Bank branches are still some of the most valued brick and mortar stores around. When it comes to financial advice or large financial decisions, 77% of US adults prefer to have in-branch conversations, and 93% of millennials prefer key matters be handled face-to-face.
Increasingly, banks are facilitating these conversations by providing their customers with the ability to set appointments, meetings, and consultations online, and matching them with the right skilled advisors and consultants in-branch.
In addition to providing a better customer experience, online appointment scheduling helps consumers avoid the stress of long wait times, or miss the professional that is best suited to give them advice.
Leading banks have found a number of ways to put online booking solutions to work:
Home loan consultations
Purchasing a home is an incredibly stressful experience for consumers, and providing a great customer experience can help people better research and obtain their home loans. By providing the option to pre-schedule an appointment with a loan expert online, home buyers can make sure the right experts will be in the branch during their visit, and can make the meeting more convenient for themselves.
After implementing JRNI’s appointment scheduling solution, Yorkshire Building Society (YBS) saw a significant increase in mortgage appointments. YBS also used qualifying questions to ensure a higher quality of meetings with consultants.
Managing a customer’s wealth is quite a responsibility as it has a direct impact on what the customer can spend and when they can retire. Naturally, handling someone’s life savings requires significant trust which cannot be built through a screen.
In fact, 77% of adults prefer an in-branch consultation when needing advice or making big decisions. Clearly, the power of a face-to-face interaction cannot be overlooked. Even in a zeitgeist of rejecting authority opinions (the fake news movement), banks retain their trustworthy status.
Another benefit of appointment scheduling is saving time – customers spend less time waiting in lines, and companies spend less time booking appointments and doing administrative work. In fact, Oriental Bank introduced JRNI and reduced wait times for customers by fifty percent. In an average month, they take over 13,000 appointment bookings.
Though many banks encourage accounts to be opened online, some customers prefer to go into the bank to get a better understanding of their new account’s benefits.
Few people enjoy just giving their money away, and it can be helpful to have a friendly expert discuss what a new account means for their finances. With hungry tech giants like Amazon and Google eyeing the banking industry for their next takeover, banks with both digital and physical channels have a clear advantage.
The ability to meet customers in-branch and create a personal connection, rather than simply using a chatbot or a Q&A page, sets traditional banks apart. Now, it’s time for banks to utilize a powerful appointment solution to continue growth and maintain their status as trusted advisors.
Appointment scheduling also helps banks tackle resource allocation issues. Take Oriental Bank, for example, who was experiencing issues with properly scheduling branch staff. Ultimately, this impacted customer satisfaction and meant customers left when lines were too long. Once Oriental Bank implemented an appointment scheduling solution, they leveraged appointment data to better allocate staff in accordance with traffic peaks and lulls.
Private equity appointments
Nearly 63% of baby boomers said having access to knowledgeable and well-trained associates is a factor when choosing one business over another, according to JRNI’s Consumer Behavior research.
Establishing a personal connection is essential for private equity consultations where trust is such a key element. If a client feels that a bank is disorganized, or they spend thirty minutes sitting in the lobby before their meeting, they may go elsewhere for their needs.
High value transactions require personalized face-to-face interaction. Any ways to make the process more seamless, from initial online research to consultation to taking action, is invaluable for a business relationship.