More years ago than I care to admit, I started my banking career as a software installation and support manager. I was tasked with supporting small business owners who were using bank-provided software for the first time. This job was not for the faint of heart, as the tools to provide support for our business users were archaic by today’s standards.
It was the late 1990s, and software designed to help small businesses originate ACH was still in its infancy. Users had very little experience in using financial services software. Guiding them through basic tasks or even navigating the software over the phone was a big challenge.
If they had issues or got “stuck,” it was even harder. It was a little like trying to explain to someone how to drive a car for the first time, but over the phone and without being able to see whether the driver was putting the keys in the ignition or the glovebox.
I remember one customer in particular named Norma. Norma was, from what I could tell, toward the end of her career. Like clockwork, she would call every two weeks when it was time for her to send her payroll file to the bank. And every two weeks I’d have to explain to her how to put her cursor into a certain box, type the settlement date, then click into the next box.
“Eric, how do I know where my cursor is?”
I’d suggest she take her mouse and move it really fast back and forth, “See that thing moving around?”
“Put that into that box and click.”
We’d continue click by click until the batch was ready to be submitted. I could tell she appreciated my help, but she was as frustrated as I was.
I can only imagine how much better the experience would’ve been if we had access to the tools and technology available today. Because while there will always be technologically challenged “Normas” in the workforce, today’s banks and credit unions can tap into powerful support tools that enhance the support experience on both sides of the relationship.
In the past, your support team served two functions – helping software end-users in their time of need, while simultaneously ensuring your institution’s end-of-day back-office processing activities could go off without a hitch.
Today’s most successful support teams manage those same elements while taking it one step further. They build your financial institution’s brand by providing a differentiated support experience for your accountholders.
We all know that modern digital banking platforms are feature-rich, bringing self-service capabilities to a new level. And yet the drive toward self-service comes to a screeching halt when your accountholders have a problem and want personal, human assistance and not an AI-driven chatbot or links to a product documentation library.
The ability to provide this personal support within the digital experience creates a critical element of differentiation in today’s digital environment. It comes down to the simple realization that people – access to live humans – matter to those in need of support. Your ability to deliver on that need and provide a human connection through the digital channel creates the differentiating brand experience you need, as well as the one your accountholders want.
The vast majority of your accountholder interactions today happen through the digital channel, so embedding a secure communication platform into your digital banking experience is a key step toward creating the differentiated, personal experience your accountholders seek.
To provide the best experience for your accountholders, look for a solution that provides contextual support embedded into the digital banking platform. With core-connected text chat and the ability to share files, your accountholders (and your support team) will also appreciate video chat banking and screen sharing capabilities when resolving more complex issues.
“But do our accountholders really want that?” In today’s society, video chat is the norm. It was used regularly before the pandemic, but adoption accelerated rapidly during the time of social distancing. Everyone I know personally, whether they’re 3 or 83, has used FaceTime or another video platform to meet with friends and family, conduct business, or pursue education.
People want to interact with their bank or credit union as they do with any other human in their everyday lives. And when your financial institution can see the accountholder face-to-face to talk through a tricky issue or see their screen when they have a question, supporting them becomes much easier. This leaves you with more satisfied accountholders.
The benefits extend to your employees and creates increased employee satisfaction as well. When you give your employees easy-to-use and easy-to-learn tools to better serve accountholders, you also create happier employees.
Your employees can connect more personally with accountholders using video chat for digital banking, bringing a new level of empathy and human connection to problem-solving. The ability to see what the accountholder is seeing with screen sharing functionality provides a deeper level of insight that adds context to the discussion and reduces the time needed to resolve issues.
I can only wonder how Norma would have felt had I had these tools to support her. I suspect that Norma would have been much happier. And as much as I loved the work, I would’ve been happier knowing it was easier to do my job.
It’s natural to wonder whether video chat banking and screen sharing are right for your institution – especially for the more camera-shy amongst us. But when I put my service and support hat on, four key differentiators always come to mind.
While there is a multitude of ways for your accountholders to self-serve in today’s digital environment, there are still occasions in which people desire personal, one-to-one assistance. In those times, it’s essential for today’s banks and credit unions to be prepared with modern, state-of-the-art communication tools.
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