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L E A D I N G

A D V O C A T E

F O R

T H E

B A N K I N G

I N D U S T R Y

I N

K A N S A S

18

TAKE THREE STEPS TO SERVICE-

FOCUSED BRANCHES IN 2015

T

ODAY, WHEN A CUSTOMER WALKS INTO

a bank branch, they’re usually not there to deposit

checks or make loan payments — those are tasks

they can now accomplish from anywhere using

mobile technologies. Rather, a branch visit these

days entails solving an issue that needs a human decision:

opening a new account or discussing such complex products as

loans or financial planning.

With that in mind, facilities must also evolve from transaction-

oriented locations into customer-centric service centers. And

building service-oriented branches requires a few specific areas

of innovation that provide managers and frontline employees

the tools they need to be most effective. The idea is that a

bank’s technology should empower staff to see customers the

way customers see themselves.

And a recent industry study reveals that bank executives

understand the importance of enhancing branch operations this

year. In CSI’s Annual Banking Priorities Study, 44.6 percent

of respondents identified branch optimization as a strategic

focus for 2015. This strategy, in fact, is rated as the top focus

area in the study, ranking ahead of other such important

initiatives as EMV preparedness, mobile banking adoption and

social media participation. Bank executives clearly see branch

transformation key to success in 2015 and beyond, so the

question becomes how to go about it.

There are three primary areas through which banks can

facilitate a more service-oriented branch:

Customer-Centric Views

First, institutions should implement tech systems that enable

a customer-centric view rather than an account-centric view.

Customers see one bank — they don’t recognize, or even care,

whether the core system, Internet banking, loan servicing

systems and mobile banking platforms are separate; they just

want a seamless experience from one touch point to the next.

Banks should use tools that can “journey map” customers

to gain a complete picture of their experience across all

interactions.

Banks also should record and monitor customer data to help

them optimize the entire customer experience, rather than

focusing on isolated touch points. To gain insight, they must

study both structured data, like transaction data, as well as such

unstructured data as call logs.

Strengthening Customer Relationships

Next comes the need for systems that can automate customer

engagement for frontline employees. Powerful CRM programs

can collect customer data from a variety of places and provide

information to employees on profitability, recommended

products, transaction and account history and customer service

interactions.

By TimKopischke, Director of Software Engineering - CSI