A recap of the recent webinar – 3 Opportunities the COVID-19 Crisis Uncovers for Improving Bank Operations.

The impact of the Coronavirus crisis has been profound; on our personal lives, to our businesses and the economy.

Bank and credit union leaders have had to make tough decisions to quickly adapt their strategies, physical branches, and day-to-day operations especially as they fall within the lines of an essential workplace.

A few of the most immediate impacts to banking played out as follows:

  • Reduction in branch services and hours to head to social distancing guidelines;
  • Temporary or permanent branch closures;
  • Exceptional increase in call center volume as customers try to make sense of their financial situation.
graph showing how bank and credit union call volumes have been impacted

To date, though, much of the action and response financial institutions have taken has been supporting banking customers during this time (sidenote: check out How to Support Banking Customers during this crisis).

Here’s how:

  • First and foremost has been through copious customer communications to relay changes in business operations;
  • Secondly, supporting customer (as well as employee) health and safety; and
  • Most importantly – supporting customers’ transition to digital banking, leading to a sizeable spike in new online registrations.

This push to digital banking has resulted in LOTS of questions from the banking consumer community – from both regular users and first-timers.

As banks have pushed their customers towards digital banking, interesting trends have emerged  in the types of customer questions being asked and how it has varied over the the last several weeks.

Top 10 Banking Customer Queries by Week

image showing top banking customer queries for each week in March 2020

Every day of this crisis presents new challenges, new needs and new questions. It’s an ever-evolving situation and continues to be as the gravity and economic fallout compound.

While the immediate response has been geared towards supporting customers and assisting with the outpouring of their questions, that’s not to say financial institutions and their employees haven’t felt the pain. As a matter of fact, the impact on banking employees and internal bank operations has been significant.

The Key to Adapting is KNOWLEDGE

Financial institutions need efficiency, now more than ever. They  need to remove as much variability from their business as possible.

One of the quickest, easiest ways to drive efficiency and remove variability is through self-service, for both bank employees and your customers; and driving self-service requires knowledge. Knowledge that is consistent, user-friendly and can be deployed and updated quickly.

Improving bank operations with the power of knowledge

As banks and credit unions grapple with adapting to the “new normal,” here are three opportunities we see for improving credit union and bank operations:

Opportunity #1:  Leverage Analytics

Banks and credit unions have been quick to create and deploy new content in response to the Coronavirus crisis, but they generally lack the visibility into the information their employees need in order to do their jobs.

Leverage analytics to understand what employees are searching for, what search results materialize, and what they click on. Encourage real-time feedback to gain visibility and insight from the end-users so that you can continuously improve content.

Opportunity #2: Centralize the way knowledge is created, managed and delivered

The staffing needs of financial institutions are changing, and rapidly. Employees are being reassigned left and right to help out departments in high demand (i.e. call center, loan processing) with little to no training.

To support this transition, financial institutions must break down departmental silos and promote a single source of truth. Learn how by watching the on-demand webinar recording.

Opportunity #3: Make Knowledge Easy to Find and Follow

Right, wrong or indifferent — one of the hallmarks of banks and credit unions is that information is notoriously difficult to find, and ever harder to follow. This is being put to the test now, as banking employees find themselves in new roles and don’t know what they don’t know to begin with.

Help support employees in new roles by making policies & procedures so simple and directional that a first-time loan processor or call center representative can execute on any procedure their first time around.

Financial institutions can achieve this by breaking down content into easy-to-follow steps, optimizing titles and keywords and doing so in a web-based procedure management system.

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