Even as the lines between physical and digital channels continue to blur, many banks and credit unions are struggling to prioritize the people and financial resources needed to reach their goals and deliver a truly omnichannel and personalized in-branch experience.

A new report from WBR Insights’ Future Branches division, Enabling In-Branch Associates Through Phygital Initiatives, and sponsored by Engageware, details the specific challenges many institutions are facing as uncovered in recent survey responses from 100 bank executives.

Yet achieving phygital success is not an “all or nothing” proposition. For many banks and credit unions, Engageware’s intelligent appointment scheduling capabilities are serving as an important first step to phygital nirvana, bridging the gap between digital channels and the physical branch, while improving customer engagement and service levels in both environments.

So how is Intelligent Appointment Scheduling helping banks and credit unions realize the benefits of phygital synergy today, while setting the stage for future omnichannel coordination and greater data portability tomorrow? We’ve examined some of the key findings of the report and shared our views below.

  1. “Respondents are looking for ways to improve their overall omnichannel coordination, but may be wary of pulling the trigger on newer technologies.” Online Appointment Scheduling has been proven successful for hundreds of banks and credit unions since Engageware pioneered the category almost 20 years ago. Customers ranging from National Bank of Canada to Needham Bank to South Carolina Federal Credit Union have praised Engageware for its ability to deliver more personalized service and drive valuable, in-branch traffic, while being extremely effective and easy for its associates to use. Looking for a risk-free investment? Appointment scheduling just might be it.
  2. Budget and lack of in-house experience was the most often cited barrier to achieving phygital goals. Engageware investments have been able to demonstrate significant ROI for customers, operationally and financially, helping banks both large and small build a strong business case for budget dollars.

    In fact, Needham Bank’s own research showed that, “customers who come in through web-based scheduling have been significantly more valuable than the bank’s average customer. Comparing the size of customer deposits alone, those customers who make appointments through Engageware are outpacing the bank’s average depositor by almost 4-to-1.” And with support from Engageware’s first-class services and support organization, banks can be up and running in just a few weeks with a solution tailor-made for their bank’s needs, member requirements, and business workflows – no special technology expertise needed!

  3. Banks are seeking to contextualize their in-branch initiatives within their overall branding and customer engagement strategy, including mobile applications, web sites and email. Engageware’s custom “Click to Schedule” links offer maximum portability, and can be utilized across all marketing channels – whether digital, print or in-store – at any point in the customer journey. This allows our customers to optimize client contact points, regardless of when or how the customer wants to engage, resulting in higher-quality service.

    Engageware offers additional benefits for bank marketers who often struggle to measure and attribute the impact of their digital investments to specific branch activities, even specific individuals. By replacing traditional contact information on the bank website with a Click-to-Schedule call-to-action, marketing and campaign attribution is greatly simplified.

  4. One of the primary benefits of better phygital coordination is the opportunity to deliver customer profile data, on-demand, to in-branch associates. Making this data available to associates, usually via tablets, allows for a more efficient and consultative conversation, as well as more insightful suggestions for product upsell and cross-sell. More than 47% of respondents to WBR’s survey are either using or in the process of rolling out tablets for their in-branch associates. Whether your bank is already among this group of innovators, or part of the 53% still on the path, Engageware can help deliver tangible benefits today.

    Because Engageware allows customers to book appointments in advance, our platform gives branch associates the visibility and time to prepare before the customer arrives, including assembling the relevant data and transaction history. Smart matching and routing capabilities further ensure that the customer appointment request is matched and booked with the most knowledgeable in-branch resource, based on their specific interest.

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