The old fashioned way of banking is to know your customers, greet them when they come to the bank, and you know beforehand what they are there for. This is what makes customers feel comfortable - doing business with a person they are familiar with - tellers and managers, and expect fast and efficient service. The question is, how do you scale this and provide the same personalized experience for every single customer across every branch in your network? They should feel just as welcome and comfortable when they walk into any branch, just like they do in the branch near them where they have an account.
A customer experience management system will allow your customers to queue from anywhere, using any device (SMS, website, social media, phone, etc.). It's not just about reducing queues and wait times. The way to a better experience starts with knowing the customer, and what service he is coming to the branch for that day.
Once you know the customer and the service required, it becomes easy to plan for the customer journey. A customer support executive can help guide them through the process. It is the personalization of service through customer identification and segmentation that is making a branch visit a pleasant one for the customer and banking job easy for the employee. It should be a core requirement for branch transformation initiatives.
When you make customers wait in branch and / or in a queue for 20 minutes or more, the perceived wait time is a factor in addition to the actual wait time - unproductive and uncertain, without knowing how long it will take. For you, the costs include real estate - space used for waiting, and the impact it has on the customer experience, employee performance, job satisfaction, etc. An irate customer called by a teller after waiting for half an hour is likely to make their job much harder. Even a small glitch or delay by teller or banking software will cause an argument or a displeased customer walking out.
Also, your Net Promoter Score (NPS) takes a beating if you have priority or VIP customers waiting for simple transactions and services. On the other hand, a customer with an SMS ticket or digitally booked appointment that has a queue number and scheduled meeting time arrives just in time, is polite and cooperates with your staff, and makes the transaction a lot easier. Furthermore, clear knowledge of the exact wait time (in case the customer arrives early or without intimation) ensures that the perceived wait time is less, and it won’t impact the customer experience that much.
If you can manage customer appointments in this manner so that none of them is waiting for a service, this means you can repurpose floor space to add more counters and serve even more customers faster.
A virtual QMS with centralized administration gives you the ability to dynamically add more service counters for a service that has a long queue. A teller capable of handling multiple services can be switched from one service to another to handle waiting for customers. This makes the best use of the capabilities of each employee, while also ensuring consistent service for customers, who can smoothly avail multiple services. Also, documentation can be pre-prepared, and customers can be asked to upload digital documents which can be made available to the teller.
It makes the administration also easier, since each function or service provided by a bank branch is clearly mapped out against all the available employees who can fill that role, and you can also ask for service level feedback. The best way to improve employee performance is to collect and share feedback as well as to measure the efficiency of the service they provide.
Every customer or potential customer who gets into a virtual queue has provided you with their name, contact information, and reason for wanting to visit the branch. This is a goldmine of customer identification that can make banking a breeze. Notifications are sent to the teller and customer to prepare for the transaction, keep the required documents ready, and arrive just in time for personalized service that would otherwise be available only to certain elite and loyal customers.
The next step is customer segmentation. Based on the customer's past transaction history, which indicates what kind of services the customer may additionally wish to avail, the teller can suggest new products or services. If the system is connected to a recommendation engine - then the system can suggest additional products which teller can then upsell to the customer.
Additional opportunities to improve the customer experience include priority for VIP and high-value customers. You can provide them with the services they need in a way that makes their visit to the branch a delightful one.
When a customer wants to join the queue for a particular service, the QMS can instantly calculate which branch would be the ideal one. This is based on the number of tellers providing the service, the number of people waiting in each branch, and the distance of the customer's current location from each branch.
At peak hours and on days when there are huge crowds waiting to be served, this kind of load management coupled with multi-service queues will be very helpful in making banking jobs easier for staff by distributing the customers entering the queue across your branches. It reduces wait times for customers, and they could even be simply directed to call a specialist instead of coming to a physical bank branch.
Financial services providers will have set service level agreements (SLAs) that determines the thresholds for customers wait times for specific services, time stipulated for an employee to process a particular proposal and other such parameters. Normally, it would take days or weeks before an SLA breach reaches your desk, and for the response required through proper channels to reach the customer in question. But a QMS can send out real-time SLA breach alerts to those who can step in and mitigate the issue in real-time, such as a supervisor or branch manager, while the customer is still there in the branch.
As soon as the supervisor starts getting notification of breach alerts in a specific service, branch or region, apart from handling the issue they can dynamically add more resources using multi-service queues and load management. Branch managers can start talking to the affected customers and keep them informed about their status in the queue. These alerts will help you do your job on time, and ensure quick resolution of SLA breaches. It also has a positive impact on NPS and customer satisfaction and service levels.
Apart from SLA breach alerts, the smart queue management system can produce detailed operational reports about every service and branch performance. You can use a live floor view to see how many people are waiting, how long they have been waiting on average, and a benchmark comparison of such metrics against group performance and/or targets that have been set.
These metrics give you an idea of what service areas and KPIs at which branch need improvement, more resources, changes and/or additions to staff, skills and training, etc.