human touch to digital banking

Three benefits of adding a human touch to digital banking

Digital Transformation
Tablet apps
In 2018, 69% of internet users in the EU shopped online. All the evidence strongly suggests they value the ease and convenience. That customer demand doesn't stop with home delivery of groceries and fashion.

In fact, Doorstep Banking – bringing banking to wherever the customer is, through a team of direct sales agents – is now a growing trend. That's because your customers have hectic schedules. They have careers and a long commute, perhaps a business to run and a family to care for – or a combination of these to juggle. Anything that saves them time is highly valued.

Many people still like to have face-to-face contact with their bank, but simply don't have time to visit the branch. Doorstep Banking combines the convenience of digital technology with a friendly and reassuring human touch.

 Why go to the bank when the bank can come to me?

This is the question many of your customers are asking. Perhaps your customer is an ambitious career-minded professional. They're comfortable using digital tools to automate routine tasks and save time. But, what about when they want funds to buy a car or pay for their on-going professional development?

They're perfectly happy to submit a personal loan application digitally. But, it's a complex decision and sensitive issue, so they'd welcome the opportunity to speak to a trusted adviser. Someone they can rely on to give context and explain the available options. They don't have time to go to a branch but they welcome the human interaction of a direct sales agent visiting them at their office.  And, they value seeing someone with the time, knowledge and skills to build a strong relationship.   

When VeriPark and VakıfBank, one of Turkey's largest banks, worked together to develop an iPad application for their 2,400 direct sales agents, they found that 90% of retail banking operations could be delivered, quickly and efficiently, to the customer's doorstep. The result was hassle-free banking for the customer – and the following three major business benefits for VakifBank:

1.      Enhanced customer relationships

Direct sales teams have always been an effective way of maintaining relationships and increasing customer engagement.  But, they used to rely on paperwork and manual data entry. They also lacked access to customer information to facilitate up-selling and cross-selling opportunities.

Now, customer onboarding and servicing is easy and paperless. One tablet application provides a 360-degree view of the customer, as well as comprehensive banking features and products. No wonder customers and sales agents love it.

Sales agents can register new customers, open accounts and process loan and credit card applications. They can even help customers set up and use mobile and internet banking.  An Eligibility Calculator, synchronized with back office customer information, allows them to gain digital approval for loans and overdrafts. 

The ability to carry out transactions instantly, combined with the support provided by the sales agent, has resulted in a significant increase in customer satisfaction. It also allows agents to transition to more of a Universal Banker role. They can provide a holistic service to customers and boost proactive cross-selling initiatives, based on their improved understanding of client needs.

2.      Increased processing efficiency  

Going completely paperless brings many benefits. Most importantly, it means you can meet your customers' expectations of anytime, anywhere instant access to banking services and information.

When your direct sales agents are spending less time filling in forms, they can spend more time enhancing customer relationships. Digitally streamlined workflows are also much more efficient. VakıfBank, for example, were able to process 600,000 new applications in 18 months and for some transactions, such as loans, the process became eight times faster.

3.      Improved sales team productivity  

A task management system delivers location-based assignments to direct sales agents. That means they're no longer tied to a specific branch and can manage their customer visits efficiently across an entire city or region, boosting sales performance and employee satisfaction.  It also means the bank's management team can monitor the performance of their sales agents and provide more effective support.

Despite the rise of technology, great customer service is still driven by human interaction. By making full use of digital tools, VakıfBank effectively increased their number of bank branches from 957 to 3,500 – but without the expense of operating a huge network of physical branches. However, it's their team of digitally connected direct sales agents in the field that really puts their customer service and relationship banking a step ahead of their competitors.