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Webinar: Changing Branch Experience Expectations

July 18, 2017

DFCU Financial Logo

Join special guests from DFCU Financial and Kronos as they explore how to meet ever-increasing customer service expectations through technology. Included are key appointment study findings and what they mean to banks and credit unions that want to improve the branch experience.

Our experts will reveal:

  • Enhancing your branch appointment programs with benchmarking data that includes total appointment visits to the branch, appointment status results, and type of products and services requested
  • Adapting the branch experience to align with consumer retail technology expectations
  • Best-practice tips on how to gain the most from your appointment-setting approach

See how appointment-setting technology can help your financial institution improve the customer service experience, increase operational efficiency, and increase sales for better business outcomes. Register today!

Helping banks improve the onboarding process with technology

July 13, 2017

This article originally appeared in Community Banker Insight

By Chad Davis, Senior Industry Marketing Manager, Kronos

Branch bank employees strive to do their best for account holders, sometimes going above and beyond by performing extra tasks that are not always possible during regular business hours. When these tasks are done, however, the banks benefit significantly by seeing increases in employee engagement, retention, and revenues.

Onboarding falls into this category as it creates effective ways for banks to provide a positive customer experience, foster long-term loyalty, and differentiate their institution. Yet despite its effectiveness, onboarding often gets relegated to a secondary task for employees to do when/if they have free time.

Typically, many banks and other financial institutions ask employees to help onboarding (or various other account holder services) whenever they’re not busy. However, this type of policy is simply too vague and doesn’t do enough to hold employees accountable. Despite employees’ good intentions, onboarding simply doesn’t get the full attention that it should, resulting in a huge missed opportunity for the bank.

Why focus on onboarding?

Regardless of the lack of acknowledgement it receives, onboarding is still extremely important, as evidenced by research that shows that 59.6% of financial institutions (banks and credit unions) indicated that onboarding programs will be a more important strategy in the coming year.[1]

When done well, onboarding successfully overcomes many common obstacles most banks face and provides ample benefits:

  • Creates a positive account holder experience: Onboarding helps to get new account holders more engaged with the financial institution early in the relationship, helping them feel more valued and appreciated.
  • Promote long-term loyalty and reduce attrition: Engaging with account holders early in the process is critical to increasing loyalty. Research shows that when banks implement an onboarding initiative, attrition levels drop by one-third, down to just 9.5 percent.[2]
  • Provide higher quality interactions: Millennials and other heavy digital users (of financial services products) still prefer to visit a bank for advice on financial products or services. In turn, these higher quality interactions are more likely to lead to additional product sales and cross-selling opportunities.[3]
  • Increase “share of wallet”: Each account holder owns many different financial products, but chances are only a few of them are with just one institution. Onboarding properly increases the likelihood of developing stronger relationships, leading to more effective cross selling efforts.
  • Improve the value of the relationship: When considered in total, these benefits give banks everything they need to retain account holders, increase revenues, and truly maximize the value of each opportunity.

Success with technology

Although the benefits of onboarding are proven, many banks still struggle with how they can actually make it and other valuable account services part of a daily/weekly process. This is particularly true if such tasks are not currently employees’ primary responsibility, or if they are already busy in their existing role.

Employee scheduling technology can achieve this objective by giving banks the ability to forecast actual demand, in terms of account holder traffic in the branch, helping supervisors create best-fit schedules to make sure they are staffed to provide ideal service during busy times. Additionally, it gives them the power to anticipate and plan during the slower times by enabling supervisors to create schedules that let employees know when they should focus on other tasks, like onboarding activities.

Make it a “must”

Most banks are aware of onboarding and the many benefits it can provide, but many either lack the disciplined approach to onboarding or resort to a system where employees are not obligated to onboard account holders during slower times.

With employee scheduling solutions, banks can overcome such challenges and make onboarding part of a regular, ongoing process. And when they do, banks are poised to reap the related benefits: better account holder experiences, improved retention, and increased value of these relationships.

 

# # #

[1] The Financial Brand, “State of Marketing in Retail Banking,” February 2014.

[2] Harland Clarke Marketing Services, “The Three D’s of Onboarding Success,” 2013.

[3] FMSI, “Millennials’ Relationship with the Branch.”

New Infographic Reveals High Adoption Rates for Branch Appointment Software

July 12, 2017

Customers are scheduling meetings with appointment software at convenient times and locations.

  • 84 percent of appointments that are booked are kept.
  • The ability to make appointments for complex transactions like loans and mortgages is being valued.

Learn more about the benefits of appointment-setting technology in the Kronos FMSI Appointment Study, which this infographic is based on.

Appointment Infographic Thumbnail

Download the infographic here.

 

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, https://www.kronos.com/resources?industry=banking.

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 chad.davis@kronos.com.

2017 Branch Appointment Study Shows High Consumers Adoption

June 8, 2017

appointment study pic

Customer service expectations for faster and more convenient service is growing. Is your financial institution keeping up?

Learn more by downloading our detailed appointment study white paper, which explores how to meet ever-increasing customer service expectations through technology. Included are key appointment study findings and what they mean to banks and credit unions that want to improve the branch experience.

Download the report now to:
• Enhance your branch appointment programs with benchmarking data that includes total appointment visits to the branch, appointment status results, and type of products and services requested
• Adapt the branch experience to align with consumer retail technology expectations
• Learn best-practice tips on how to gain the most from your appointment-setting approach

See how appointment-setting technology can help your financial institution improve the customer service experience, increase operational efficiency, and increase sales for better business outcomes. Download this valuable content now.

