Much has been written about the need for financial institutions to use business intelligence (BI) to make better decisions to improve their competitiveness.
In many cases, BI centers on externally driven events, such as customer preference for internet or mobile use.
However, bottom-line improvements are about more than adopting innovations to satisfy technology-thirsty consumers. Often, the best paths to performance improvement are found by using BI to identify shortcomings in a credit union’s most fundamental activities.
Earlier this year I wrote a series for this website which focused on the value of using core processor data capture and analysis technologies to improve workforce (specifically teller) optimization.
Although BI focused on transaction processing (such as transactions per hour) offers key metrics for performance improvement, a second source of BI often overlooked by executives, but equally important, is activity in the lobby.
Technology-based lobby tracking solutions can capture vital information, not only about how readily and how well customers are being served but also about such metrics as product to service ratios, cross-selling conversion rates, and more.
This data not only provides insight into potential revenue streams, but also into avenues to increase member loyalty. Statistics prove that member loyalty goes up with the number of services they use at an institution.
Lobby tracking technologies
In order to provide and analyze platform BI, a system must collect it. In the case of lobby tracking software, the solution typically is a Web-based application that captures lobby performance information in real-time.
To offer the most powerful BI, these systems should address—and collect data for—three key junctures in the lobby assistance process:
1. Sign in. The most fundamental information-gathering opportunity is sign-in, when the account holder’s name, arrival time, and purpose for visit are collected and entered into the system, either by a greeter, a self-service kiosk, or tablet.
Also valuable is a “notes” section where greeters can record details such as attire (enabling easy recognition) or personal comments (valuable for relationship-building). Notes can be used to collect demographic information, as well, such as whether the customer spoke Spanish or came in with children.
2. Wait period. Wait-time tracking enables BI solutions to perform historical analysis to discern wait-time trends by hour of the day, day of the week, personnel issues, and more.
Equally powerful for member service is a wait-time monitor that triggers alerts if predefined wait times are exceeded. This way, wait times can be monitored and real-time actions can be undertaken to prevent service breakdowns.
3. Assist period. Information gathering during the consultation (assist) period provides BI on the duration of assist times for various products and services and discerns cross-sell and conversion rates.
At this point, most systems afford the opportunity to enter relevant service and sales information, including questions asked and answered that provide opportunities for follow-up.
Depending on the system (and representative training), a wide variety of information, including products or services discussed in the meeting, can be captured and used in future interactions.
Analysis and reporting
Although lobby tracking technologies can facilitate member service in real time, the real power of these solutions lies in analyzing all aspects of the lobby experience and identifying significant indicators.
Immediately upon implementing such BI solutions, executives and/or mid-level managers can discern patterns and make evaluations at the institution, branch, and employee levels to determine where service visits, cross-selling efforts, or time periods fall outside industry tolerance levels—or stated service goals.
Further, when greeters and lobby representatives are trained to record peripheral information, the BI capabilities of these solutions can be invaluable.
For example, the system might identify an increase in the number of members requesting Spanish-speaking representatives, indicating a demographic shift in the member base, or discover a direct correlation between members’ expressed interests and their purchasing decisions.
Although lobby tracking BI may not grab all the headlines, it can be a cornerstone of any credit union’s process- and performance-improvement efforts. The information gathered can be used to streamline service for account holders, improve member satisfaction, and enhance the productivity of lobby employees.
When management takes full advantage of on-demand reporting and analysis, it can also be used to drive sales increases and even identify potential shifts in market demand.
Learn how to leverage retail BI to manage and improve lobby performance and member service by reading the FMSI white paper, “Lobby Management: The Last Frontier.”