Appointments may not be new to financial institutions, but during the pandemic, many banks and credit unions relied on appointment scheduling as a way to manage their lobbies, increase customer satisfaction, and provide their customers and members peace of mind during an uncertain time. And while this is true, many top banks were already seeing the value from using an appointment scheduling solution before this. In fact, eight out of the 10 largest banks were using appointment scheduling software prior to COVID-19 as part of their customer engagement and/or branch management strategy. Now that we are looking to a post-pandemic future, the possibilities for utilizing appointments as a way to provide exceptional service and increase customer lifetime value (CLV) are endless!
There are several use cases for financial institution appointments, so how can you use appointment scheduling to meet and exceed customer expectations? Let’s explore some of the ways you can provide a one-to-one - and one-of-a-kind - experience through in-person and remote appointments:
Open or close a checking or savings account
The best part about providing appointment options is that you are giving your customers and members the choice, and empowering them, to bank with you on their terms. Whether in-person or remotely through video or phone, by giving your customers the option to schedule an appointment to open or close an account, they will be able to choose the day, time, and location that works best for them. Offering various appointment types for opening or closing an account means your customers don’t have to wait in line and can meet with you at their convenience.
Curbside services: pick up new debit or credit card
Another option that some banks and credit unions have turned to is offering curbside banking services. Similar to the convenience and safety of drive-thru options, curbside services are not only a great option for customers who don’t feel comfortable coming into your branches right now, but for the ease and quick turnaround curbside provides.
Being able to pick up a new debit or credit card can alleviate some of the worry involved with waiting for a card to arrive by mail while also allowing customers to engage with your staff from the safety and comfort of their cars.
Curbside services: open a new account and receive temporary debit card
And why not pair the first two use cases together? If your customers have the option to open a new account curbside and receive a temporary or new card on the spot, this will translate to a seamless and satisfying experience - leading to increased customer loyalty.
As we’ve seen accelerated growth of curbside pickup services, pairing a curbside appointment with the option to get what they need at that time will be an undeniable way to increase customer and member satisfaction.
Modes of appointments have changed the landscape for meeting with a banker on mortgages. What used to be a common in-person, in-branch interaction is now something that can be accomplished via video calls. By offering video mortgage appointments, your staff members can give the personalized experience many expect but from the convenience of their home (or wherever they choose).
Plus, technology has enabled staff members to share documents online and have customers sign these documents, all while on the video call. This leads to increased efficiencies and intake - while also keeping customers and staff safe during this time.
Dispute a transaction
There is nothing more unsettling for a customer than having an inaccurate or fraudulent charge on their account. So, a great way to mitigate this concern is by offering an appointment. No one wants to wait in line or wait on the phone to speak to a representative about a dispute - they want to know that they have a secured time to speak with a real person who can help them correct the situation as quickly as possible. By giving an option for an in-person, phone, or video call to dispute a transaction, your customers will have peace of mind that they have a pre-arranged time to talk to a human about something negatively impacting their lives, and that their appointment will be handled by someone with the skills to solve the issue.
Technical assistance with online or mobile banking
When it comes to digital banking, there are many things you can educate your customers on. Whether your customers are tech fanatics or have turned to digital banking for the first time during the pandemic, this appointment type is a great way to provide an extra level of service that will satisfy your customers. Again, this service could be offered in-person, over the phone, or on a video call. Your team can walk through the various digital services and information your bank and credit union offers, including everything from depositing a check, signing up for account notifications, helpful resources, and more!
So let’s recap… giving your customers and members the option to pre-book an appointment enables you to build stronger customer and member relationships because you’re giving them the option to engage with you when, where, and how they want to. And appointments, whether in-person, over the phone, or via video, give your teams the ability to connect with your customers in ways you never have before. This will translate to a seamless experience for your staff and customers, and give you a competitive edge. In fact, 75% of customers say that positive experiences influence purchasing decisions in banking.
After all, the notion of what people need to do when it comes to banking hasn’t changed, it’s how they want to interact with you.
“What hasn’t changed is it is still a people business. Banking is a relationship business. You hear a lot of bank CEOs say this. Our customers, both commercial and consumer, still want — when they have a complex problem, need advice, have an issue they’re trying to solve, have a dispute on their credit card — to talk to somebody.”
Greg Carmichael, Chairman and CEO, Fifth Third Bancorp - September 2020
By improving the customer and member experience through appointment scheduling, you will gain the benefits of upsell and cross-sell opportunities, increased customer advocacy, and improved customer loyalty. In fact, for 90% of financial institutions using appointment scheduling solutions, their appointments have resulted in new accounts opened and new balances gained. So if you haven’t implemented an appointment scheduling solution yet, what are you waiting for?!
If you want to learn more about the ROI of appointments, then download our eBook!
About the author
The JRNI team is made up of product, customer, and technical experts who are focused on driving personalized experiences - for our customers, and for theirs. The JRNI blog enables us to dive into how retail and financial organizations can use personalized experiences to grow profitability, build stronger customer relationships, and drive customer loyalty.
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