Initiating his session on “The New Frontier in Customer Experience Measurement”, Gary Angel spoke about why analytics fail and the challenges in operationalizing analytics and the observation made here was that the hardest thing is getting organizations to change using analytics. With this background, he commenced the talk on ‘Retail Branch Analytics and Customer Experience’ including real work and technologies.
The first question posed is, does the branch still matter? It involves branch experience and measuring it, how the role and value of the branch is changing, what the customer does in the branch, is changing and still, the usage remains high. He highlighted that a branch has got some problems and it is probably an asset declining in value but not an expense. Customers still go to the branch and use it. Its usage remains and it increases cost but we cannot get rid of it because people still use it. People prefer the branch for some things and preference for branch service remains in key areas. A large section of people prefers branches or ATMs for all needs because of low trust in digital channels while an increasing number prefer online or mobile banking but even when going for all digital banking, a chunk of people prefers face to face for advice. According to the study, consumers between ages 18 to 24 make the greatest use of branches and in-branch value-added activities. So the answer to whether branches still matter is YES, they do matter.
Moving on to the next question which is how to maximize the branch value? The need here is to set key design goals. The most basic being providing traditional trusted and secure financial institution followed by providing community and collaboration then being futuristic and digital-first then offering convenience and impulse banking and being a millennial-friendly bank. The transaction purposes behind the branch are going away. They need to be more flexible, barriers between the staff and clients need to be removed, they have to be available all time and up-time and they need to have universal bankers with broad skill set who can manage a range of customer challenges.
The challenge is that we need branches as it is the core part of competitive advantage. To be a valuable asset, there has to be a fundamental change in the design and operation. To achieve all this we require analytics as play a key role in supporting innovation and change. We know about the transaction by the branch but nothing about the experience. For each branch, it is preferable to know some of the elementary things such as
- How long account holders had to wait in line?
- Whether and when retailing the line happens?
- If self-service instruction works
- How effective staff is in handling busy lines?
- Whether you lose face-time to walk-away?
- How lines and density impact usage and service?
To achieve this, we need to measure experiences in physical spaces. A new collection of technologies has made the in-branch journey measurable. It is essential to understand the technology with the pros and cons of each of the four techniques. The techniques are:
- Wi-Fi – It gives the overall volume at the branch and not specific location inside the branch.
- Mobile Applications – It gives the location of all those who are using the app and is cost effective.
- Passive Sniffers – It tracks the number of people passing or in the area and so can give information about the line.
- Video Camera – It gives the exact details about the working in a particular branch including the line movement.
The important thing here is to track the journey through the branch and interactions which is the data to look at and measure customer experience. The next question becomes to be why measure in-branch experience? The simple answer is to figure how layout and staff affect experiences with their objective, opportunity, and outcome. To enhance experiences, we can have tellers ‘work the line’ which creates an informal environment where it is possible to bring clientele, customer service, and education aspects into the experience. The requisite steps can be::
Step #1- Mapping the branch
It is possible using the mentioned technologies. The digital Planogram maps measurements to the branch which lets you analyze customer movement intelligently which basically amounts to location data.
Step #2- Look at high-level patterns
Understanding when and how often branches actually implement the policy
Step #3- Look at individual branches
It involves drilling down into variation. Figuring out how different branches behaved.
Step #4- Then measure success
The last step is to measure the progress. It includes understanding the queue time impacts.
Line interactions increased actual queue wait time but improved customer VoC line satisfaction ratings. But does this program meet the other goals and do in-line educational interactions matter. The result was that the overall branch satisfaction and branch product upsell improved. However, concerns remain over privacy matters of customers.
In the end, it can be concluded that branch matters, and it is a crucial competitive advantage but an asset which is hard to make optimum. Measurement technologies now exist to do analytics without the super expense, and it is interesting to explore how to change the branch, how to make it better and how to deliver the best customer experience. It looks into behavioral which is the experience and voice a customer which allows pairing it up to was the customer happy, what they thought about the experience and what did they do. Analytics can take better advantage of this voice a customer technique.