Bridging the gap between branches and digital banking
How banks can create a seamless customer experience across branch and online banking
Some banks see branches as outdated legacy assets that are more of a cost burden than a revenue source. This is not helped by many branch networks operating on a completely different set of systems to the newer online channels (whether internet or mobile banking). Such fragmented infrastructure makes it virtually impossible to provide a consistent omni-channel experience, which is costly for banks and frustrating for customers.
Yet, according to Gartner, branches are seeing a resurgence in popularity as customers seek human help with complex financial questions. That partly reflects a bounce back from the enforced isolations of the last few years. However, it is also being driven by financial services leaders investing in new frameworks to create unified – omni-channel – customer experiences.
By seamlessly linking online and mobile digital services with their physical branch networks, these visionary organizations are making their legacy assets an integral part of the digital transformation process. This is helping them gain a competitive edge by offering customers more services at a time and a place that suits them. That includes personalized help from real people not machines.
The future of branch banking is starting now: Omni-channel branches
As other recent Gartner research reveals, most customers still prefer to deal with real people (either in person or by phone), particularly when seeking advice on life changing financial decisions. That does not mean that branches alone can deliver the most positive customer relationships. However, it does mean that multichannel branches can enable more effective channel management that strengthens customer relationships.
Customers increasingly judge all brands by their experiences with the best brands. They want and expect to a single consistent brand experience at every touch point, whether online, by mobile or in person. They don’t want to keep repeating themselves every time they switch channels.
Thankfully, there are now frameworks available that seamlessly connect omni-channel and branch delivery, so bank customers can enjoy a seamless omni-channel experience regardless of how they choose to interact with their bank.
Six benefits of creating a seamless omni-channel customer experience
An integrated omni-channel framework enables banks to create engaging digitally connected journeys.
This enables customers to start a transaction or park a transaction on their mobile and continue it in the branch, or vice versa.
Integrating an omni-channel framework with the latest CRM system means customers will only have to tell their story once – which is less frustrating for customers and more empowering for employees.
That deepens customer relationships by enabling branch employees to provide personalized services and customized products.
Enabling a single contact point for all banking activities helps not only to reduce customer acquisition costs and attrition rates but also to increase sales.
Ultimately it means being able to offer more services than is normally possible through purely digital channels. A typical bank branch can fulfil around 600 types of service request, whereas digital channels can typically only fulfil 25-30% of service requests. An omni-channel framework that can tackle in-branch, online, and mobile transacting enables to bring service requests that are currently being served off-line to on-line.
I logged in to my mobile banking to request a wet-signed bank statement of the last six months for my visa application. My app allowed me to ‘pre-stage’ my request on my smartphone and then complete it at the branch. I selected the branch for collection and was notified when the document was ready. I even got my queue number with mobile while walking to the branch. When I arrived at the branch, they already knew why I was there. The teller updated my expiring ID and even offered me a Preapproved Travel Credit Card and Travel Insurance. My visit to the branch was a memorable experience that made me feel valued. I got my bank statement and credit card printed instantly. They took care of my needs and added further value.
Archie, retail banking customer
VeriChannel makes a unified customer experience possible
VeriPark’s omni-channel delivery framework, VeriChannel, enables in-branch, online and mobile transactions. It is platform agnostic, which means it can integrate easily with many leading CRM, core banking, and third-party solutions. When combined with VeriTouch, our CRM system, VeriChannel gives customer facing teams access to a single 360-degree view of the customer, and automatically logs and retrieves all actions and interactions. This enables bank staff to act as universal bankers. They can handle customer transactions by making informed decisions and develop new business opportunities during any interaction with the customer.
VeriChannel is a low-code/no-code Omni-Channel framework, which reduces operational costs. It makes it easier for banks to go to market faster, with fewer errors. Instead of working on separate frameworks for separate channels, they can develop once and deploy everywhere.
One of our customers in Turkey, for example, is using VeriChannel to manage 7 different channels: corporate internet banking, retail internet banking, mobile banking, watch banking, merchant portal, e-wallet, and branch.
VeriChannel enables banks to help customers resolve problems quickly by seamlessly redirecting them from a digital service to a digital + human assisted experience. Bank employees (whether in a contact center or branch) can see everything that the customer has done so far. For example, if a customer is applying for insurance, the employee will be able to see all the relevant information.
Providing a unified experience makes life easier for both customers and the bank employees who are trying to help them. Without a fully integrated framework, bank employees may have to use up to 10 different applications to access relevant customer information before they can handle the service requests. With an omni-channel framework and a fully integrated frontend, they need only one application.
Start planning your bank’s transition to an omni-channel world today!
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