How Financial Leaders Are Creating Seamless Hybrid Experiences


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It’s one thing to deliver a good customer experience. It’s entirely another to deliver an outstanding one.

Some of today’s banks and credit unions have figured it out, however, and their secret weapon is weaving digital and physical channels together to reduce friction, delight customers, and grow their financial institutions faster.

Financial institutions (FIs) who provide an even mix of online and offline service offerings are more likely to report higher client satisfaction. Making it clear that giving customers flexibility and choice across in-person and online channels is helping FIs pull ahead.

Let’s take a look at how some of today’s leaders are connecting digital and physical offerings to provide a seamless experience to customers, regardless of the channels they choose.

Yolo FCU offers teller express lanes

When staff are both efficient and working at capacity, client satisfaction, retention, and share of wallet all rise in turn.

Yolo FCU proves this every day by allowing members to pre-schedule quick appointments online for simpler transactional services such as withdrawals, deposits, wires, savings bonds, card and account maintenance, and more.

When members book online in advance, they join the queue before they enter the branch, reducing the amount of time they spend in line. Since tellers get advance notice, they also have time to prepare the member’s request. When the member arrives in-branch, they’re directed to a dedicated teller in an express lane. Overall, this experience greatly reduces the amount of time the member spends in the branch.

This initiative proved to be very successful, with some members exclaiming that they’ll “Never wait in line again!” Yolo FCU isn’t the only FI that’s figured out how to work the fast lane to everyone’s advantage, though: 25% of FIs report that allowing customers to pre-schedule time with their teams leads to better close rates, as well as shorter lead times and wait times.

Arvest Bank lets customers find help across channels easily

It can be difficult for customers to get a clear view of how they can quickly access help across various channels. Many are left wondering when it makes the most sense to get started on their own versus connecting with someone who can provide them with expertise.

Arvest Bank solves this problem by showing customers the kinds of services that are best handled in-branch, along with real-time availability of the advisors that are best suited to help them, in addition to current wait times at a nearby branch.

When customers have an easy way to figure out whether they need to visit a branch, jump on a phone queue, or engage in a self-serve solution, wait times go down while satisfaction goes up. It also ensures smooth sailing for the more than 47,500 appointments and 137,600 walk-ins Arvest Bank handles each year.

Teachers Federal Credit Union’s video-powered virtual branches

While 36% of customers have reported that they still want to connect with their bank via video, only 36% of FIs have invested in video banking options. Those that offer video meetings not only have a competitive edge; they also give customers the flexibility to meet with an advisor anywhere while allowing their most in-demand experts to be available at any branch — all without having to travel.

Offering video meetings also opens up additional revenue opportunities. Austin Hopkins, AVP of Premier and Relationship Sales, Teachers Federal Credit Union demonstrated this when he shared that “a potential member joined a video call and said, ‘I thought I scheduled this with another company,’ the call nevertheless lasted 30 minutes and she ended up taking out an auto loan. I don’t believe that would have happened if they were not able to see each other face to face.”

For Teachers Federal Credit Union and other FIs that are leaning into video calls, the advantage is clear. The more options they can offer members, the better.

CU SoCal lets customers pre-schedule time with advisors

The team at CU SoCal noticed an interesting trend: the same members were waiting in-person for multiple services over and over again. They wanted to give them a faster and more streamlined way to speak with an advisor and get help.

They found their solution in self-serve appointment scheduling, which allows customers to pre-schedule time with an advisor best suited to help them before they arrive at the branch. This way, customers can start their journey online, then continue it seamlessly in person.

The result is less wait time, better service, and better preparation, with everyone arriving at the conversation willing to make the most of the time they spend together. Meeting times were also reduced by 38%, while loan pull-through rate rose by 12%.

In fact, appointment scheduling was so successful that Aaron Young, SVP Retail and Branch Operations said, “We’re increasingly moving walk-ins to high-value appointments and building that behavior because we know appointments convert.” SoCal CU isn’t alone in this success. FIs that are Very Satisfied with their overall growth, retention, and share of wallet are also more likely to have appointment and queuing software.

US Bank provides both DIY and “Do it Together” tools

Whether customers want to do things on their own with self-serve tools or engage with advisors for more complex financial conversations, it’s important to give them the resources they need. US Bank does this by providing a suite of “do it yourself” and “do it together” tools, which have landed them near the top of both JD Power and Associates and Forrester’s annual Customer Experience reports.

Giving customers multiple options to get things done is the key here. Customers can choose to manage their investments with a robo-advisor or speak with a wealth management rep; they can also use mobile apps for day-to-day banking or access their extensive branch network.

By investing in technology and people, US Bank has received top marks (and an 18% lift in revenue), both for its friendly, easy-to-reach associates and its innovation in launching new support channels.

Leading FIs give their customers the power of choice

No matter which mix of options FIs offer their members, it’s clear that those who empower their customers to choose what’s best for them are coming out on top. By using the right tools, customers can start online (or not) and finish in-branch (or not), depending on what they need.

Unlock appointment experience benchmarks all financial institutions need to know about and see how your financial institution stacks up.

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Nicole Lambert
Nicole Lambert
Nicole Lamber is a news writer for LinkDaddy News. She writes about arts, entertainment, lifestyle, and home news. Nicole has been a journalist for years and loves to write about what's going on in the world.

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