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IT Spending: Top 8 Areas Where Banks Are Spending Their 2014 IT Budget

As we approach the second half of the year, banks are continuing to shift their IT and marketing budgets to focus on improving and differentiating the customer experience. Consumers are demanding more convenience from their banks, who are responding by expanding channel choices and offering differentiated services that attract these fickle clients. For existing clients, banks are investing in technologies to cross-sell, deepen relationships and reduce customer attrition as part of a larger customer journey initiative. I thought the insights provided by Penny Crosman in her December 2013 article, “Top 8 Ways Banks Will Spend Their 2014 IT Budgets” did a very nice job of highlighting how IT departments will invest to support these initiatives. I wanted to comment on a few of her points to add color with what I’m seeing. Read More »

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The Evolution of Immersive Video in the Retail Bank Branch Series (3): Remote experts in action

July 22, 2013 at 8:45 am PST

In part two of this three-part series detailing the “Evolution of Immersive Video in the Retail Bank Branch,” I looked at Cisco’s Remote Expert Solution more in-depth and discussed how the solution’s contact center enables virtual face-to-face meetings with high-definition video. By offering customers instant access to knowledgeable experts, even when customers are in remote areas, banks can provide personal service resulting in improved customer confidence in the relationship and greater loyalty. Now that we understand how the solution works, I’d like to take a deeper look at the solution in action and discuss how Remote Expert can meet customer needs in three key business areas.

Wealth Management Services

Remote Expert’s video sharing capability allows investment advisors to visually see the customers they are pitching new products and services to and helps them to gauge how to lead the conversation. In some cases, portfolios may be complex, especially when involving trusts, so video adds an additional medium in which to connect with the customer and explain the approach being presented by the wealth advisors. This is something that cannot be accomplished easily over the phone and traditionally has involved air travel to meet the customer in person. For ultra-high-net worth customers (> $2 MM), Remote Expert also provides a way for multiple advisors to join the conversation remotely to guide the client through the estate planning or wealth planning discussion.

Mortgage Sales

Today, there are many mortgage programs and products available. In addition, many state and federal regulations exist as it relates to quoting and working with customers on mortgage programs. Video has been shown to be an effective way to drive additional understanding of those various mortgage products and a way to work with the customer through the pre-approval process and up to the point of underwriting. We are finding that banks are still opting for the traditional in-person closing process, but more and more institutions are experimenting with completing the entire mortgage process using Remote Expert and the available video capabilities it provides. Read More »

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Customers Desire More Personal Service From Their Banks

Some might argue that retail banking is known more for its inconveniences than its convenience. As an example, the common term ‘banker’s hours’ is synonymous with “being open for the shortest and most inconvenient amount of time”. Despite that legacy, retail banks have made a concerted effort and real progress to extend services through various delivery channels to improve the retail banking customer experience.

Banks may have closed the customer service gap with other industries, but like other industries, must stay ahead of the consumer to deliver an experience that provides profitable value and differentiation. According to a recent report, what most customers want from their banks is greater access and more personalized experiences (in the form of advice, products, and services).

It’s not a surprising conclusion especially to the banking industry which has adapted a retail industry term -- omnichannel -- to describe the needed capabilities to deliver a consistent customer experience across all channels.

The Cisco Connected Customer Experience Report for Retail Banking -- a global survey of consumers and bank professionals conducted in early 2013 -- highlights the opportunities and the challenges that banking institutions face in meeting current and future customer expectations. Globally, consumers ranked Read More »

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The Evolution of Immersive Video in the Retail Bank Branch

January 29, 2013 at 6:00 am PST

Increasingly over the past several months, I have been working with more and more retail banking clients. A common theme has emerged during these discussions that centers on video and collaboration in the branch. The top of mind question is, “how are banks using video in the branch to grow top line revenue in a very tightly regulated environment and with ever increasing downward pressure on fee revenues?”

As retail banks have slowly emerged from the global financial crisis of 2008, they are increasingly looking for ways to differentiate themselves with their products and services.  Studies show that the branch is still relevant in the eyes of the retail bank consumer, but the role the branch will play in the future is beginning to change.

Cisco’s IBSG team published a white paper on this topic, which covers the transformation that banks are currently going through. Retail banks are wrestling with moving from a multichannel environment to an omnichannel environment. The difference is, instead of offering a different experience and set of products and services across various delivery channels, they offer a more integrated and consistent experience across delivery channels. These traditional delivery channels include: branch, Internet and contact center to name a few. Currently, the mobile channel is growing in popularity and use, especially with new applications like remote deposit capture right from a mobile phone or tablet. Read More »

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Home – The Final (Branch) Frontier

In my last few blogs I talked about the strategies that banks are currently taking to compete in the 21st century.  Let’s prophesize a little and discuss what could become the ultimate retail delivery strategy in the future. Read More »

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