September 2021

Bank branches going extinct – can technology save the dying breed?

As more and more customers switch to mobile banking, branches are being closed, restructured, and, therefore, their number has been decreasing. Some even predict that they may soon become obsolete. But, given that we live in a world of innovation and technology is this truly necessary?

The changing landscape of modern banking

The statistics are ruthless – bank branches are slowly becoming extinct. In the last five years the number of bank branches has fallen on average by 24% in EU, with Netherlands, Latvia and Estonia leading in drops of ca. 50% and more.1 According to PWC consulting company’s forecast, their number may drop from, currently, 60 thousand to only 36 thousand by 2023, within the 25 largest EU banking groups.2 US banking trends research also predicts the death of bank branches. Self Financial claims that they may disappear from the US by 2034.3  The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the process, forcing financial institutions to optimize costs and restructure their businesses.

Despite the many changes taking place around the world, clients’ preferences have remained consistent. Not all processes are available in mobile banking, and not everyone finds it easy to operate applications, so instead, they seek contact with their advisors. Now customers must do that with fewer branches available, resulting in longer queues and decreasing customer satisfaction rates. The situation is especially noticeable when they have not deployed technology providing relevant alternatives to in-branch meetings or easy options for arranging face-to-face appointments. Many bank managers insist that applications designed for scheduling meetings at hair-dressers and beauty salons are not the best fit for banks, though. Nevertheless, there are dedicated solutions already available.


Bank appointment scheduling software to the rescue

Bank appointment scheduling software allows customers to book an online or a face-to-face meeting with their advisor of choice at their convenience. In addition, it extends basic banking applications adding extensive human support, which enables the sales of complex banking products such as mortgages, credit payments, deposits and investments, life or property insurance, and personal pension plans. What is more, bank appointment scheduling software can reach the bank’s target audiences in many channels, ranging from chat and voice calls to video calls and real-life meetings. Therefore, it is the key to the optimization of all the customer-related processes.

Bank appointment scheduling software solves some of the most urgent problems of online banking, such as:

  • Increasing sales of complex financial products such as mortgage and long term loans, investment plans and insurances.
  • Providing support for customers who struggle to complete processes in digital channels.
  • Using branches’ resources to support the acquisition of more traditional customers while familiarizing them with online solutions.
  • Improving customer experience in all channels.
  • Building solid relationships with customers regardless of their preferences or external circumstances.

What is more, appointment scheduling software drastically reduces waiting time and the length of the queues in the branches, moving the experience to a whole new level – responding to customers’ needs while adjusting to their expectations.


How does bank scheduling software work?

Ailleron has developed Meeting Manager, a simple and efficient tool that allows banks to optimize processes while supporting their customers across all channels. The tool lets the bank customers schedule a meeting with the bank advisor in a few steps:

  • Open the app on any device.
  • Enter basic contact details.
  • Choose either an online or face-to-face meeting.
  • Select the area of interest.
  • Choose the place, consultant and date for the meeting from the list of currently available.
  • Seamlessly add meeting details to own calendar app in a smartphone and any other device.

Our meeting scheduling software can send meeting reminders and also allows for quick rescheduling of a chosen meeting, helping customers stay flexible while optimizing banks’ resources.


5 reasons why bank scheduling software is perfect for you

Bank appointment scheduling software is beneficial not only for customers, but also for banks themselves. While many of them perceive such technologies as a curiosity, they offer a wide variety of advantages that can further be used to improve customer experience and a relationship between the institution and its audience. These advantages include:

  • Optimization of customer service between online channels and branches. The system can either show the closest branch to the user or suggest the best channel for area of interest indicated by the customer while sharing this information with bank employees involved in the process.
  • Acquisition of basic customer information in an intuitive form. The process is preceded with user’s consent. The gathered data can further be used to send reminders, notifications or eg. promotional messages to a person interested in particular services subject to given consents.
  • Advanced and automated schedules for customers and advisors. The meetings can be sorted by channel, branch location or name of the employee, allowing the customers to choose their favorite one. What is more, their dates are integrated with advisors’ individual schedules, helping them organize their work better.
  • RWD technology with an option to built-in into a native mobile app allowing customer to use on any device and to integrate with all existing bank customer service channels.
  • Administration panel for bank managers. This feature allows the managers to choose advisors’ availability and adjust it to the given circumstances.

And this is not the end of the features list that makes Ailleron’s Meeting Manager special. This bank scheduling software may also include extra options for tracking customer satisfaction, meeting efficiency and meeting’s summaries. By delivering consistent services across the channels, customer journeys become coherent omnichannel banking experience. 


Choose Meeting Manager for your bank!

Meeting Manager offers a variety of services that can help your bank improve efficiency of both your branches and direct channels, and offer a great customer experience. Contact us using the form below, and we’ll schedule a consultation to help you explore what’s possible.

 

Bibliography:

1 EU structural financial indicators, end of 2020, European Central Bank,
https://www.ecb.europa.eu/press/pr/date/2021/html/ecb.pr210526~7469dedaaf.en.html

2 Retail Banking Monitor 2021, Strategy & PWC,
https://www.strategyand.pwc.com/de/en/industries/financial-services/retail-banking-monitor-2021.html

3 Self Financial, https://www.self.inc/info/the-death-of-the-banks

 

Any questions?

Have we piqued your interest?

Maciej Kasprzak

General Manager +48 881 506 082

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