“We are more agile now, and able to make decisions based on intelligence that we simply didn’t have before.”
Jessica Lugo, VP Retail Strategy Officer, Oriental Bank
shorter wait times for customers who booked appointments 50%
booked and registered appointments per month after JRNI 13,000+
Founded in 1964, Oriental (“Eastern” in English) is one of the island’s largest banks, and is solely focused on serving the needs of Puerto Rico’s consumers and businesses. Through its principal operating subsidiaries, Oriental Bank and Oriental Financial Services, the Company distinguishes itself based on its highly experienced client-oriented staff delivering an unparalleled level of service to their clients.
BRANCH EXPERIENCE FRUSTRATIONS
Oriental Bank knew that the typical perception of in-branch experiences across the banking industry, was one of frustration. That perception was driven by long, uncertain wait times, often the need for a return visit if the right consultant wasn’t on site that day, or the customer hadn’t brought the right documentation required for the account they were opening. To compound the issue, they knew branches were still the most popular channel in most customers’ minds. And nobody was satisfied being put on a manual waiting list.
RESOURCING AND INTEL
This manual approach to appointments and waiting lists meant it was hard to assign customers to resources and experts with accuracy. Not only was walk-in demand unpredictable, but there was a channel management issue in the case of moving customers from a phone call to a branch appointment. Even when these processes were navigated successfully, there was no centralized visibility on capacity. How many customers were coming in that day? What products were they interested in? How long were appointments taking?
Oriental Bank is extremely proud of its commitment to continuous improvement across the business. However, for this system to thrive, it requires accurate data on each process, so that the business can optimize toward the most successful outcomes.
“At times, we were resorting to tracking improvement projects manually, for example, with an additional staff member monitoring the process first hand. This was subjective, a real drain on resources and obviously untenable at scale and 24/7.
We suspect that the impact of all this was a leakage of potential customers who weren’t happy with the experience in-branch, or across our separate channels. We knew the future was in finding new ways to put this part of the business back on the table as an area we could track and optimize to make better decisions.”
Debbie Sabater, SVP Retail Strategy, at Oriental
It soon became clear that there was a booking platform on the market that not only hit the technical requirements, but had a robust track record with projects of similar scale and scope in the financial industry.
Oriental Bank moved its appointments process entirely to JRNI, formerly BookingBug, creating a workflow that crossed all key channels and could finally provide insight into customer behavior throughout.
JRNI also provided comprehensive insight and data on the performance of the process from a centralized dashboard accessible between channels.
In a typical month from 2017, Oriental Bank took 13,000 bookings on the new platform, including web-based and walk-in appointments.
“The process was about more than just bringing in a new piece of technology — it had impact across the business accordingly. Working closely with the team at JRNI, we trained reps across the business in how their relationships with customers would become more sophisticated, and how they would now need to factor in agendas and time-management.”
Jessica Lugo, VP Retail Strategy Officer at Oriental
CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE IN THE BRANCH
Almost immediately, Oriental Bank observed that customers who booked online were experiencing shorter waiting times by over 50% – in the region of 3 minutes, instead of 13-14 minutes for a walk-in. The feedback was phenomenal. Because staff now know exactly why the customer is there, they can prepare comprehensively, gather any relevant details and provide a much enhanced experience all round.
RESOURCING / INTEL
Jessica: “We are more agile now, and able to make decisions based on intelligence that we simply didn’t have before. We can monitor and have great insight on areas like capacity, time management, return on investment.”
Because the business has such direct access to real time data, it didn’t have to prepare manual reviews of progress, and instead could be confident that it had live, ongoing information to understand and alter the business. Debbie speaks about how a constant system for bookings meant there was no chance of staff falling into bad habits: “If you aren’t taking a continuous approach, you might institute a change and find teams are on best behavior for the two or three weeks afterwards. But a system like this ensures that you know if those changes don’t stick in the long run.”
Oriental Bank has used the upgrade as a foundation on which to build its next steps. The business knows it wants customers to increasingly adopt the most convenient channel for their needs -- so added value bookings are always funneled in-branch while lower value interactions might be handled in apps or online. JRNI helps them track when and why those appointments are being moved between channels.
Jessica has the final word: “The benefits we have obtained have helped us look farther into the future -- we challenged JRNI to partner with us and help facilitate the highest standard of capacity planning and time management across the business, and they exceeded our expectations.”
“My advice to anyone considering the same kind of project is this: to do it right, you must think about how you alter your processes so that the technology is as successful as possible. You need to go into it well aware of the need for you to be flexible and adaptable to meet your goals.”
See the products Oriental Bank used to reduce customer wait times by over 50%