indicate whether they’d prefer to communicate in English or Spanish. Branch employees are notified immediately that account holders are ready to be served, and the tracking system helps ensure that staff arrive promptly to assist account holders in order of their arrival.

Keeping an eye out for account holders seeking assistance in the lobby is no longer a “line of sight” responsibility, Torres notes. The automated tracking system provides regular on-screen reminders about how long account holders have been waiting, prompting account holder service staff to finish up their current tasks and head to the lobby to greet them. Suncoast has experienced a notable improvement in reductions in wait time since implementing this system, she says.

The capability to enhance prompt service delivery is not limited to individual branches. GECU is implementing a “global queuing” system across its 20 locations in the El Paso, Texas, area to connect account holders on a timely basis with its centralized lending operation, says Jacque Valdez, Assistant Vice President of Branch Operations.

Previously, branch employees contacted lenders via a back-and-forth series of emails and phone calls when account holders walked into a branch for a loan consultation. The Lobby Tracker system has helped streamline that process so that account holders are guided to a workstation for a video conference with a lender. Incorporating technology into the queuing process has reduced wait time for account holders by up to five minutes on average, Valdez says.

Suncoast has experienced similar results since implementing lobby tracker software: An average three-minute assist-time reduction in loan interactions has saved 600 staff hours over the past year, and the credit union has logged 340 fewer branch abandons in the same period. Because the system captures information about account holders who do leave without receiving assistance, branch staff can follow up via phone call or email to ask how they can help.

This new approach to reducing wait time has helped Suncoast meet its goal of an 80 percent Net Promoter Score and contributed to a 20 percent increase in loan activity with a simultaneous 10 percent decrease in loan assist times, Torres reports.

Branch employees can use data collected by lobby tracking software to raise the bar on account holder service in diverse ways. To share two examples, GECU collected information on problems reported by account holders during a recent card conversion to speed the identification and resolution of those issues, and Suncoast CU was able to help a family by tracing locations and dates where account holder’s account had been accessed without permission. (Don’t want to discuss particulars…especially compared to the example of GECU…ours sounds like CRIME. Make sense?)

One additional benefit of introducing technology in the branch lobby is a wealth of useful data to guide performance evaluations and coaching. Supervisors can gauge whether individualized training on specific skill sets is needed based on the amount of time each employee spends with account holders for different types of transactions. In addition, managers can monitor sales and better target coaching by reviewing with staff the specific results on what single service account holders request when they enter the branch and what additional products and services they sign on for during their consultations.

In combination, the versatile applications of putting automation to work at the forefront of account holder service is chipping away at original purpose of the waiting area. And no one will complain about that.

Growing branch concerns for all collar workers

January 4, 2019

From tellers to loan managers, keeping employees engaged is critical—especially in the branch where there is a direct correlation with account holder service. For all collar workers emerging banking technologies, changing account holder expectations and the increasing appeal of technology firms trying to attract top talent can have a significant impact on morale.

It’s important to tackle these engagement challenges head on through proactive approaches like improved onboarding, investing in the right branch digital solutions and staying in compliance through improved analytics.

Onboarding

With a more planned out and deliberate approach, onboarding in the branch can be a hassle-free process that allows organizations to focus on the human part of human resources. Learn how to improve your onboarding in this eBook titled, Improved Best Practices for Onboarding.

Branch digital solutions

By applying digital solutions to your workforce, you can foster engaged employees who are scheduled to meet the needs of the branch as well as account holders, so you can deliver an exceptional customer journey and improved performance for your organization.

For example, with the right branch scheduling solutions, ready access to employee profiles not only streamlines schedule creation, but it also simplifies cross-utilization and reallocation of resources within the branch for better service, higher efficiency, and most importantly—more productive and satisfied staff members.

Another example, is lobby management software. Staff members value the reduction of stress that a more streamlined queue management system provides. As the branch customer journey improves, your employee engagement will as well.

Staying in Compliance

Hot topics in employee engagement are pay equity and overtime pay. Branch management generally leans heavily on HR to make sure they are in compliance around these topics. However, compliance regulations for hourly and salaried employees can be challenging, with varying mandates based on employment status and location. And without the proper insights, information, and tools, you could put your organization at risk for unnecessary compliance litigation. Learn more about how you can use the right analytics tools to mitigate compliance here.

