The role of the branch is changing dramatically. With customer behavior being driven largely by social and mobile technologies, and competition from new market entrants pushing the innovation envelope, banks face a highly competitive market as they vie for new revenue streams through acquiring and retaining profitable customer segments. A new era of personalized financial services is also forcing banks to better understand individual customer needs and address them appropriately.
In this new world, banks are engaging with customers in very different ways. Branches are emerging as the new technology-enabled centerpiece in the customer relationship — a place where channels and technology converge to create a new era of personalized banking. The branch of the future is an engaging, interactive and fun environment. It should also be a lower cost environment and there is opportunity for a dramatic improvement in branch performance through streamlining processes and improving front and back-office integration. Microsoft branch solutions provide banks with technology-based capabilities to increase profitability by improving customer relationships, reducing operational costs, improving employee productivity, and positioning branches for future industry change.
A cohesive, multi-channel experience in which a 360° view of the customer provides the opportunity to service, cross-sell and up-sell is imperative – and actionable CRM that can automate and track customer, sales, service and contact history across channels is critical. Video conferencing and instant messaging is connecting customers to remote advisors and connecting branch employees to product experts that were not previously available. Devices of varying form factors are also emerging in the branch. Tablets and smartphones free employees from their desks, and allow more customer interaction and new servicing models such as roaming ‘line busters’ during peak hours. Advisory services can be conducted with tablets while VIP or approval requests may be routed to a mobile phone of the branch manager. More functional self-service and assisted service devices are also emerging. ATMs and kiosks not only provide traditional cash withdrawals and deposits but full service banking - including account origination, loan origination, account maintenance and vault services with scanning, biometrics, voice and video conferencing. Microsoft branch solutions are based on the world’s most connected software to help financial institutions improve the customer experience, deliver cross-channel consistency, enable employees to improve the customer relationship and radically reduce operational costs.