Shifting to Tomorrow’s Future Branch

May 11, 2017

By Chad Davis, Senior Industry Marketing Manager, Financial Services Practice Group, Kronos

Branches are in the middle of a significant transitional period. As the need to reduce operating expenses and grow profits continues, banks are looking to adapt to the shift by developing strategies for attracting new customers and deepening relationships with existing ones while attempting to provide the very best service possible.

Branches are no strangers to the adoption of new technology. With the emergence of online banking, mobile banking, smart ATMs, interactive video technology, and other innovations, bank customers can now perform common transactions and research financial products and services without a trip to the branch.

Unsurprisingly, branches have seen a decline in traffic with a 45 percent drop in transaction volumes since 1992, according to the 2017 FMSI Teller Line Study. However, there is still value in the branch. A 2016 J.D. Power study showed that even though traffic numbers have decreased, branches are still considered a key channel for resolving customers’ problems or completing more complex transactions.[2] While many once thought the adoption of new technology would prompt the demise of branch-based banking, experts now see branch change as an open door for banks to gain a new competitive edge.

The changing landscape of branch models

Although it may be simple for banks to see the benefit in the shifting branch landscape, transitioning to the “branch of the future” is not a quick and easy fix. Modifying branches requires an ample amount of time, effort, and budget, so as banks begin to switch gears in this direction, three different branch models have come into existence:

  • The traditional branch model: This is probably what comes to mind when we think of a typical branch today. The layout is familiar and functional, yet set up in a way that tends to favor the bank, not the consumer. For example, account holders may have to work with two or three different employees to resolve an issue or learn about new products or services. Such a siloed approach also makes it difficult for employees to access all of the customer’s information — causing them to miss valuable opportunities to cross-sell or provide exceptional service.
  • The self-directed branch model: This model represents the best of both worlds between the traditional branch model and the vision for the branch of the future. Self-directed branches are designed for maximum speed and convenience for their account holders. Instead of human tellers and long lines, these branches provide fast, easy transactions using video tellers, smart ATMs, touchscreen devices, and other technology. If customers need more assistance, these branches also make it easy to schedule an appointment with the right person to answer their questions. All of this is designed to help customers to get in and get out quickly, and get on with their day.
  • The personalized, full-service model: To imagine this example, think of the Apple Store and how it has revolutionized the retail experience. Similarly, in this branch model, account holders receive hands-on, concierge-like service from friendly, knowledgeable staff. Bank employees are trained as universal associates, capable of managing transactions themselves or introducing the right customer team to resolve any additional questions. The focus is on the bank customer’s experience and satisfaction, and these employees do all they can to provide world-class service while driving higher quality interactions and more profitable transactions.

Multiple models, multiple challenges

Managing a single organization with three different branch models poses a few challenges, particularly in the way its workforce is deployed. Different branches require employees with different talents, so banks must have a broad spectrum of employees with specialized skills, financial knowledge, dedication to customer service, and other attributes. Additionally, banks must be able to schedule the right employee at the right place at the right time to meet demand and control labor costs. There’s a lot at stake: If they can achieve these goals, banks will improve their ability to serve account holders and create highly profitable, sales-centric branches.

The technology advantage

To attract and manage a high-performing workforce for all branch models, banks clearly need the best possible solution — yet many question how to go about attaining one.

Human capital management (HCM) technology may be the answer. HCM solutions can help banks improve the way they hire, manage, and retain top talent, and in doing so, provide an ideal branch experience that increases customer satisfaction and loyalty as well as bottom-line results.

For example, in the case of the personalized, full-service branch model, a manager can use specialized scheduling solutions to forecast traffic volumes and then schedule the right employees to best meet this demand. These sophisticated schedules factor in such variables as employee skills, availability, and certifications and other qualifications, balancing those employees’ labor costs against demand and budget. Additionally, specialized staffing solutions give managers detailed visibility into employee efficiency and performance. In this case, she can schedule a part-time teller for specific times and reallocate other employees to secondary duties, such as making outbound calls or balancing the vault.

The many benefits of a simple solution

With the perpetual evolution of branches, banks can rely on HCM solutions to help overcome staffing challenges inherent in the branch types of the future as well as today. In doing so, HCM delivers a rare win-win scenario — technology that enables banks to improve customers’ experience and satisfaction while helping the overall organization reduce operating expenses, increase sales, and improve profitability.

 

Chad Davis is Senior Industry Marketing Manager of the Financial Services Practice Group at Kronos. He can be reached at chad.davis@kronos.com.

 

Put Kronos for Banking to work for you:

+1 800 225 1561 | kronos.com/banking

[1] FMSI, 2017 FMSI Teller Line Study

[2] Big Banks Show Significant Gains in Customer Satisfaction as Midsize Banks Decline and Regionals Plateau, J.D. Power U.S. Retail Banking Study Finds, J.D. Power (April 23, 2016), found at http://www.jdpower.com/press-releases/2016-us-retail-banking-satisfaction-study.

Less Than 10% of Mobile Checking Account Applications Are Completed

April 27, 2017

javelin-logo

Recent Javelin research found that today only 8% of successful checking account applications start and finish in a smartphone or tablet.

What happens to the abandoned mobile applications?  It’s far from certain these individuals ever visit a branch after a failed attempt.

Perhaps, a branch appointment scheduling solution—which can easily be integrated within a mobile banking application—is a financial institutions best chance at transitioning these failed attempts to an in-branch meeting.

See detaile metrics around adoption behaviors for banking branch appointment software when you download the Kronos 2017 FMSI Appointment Study.