By Dan CreminsBank transformation is a hot topic right now, and for good reason. As with other industries, many services have moved online and customers are more likely to turn to their smartphones or laptops for day-to-day transactions than they are to visit a local bank branch in person.
But when it comes to arranging a mortgage, a line of credit, insurance or other, more complex products, in-branch services are still in high demand. According to a recent study by J.D. Power, 71 percent of all bank customers visited a branch an average of 14 times in 2017. In addition, the study confirmed what most banks have already recognized—that customers want a flexible approach to banking, with both digital and brick-and-mortar options.
‘In the midst of these shifting demands, financial institutions are working hard to reimagine and transform their retail banking branches. Already we’re seeing examples of these “banks of the future,” which are typically designed to be more open and inviting with comfortable seating areas, more ATMs or ITMs and fewer teller stations and smaller footprints as a result.
What you won’t see at any of these bank branches are the host of behind-the-scenes advanced technologies financial institutions are deploying to optimize their customer experience. These technologies are making it possible for banks to improve a wide range of branch operations that impact customer service, as well as the bottom line.
Chief among these are intelligent video solutions that integrate surveillance video with analytics, RFID and other data sources. Not only do these video solutions provide valuable insights into branch trends and performance, they also make it possible to track and analyze how customers behave and what they experience when they enter a bank branch or ATM vestibule.
Video-based business intelligence gives banks an unparalleled opportunity to identify and improve speed of service and training, promotional efforts, self-serve initiatives, asset protection and more. Here are just a few examples.
1. Speed of service
Imagine your bank has just purchased another, smaller financial institution and assumed responsibility for all of its branch locations. You want to ensure that those newly acquired branches are meeting your customer service objectives, which include waiting in line no longer than five minutes for teller service. An intelligent video solution can help you assess and track wait times quickly using integrated video and queue length monitoring analytics. It can provide reports detailing wait times at all locations, provide charts with trends over time, and enable you to compare performance across all of your branches. If one or more locations appear to be underperforming, a quick review of the recorded video is just a click away, enabling you to see what’s actually happening and formulate the best approach to the problem.
Adding a dwell time analytic to the solution will also let you measure how long each transaction takes once a customer reaches a teller station. This information can prove invaluable in understanding how efficiently tellers are engaging with customers, or where more training might be needed. Even better, some banks are using these insights to reward employees for outstanding customer service and motivate others to do the same.
2. Self-service and promotional efforts
Providing customers with new services is a critical objective for most banks, and an intelligent video solution can help gauge the success of these efforts. Video combined with both transaction and people counting analytic data can reveal what customers did once they entered your bank branch.
For example, if 100 customers came into Branch 12 on a Wednesday, and only two of them applied for the new credit card promotion, then you know you had a 2 percent conversion rate for that new offering. If that’s well below your promotional target, then you could review the recorded video to determine what might be contributing to the lower uptake. Maybe you’ll see that the promotional sign is not in a noticeable location—or wasn’t even present on the branch floor. Maybe an older promotion was still running on the digital display. An intelligent video solution can both highlight the low success rate, as well as the potential issue so you can act immediately to improve conversions.
Similarly, multiple banks are also using video-based analytics to help monitor the success of self-serve ITMs and kiosks. The combination of video and data can reveal the percentage of customers opting for self-service versus a live teller, or highlight a potential problem if customers are spending an unusual amount of time in front of a self-service machine. Again, a review of the archived video will deliver further insights.
3. Security and asset protection
Most customers expect, and even welcome, video surveillance in their bank branch. In fact, in a recent Ipsos survey, 90 percent of U.S. bank customers reported feeling more secure when they see video surveillance in their bank.
An intelligent video solution can extend a bank’s ability to ensure the security of customers, employees and assets beyond simply recording incidents as they occur. For example, a combination of video, presence detection analytics and transaction data can help proactively flag possible incidents of ATM skimming installation or cash harvesting. A license plate recognition analytic integrated with video can enable a fraud investigator to search for instances where a criminal with an identified license plate visited any of the bank’s other locations. And a solution that marries video with RFID data offers banks a very efficient way to track items such as money bags, valuable artwork or antiques—making it possible to identify the exact time an item went missing and then review the video to see what happened and who was involved.
Banks are using intelligent video solutions in a myriad of ways to improve the customer experience. At a time when many are transforming their bricks-and-mortar locations, understanding where the opportunities are to improve customer service and operations across many different departments within their organization is an invaluable asset. Doing so by matching analytics with the video and data they already collect is also a smart way to improve returns on their technology investment, and one a growing number of financial institutions are adopting to keep ahead of the competition.
Dan Cremins is the global leader of product management for March Networks, a provider of intelligent video solutions to financial institutions.