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How Financial Institutions Are Learning from Other Retailers

June 15, 2017

This article originally appeared in Credit Union Today.

By Chad Davis

Technology is changing the retail consumer service experience as companies like Sprint and Apple are offering customers the option to schedule appointments rather than stand in line at a store. Now financial institutions are following suit, according to a new study from FMSI, a Kronos company.

The FMSI Appointment Study, conducted in February 2017, analyzed proprietary data on nearly 1,500 appointments scheduled at more than 160 branches located across North America, researched the patterns of consumers scheduling appointments with their financial institutions, and revealed insights on which transactions bring people to branches and when they prefer to consult on their financial needs.

The findings are aimed at helping credit unions improve branch service and performance, and show that many members still choose to conduct some of their business face to face with financial professionals. It also revealed that consumers visiting branches appreciate the option to schedule an appointment, as visits by appointment outnumber walk-ins during several prime business hours.

Pinpointing  Member Preferences

At branches included in this study, visits by appointment outnumbered walk-in traffic during the morning and late afternoon hours. The most common hours to schedule appointments were at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., and 4 p.m. In comparison, walk-in traffic was typically low in the morning and most prevalent around the lunch hour, tapering off through the afternoon.

When quantifying appointments kept vs. no-shows, the findings revealed that 84% of appointments were assigned and completed, 12% were canceled before the appointment, and only 4% were no-shows. Of those no-shows, 43% occurred during the 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. time slots, suggesting that it may be helpful to send reminders the day before appointments.

A final focus of our study was to identify the types of services requested by consumers scheduling branch visits. Most of the appointments involved lending consultations, including consumer loans, mortgages, auto loans, and home equity lines of credit. This finding underscores the continuing role of the branch network in generating revenue by bringing in new loans.

Strategies To Implement

The results of our study suggest several management strategies to improve frontline member service and branch efficiency and productivity:

Make members’ omnichannel experience as seamless as possible. For all the current enthusiasm for mobile and other remote channels, keep in mind that members tend to embrace new services without relinquishing their expectations that other options remain in place. Offering a mobile appointment app underscores that your credit union offers a full range of channel options—and makes all of them conveniently accessible.

Optimize your frontline resources to drive service and revenue. Inviting members to schedule branch appointment saves them time while providing managers with valuable data for smarter scheduling. Financial professionals trained to provide specialized services can be scheduled to meet member demand and be ready to serve members with the appropriate materials lined up in advance to streamline the interaction.

Take a data-driven approach to improving sales and service. Appointment-scheduling and lobby tracking software provide useful information about what services members want and when they are most likely to visit a branch for the kinds of interactions that result in increased sales. Detailed information about branch traffic patterns can guide decisions about scheduling, sales training, and marketing based on demand for services at each location.

Data for this study was gathered from financial institutions that use the Kronos FMSI Appointment Concierge and lobby tracker software. Additional analysis and management tips based on the FMSI Appointment Study are included in a new white paper available on our website,

Chad Davis is Senior Industry Marketing Manager, Financial Services Practice Group, Kronos, which is a leading provider of workforce management and human capital management cloud solutions. Kronos industry-centric workforce applications are purpose-built for financial institutions of all sizes. He can be reached at

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