Superior customer experience is more crucial than ever in the banking industry, and a recent article by Barlow Research emphasizes the importance of the branch visit by highlighting banks who have made the process more efficient.
The research firm reports that, based on its 2014 small business data, banking customers desire shorter wait times when waiting to talk to a banker or branch manager. Barlow’s statistics reveal an average wait time of five minutes, where most prefer to wait for three or less.
In contrast, the article highlights Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Regions as financial institutions who are early to market with appointment scheduling, the latest bank branch strategy, making it so their customers do not have to wait.
Barlow’s 2015 Digital Business Banking Test Drive of small business online banking sites (of the 15 top financial institutions) report that these three institutions use services that allows customers to schedule a branch visit at a time and place that is convenient for them. Barlow deems this noteworthy because it puts the power into the hands of the bank customer.
The article acknowledges that each financial institution delivers this service slightly differently, but the steps involved in setting up an appointment are universal; 1) Select the topic of discussion 2) Select the location of the meeting 3) Select the date/time 4) Provide your contact information 5) Schedule the meeting.
Barlow calls out Wells Fargo for noteworthy features such as being able to access the service from both desktop and mobile, pre-populating information when the customer signs into online banking, and having the fewest pages needed in order to reach the confirmation page.
Barlow’s research also indicates that 52% of small business online banking users rate this type of self-service as a top priority. So, not only does this type of tool benefit and satisfy the banking customer, it also benefits the financial institution by letting them know who is coming in the door, the reason for their visit and allowing for preparation with the appropriate resources.
Engageware’s Banking By Appointment cloud solution enables customers to book in-branch or phone appointments through bank websites, email campaigns and social media portals. Its unique Smart Matching capability ensures customers will be matched with the right expert with the right knowledge. By offering a scheduling process that is intuitive and frictionless, a casual browser can be converted into an engaged customer. This will allow for cross-sell opportunity as well as increase brand loyalty through a more personal banking customer experience.