The digital transformation is well underway at financial institutions, with most of the emphasis being placed on developing mobile and online solutions for account holders. Successful institutions will look for ways to implement digital technologies across all areas of the institution as well, reinventing the branch for both account holders and all collar employees.

Learn more here

 

Did Your Bank Make This Best Branch Network Strategy Ranking Report?

December 21, 2018

BankDirector recently released it’s annual ranking report, which evaluated the following 10 categories that are important factors in bank performance.

  • Best Branch Network Strategy
  • Best Commercial Lending Strategy
  • Best Core Deposit Growth Strategy
  • Best Corporate Citizen
  • Best Retail Strategy
  • Best Bank for Millennial Employees
  • Best Technology Strategy
  • Best M&A Strategy
  • Best Small Business Strategy
  • Best Board

The one category this blog was most interested in was the Best Branch Network Strategy. Find out if your bank made the top 25 here.

Not surprisingly, an emphasis was put on driving branch efficiency and growth by utilizing the right data. Learn how to gain data-driven insights for more effective branch staffing.

Predicting Most Profitable Customer Behaviors is Key to Branch Revenue Growth

December 14, 2018

There are billions of dollars spent every year toward improving account holder experience in the branch, and in many cases financial institutions are left scratching their heads on the ROI.

Sure there are several high level metrics to account for sales and service. However, these KPI’s are not nuanced enough to determine such activities like how account holders feel a financial institution is helping them realize personal values, attaining freedom and independence in life or simplifying life in a complicated world.

In a new white paper from Motista, titled Making the Emotional Connection: Financial Services, the case is made around measuring and managing these nuances in the emotional connection organizations have with their customers.

Emotional Connection_general

Historically, institutions have two categories when measuring account holder service – satisfied and dissatisfied. This dated-approach leads to marketing investments into a broader spectrum, as opposed to a more targeted or tactical area. While some account holders are dissatisfied with a specific institution, most are actually unhappy with a particular sector of the business, like credit cards in the above chart.

When you dive deeper into the nuanced data you can see even the impact of more engaged account holders into specific areas, like mortgages in the below chart.

emotional connection_mortgage

Clearly, investing in customer experience solutions like lobby management software can have significant gains. However, it’s critical to understand the nuance measurements in order to more tactically invest in the branch.

See modern branch software in action and how it can improve the branch experience here.

In the Branch, Hassle-Free Onboarding is Critical

December 7, 2018

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With attrition rates in the branch running as high as 40 percent, it’s extremely important to focus efforts on ways to improve employee engagement. Effective onboarding can lead to improved retention, reduced turnover, and faster time to productivity.

Download this infographic, which highlights how financial institutions are more likely to have direct goals for their onboarding programs that include: integrating new employees into the culture, creating new-hire buy-in with organizational business strategy, clarifying responsibilities of roles, and reducing time to proficiency.

With the right tools, onboarding can be a hassle-free process that allows organizations to focus on the human part of human resources.

Future Branches Must See Sessions

November 27, 2018

Kronos is excited to once again be exhibiting at Future Branches in Austin, TX next week. The show that is billed as the only conference that explores how leading financial institutions are revamping retail banking technology, retooling front line associates, and creating the branch and retail banking experience of the future has a ton of promising sessions. The below are the ones we recommend you check out.

  • Tuesday 12/4 at 11:05, Panel: Picking the In-Branch Technology That Works Best For Your Employees and Your Customers It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a new piece of tech, but are you truly thinking about how it can be useful for your customers?
  • Tuesday 12/4 at 12:00, Branch Technology Roundtables, Customer Engagement Technology Critical to Increasing Branch Sales
  • Tuesday 12/4 at 2:45, Going Fully Automated: Does it Make Sense for You? Is this even something that is necessary? What kind of savings will you see for something like this?

See the full agenda here, and make sure to stop by booth 106 & 108 to see a demo of our industry leading branch lobby management software.

New Digital Banking Report Relays the Critical Importance of Innovation

November 20, 2018

Innovation-in-Retail-Banking-Cover-small-for-web.jpgA new study by Digital Banking Report doubles down on the importance of innovation in the sector to keep up with tech alternatives.

“It is clear from this year’s report, and the reports from the past, that great progress around innova­tion has been made, but that there is still much to do. The increasing demands of the consumer, fueled by digital experiences from technology lead­ers, is relegating the banking industry to playing a game of ‘catch up’. This is especially true with smaller organizations, who often lack the resources to deliver the digital functionality of larger peers.”

Learn of some of the latest branch innovations.