Today’s community banks and financial institutions are facing unprecedented competitive pressures, and as such require a heightened focus on differentiating based on stronger, more personalized, advisory relationships with their customers. This requires a commitment to deliver convenient service with a focus on availability, proactivity, and a well-informed and well-prepared staff of trusted advisors, ready to meet customers in a way that matches customer preference. A core strategy of our customer, Independent Bank, is called “Digital Delivery First, or DDF”. DDF means designing everything to specifically perfect the digital customer’s experience. Making it easier for the digital customer AND the branch customer to receive face-to-face personalized financial advice and assistance from an expert from anywhere in the world is the ultimate in customer service and convenience, and JRNI worked with Independent Bank to deliver that.
Independent Bank is a Michigan-based bank with a focus on its community. For nearly 160 years, Independent Bank has worked hard to earn the business, and the trust, of those across Michigan—and beyond. Their customers have been their primary focus since the day they opened their doors, and doing whatever it takes to meet their needs and empower their customers to “Be Independent” has always been the top priority. Independent Bank aims to offer the products and services of a big bank, while delivering the personalized customer service and support of a local bank.
Below is a short interview about Independent Bank’s goals in selecting its technology partnership with JRNI:
(JRNI) How did Independent Bank make a business case to bring on an appointment scheduling software?
(Independent Bank) “We spent a lot of time building a model to establish an economic value for each appointment and made some calculated estimations of the number of appointments we could generate with an online scheduling tool. Value x Volumes = Potential Revenue less the cost of JRNI. When we did the math, it just made sense to give it a try. We also generated a lot of support internally with the various department leaders who could understand the vision and opportunity of embracing the tool.”
(JRNI) What was Independent Bank's process prior to using JRNI?
(Independent Bank) “Prior to implementing JRNI at Independent Bank, we were mostly focused on in-person interactions. We realized that meeting customers where they are is invaluable. We want to be there for our customers—whether that is meeting with them in-person, from the comfort of their own home, or anywhere in between. Customer convenience is our top priority and we weren’t set up for that, a change was necessary. “
(JRNI) What was Independent Bank’s reasoning for innovating past the status quo?
(Independent Bank) “Our customers were looking for an experience that allowed them to connect when, where, and how they wanted. In-person meetings were no longer the most convenient way to interact for everyone and we needed a way to lower the friction when connecting customers with our financial experts. If a customer needed a financial expert while on vacation, traveling for business, busy at home, or simply just preferred the experience from the comfort of their home, we needed to support that. We wanted to make it as easy as possible to do business with us.”
(JRNI) How has working with JRNI changed your business?
(Independent Bank) “JRNI has allowed us to shift to a more appointment-driven culture, and creating a culture that enables more appointments and grants customers access to our calendars is a culture shift for sure, but it’s not the reason we value JRNI. We are genuinely trying to make banking easier and more convenient for our customers and specifically make it easier for them to get help and advice when they need it. JRNI has allowed us to do that.
Our customers now have the ability to make appointments from any internet-connected device, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, without having to pick up the phone. If customers have a specific banker they enjoy working with, they can easily choose them from the list of available bankers. On the flipside, if a customer doesn’t have a banker they work with today, JNRI makes it seamless to connect them with one who can help them with their specific area of need. We now provide a level of convenience to our customers that we didn’t before; our customers can choose to meet with us over the phone, at their preferred branch, or from anywhere in the world via our partnership with JRNI & Zoom.
As a result of this, we are seeing more appointments, more successful meetings, and more sales opportunities. We have been able to grow our footprint without adding new branches and still deliver personalized face-to-face community banking”
(JRNI) What are some of the ways Independent Bank is utilizing JRNI to drive appointments?
(Independent Bank) “We are implementing online appointment setting into our marketing campaigns, online banking, and our website as well as using personalized booking links in our banker’s email signatures.”
JRNI is the leading enterprise engagement platform for scheduling & accelerating successful experiences across the entire customer lifecycle, at scale. With AI-powered applications for facilitating appointments, queue management, and events, plus an industry-leading analytics tool, JRNI helps businesses offer remote and in-person experiences that build stronger customer relationships, improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, and increase revenue and efficiency. For more information about JRNI’s Intelligent Customer Engagement Platform, click here.
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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