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Customized Service Through ITMs Leads to Efficient Staffing and Meaningful Interactions

By ShonAguero, Executive Vice President, Retail Banking Executive, Landmark Bank

Introduced in the late 19th century, the pneumatic tube revolutionized the banking world by making drive-up banking possible. More recently, ATMs and mobile and online banking have taken convenience even further for customers. While these tools quickly and conveniently support customers’ busy lifestyles, the latest technology gives us more opportunities than ever to meet and exceed customer satisfaction. Making the most of tech trends, however, requires looking beyond automation or digital advantage to consider how to create an intersection between our best assets — our people — with today’s state-of-the-art technology.

Customers want to access, convenience, and availability, but they also wish to trust and rapport with their bankers. The ITM, or Interactive Teller Machine, presents an opportunity to meet needs in all areas. ITMs offers an advantage by delivering meaningful human interaction for our customers and creating staffing efficiency for bank branches.

Through an ITM, customers interact with highly-trained and customer-oriented banking professionals via live, real-time, interactive video. Similar to an ATM, the ITM can complete essential banking functions, but it goes beyond the ATM to complement easy-to-use technology with positive human interaction.

"Customers want to access, convenience, and availability, but they also wish to trust and rapport with their bankers"

Consider the small business customer who is forced to close up shop to the bank during traditional banking hours. After implementing the ITM technology, banks offer customer convenience and the ability for transactions to be completed on the customer’s terms rather than during limited banking hours.

Without requiring the expense to keep branches open extended hours to serve customers, the ITM is a cost-efficient way to respond to customer need through technology and social support. Engaging with Landmark’s tellers via video gives customers instant access to bankers who can offer personalized advice across a wide range of financial products and services. Landmark was able to centralize its video teller staff to a location (Columbia, Missouri) where a larger professional workforce is more readily available to accommodate weekends and extended hours.

Video tellers help customers with more than traditional teller transactions, including money management, financial services, and banking advice, so ITMs have the added benefit of freeing up in-branch staff for more enhanced customer interaction and relationship building. With the implementation of the ITM, the traditional business environment is improved for customers across the board.

After the first full year of operation, Landmark Bank saw that year-on-year growth in household customers increased from 2.25 percent before the ITM deployment, to 3.9 percent once the ITM solution had been implemented. Now approximately 45 percent of all transactions are conducted outside traditional hours, with the 6 p.m. hour proving particularly popular, and weekend activity accounts for higher volume than any day of the week other the regular Friday payday.

Surveys of new customers showed that convenient banking was the top priority for nearly every respondent and that more than 55 percent cited the extended teller hours as a source of convenience. Through ITMs, we fulfill our promise to offer face-to-face banking, but customers are now banking on their terms.

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