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Why would you introduce Workforce Optimisation into your branch?

Over the past two decades retail banks have widened access for their customers by encouraging consumers to move out of the branch to lower-cost channels, such as ATMs, contact centres and the web. Yet when consumers wish to make a financial product purchase, they overwhelmingly choose to have a face to face consultation at the branch bank. This means that the advisory role of the in-branch staff will continue to stand heads and shoulders above additional bank services, so it is very important that the right resources, whether it be people, services or skills, are available at the right times to provide the best service possible.

Worryingly, Verint research of 7000 consumers across EMEA and the US revealed that only 48% of consumers are satisfied with the service received from financial service providers and a worrying 28% are totally ambivalent.  

Some of these complaints are related to the customer interaction in the front end channels, like retail branches, contact centres and more recently social media – the latest hotly debated channel in the branch banking sector. With all these channels now available, financial organisations need to be able to ensure that they are effectively monitoring and providing a consistent experience and service across the board.  When it comes to newer channels, the one concrete conclusion so far is that a bank which chooses to monitor social media or exploit this marketing opportunity must have a personal follow-up channel. This is a new challenge the branch network is perfectly positioned to fill. “Why don’t you pop in to see us at your local branch” is a perfect response to a customer’s online complaint or observation and invites the customer into the branch, creating a face-to-face upsell opportunity.

With more customers entering the branch, studies show that banks will need more skilled sales staff and fewer service and transaction employees to remain competitive. Existing staff will require retraining and development to ensure that banks secure good returns on their investment in facilities. Banks are choosing to train “universal” employees to have more flexibility, giving the customer a consistently better experience.

Workforce Management and Workforce Optimisation can play a pivotal role in each of these improvements and banks that deploy these solutions can achieve significant competitive advantages over those that do not. By gaining visibility and consistency into people, processes and technologies within the front office, a company can identify risks and issues early to pro-actively mitigate the impact on the business and ultimately, provide a better service to customers.

Adequate resource scheduling, monitoring customer interactions and coaching can all contribute to a more positive customer experience and productivity gains.   It’s time to enable your branch to get the most – and best – from the people, processes and technology to meet your business needs.

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