8 out of the top 10 banks in the United States offered branch banking by appointment using a branch Online Appointment Scheduler (“OAS”) before the pandemic started. That’s right: before the outbreak started. Why did these technology leaders make OAS a priority, among all of the other channel options they are investing in?
Here are the top 3 reasons banks have invested in OAS:
1. Conversions. Branch Appointments yield the highest conversion % of completed new account applications for both loans and deposit products.
2. Convenience. Customers place a premium on their time allocations and would rather come in at a specific appointed time than run the risk of sitting in a lobby waiting their turn.
3. Cost. It turns out that when a customer requests an appointment, more than 50% of the time the customer’s need can be serviced remotely; requests from “I need a new debit card” to “I need a copy of a statement” can be serviced with a lower-cost-to serve using a remote resource, saving the branch resources for the most valued transactions.
Adding an OAS does not need to be a resource-intensive and expensive proposition, either. For example, many smaller banks are now using solutions which can be implemented quickly (within 24-hours) tested for free, and – due to limited or no integration – cost less than ¼ the annual cost of large enterprise solutions.
But regardless the solution or provider, its evident that OAS is here to stay.
Now that customers have tasted the convenience of such solutions, there is no putting the toothpaste back in the tube. Customers are not going to put up with calling a call center or branch during limited hours of operation and/or with long hold times: they will demand convenience. Moreover, the “at risk” population will likely only want to engage through an appointment, and branch staff will see OAS as an investment in their safety, as well as one of the most focused ways of driving value into customer engagements.
The Take-Away: Banks and Credit Unions who have deployed an OAS as a digital channel which serves as a gateway to branch banking are seeing specific trends which will continue beyond the pandemic. Namely:
- >38% of Appointments are resulting in the opening of a new account
- Both Consumer and Small Business accounts are being generated by OAS
- >50% of Appointments can actually be handled remotely
- Anecdotal data indicates that account retention is favorably impacted by OAS
- The cost/benefit of OAS makes it a worthwhile channel to invest in most FI’s
For more information regarding appointment setting software, please contact us.