How Arvest Bank Digitized the Customer Experience—Without Losing the Human Touch

How Arvest Bank Digitized the Customer Experience—Without Losing the Human Touch

Learn how Arvest Bank successfully introduced self-serve appointment scheduling its customers love. Plus, get advice for launching one at your financial institution.

First-Come, First-Served Appointment Model Causes Customer Friction

Arvest Bank knows that friendly, convenient service creates loyal customers. “The core of our mission is providing customers with 1:1 service,” says Michelle Fittro, Director of Retail Product Development at Arvest Bank. 

Before 2020, Arvest’s 1:1 service focused on in-person banking. Branches didn’t take appointments and helped customers on a first-come, first-served basis.

However, this meant customers may wait in line only to find out the associate who could help them wasn’t available. Sometimes, they had to come back another day or drive to a different location to do their transaction.

“Our limited self-service options added unnecessary friction to our customer experience,” says Michelle. “Digitizing our services would make life easier for our customers while increasing their satisfaction and loyalty.”

Convenient Connections for Customers Become a Top Priority 

Arvest Bank wanted to make it fast and easy for customers to connect with the right staff. So, in late 2020, it introduced a digital, self-serve appointment scheduling solution for customers, called Coconut Software, across 260 branches and 3,000 associates.

The platform became incredibly popular among customers and staff, thanks to its ease of use and customizability.  This inspired Arvest to invest in Coconut’s lobby management tools too, which helped improve the in-branch experience by offering features like self-check-in for customers.

Some of the results from these changes included:

  • Shorter appointment times and higher completion rates
  • Better data and insights into branch traffic and bookings
  • Optimized branch operations and better staffing coverage
  • Increased customer satisfaction and loyalty

If you’d like to learn how your financial institution can successfully implement digital appointment scheduling, read on for Michelle’s advice and insights—or explore Arvest Bank’s full success story.

4 Lessons on Forging Personal Customers Connections in a Virtual World

Here are the steps Arvest took to improve its customer experience by blending new technology with the human touch. 

1. Redefine “human interaction.”

“As digital products and services became the norm, we had difficulty grasping that we could still give customers personal service,” says Michelle. “We had to define what ‘human interaction’ meant for customers who prefer self-service banking.”

The Arvest team discovered “human interaction” doesn’t always require in-person services. It means providing support based on what’s easiest and the most convenient for customers. 

“With this mindset shift, we’re able to meet customers where they are while staying true to our values,” says Michelle. “Our culture is still the same, but the channels are different.”

2. Track and measure your customer interactions.

Since Arvest started using Coconut, it can better track and manage branch traffic. In 2021, the bank logged 47,500 pre-booked appointments and 137,600 walk-ins. 

“We now have data that tells us why customers visited a branch and how long they spent receiving support,” says Michelle. “This information has allowed us to improve branch efficiencies. For example, branch managers can predict when they will be busy so they can staff up and minimize customer wait times.”

Meanwhile, customers love that they can see estimated wait times, which lets them decide if they want to go into a branch or schedule an appointment for another time. 

Setting up dashboards that you can review regularly will help you make smarter decisions and measure your progress. 

3. Don’t forget about the pre-meeting experience. 

Associates now have daily schedules and information that helps them prepare for appointments—whether they are seeing customers in-person or virtually.

“Pre-appointment data has helped us make each engagement more personal,” says Michelle. “Because associates know what customers want in advance, they can have deeper conversations and propose new solutions.”

Customers also report their experience is smoother and more pleasant. Because associates have most of their paperwork complete before the meeting, they are less hurried and can spend more time listening to customers. This also helps reduce appointment length and increase completion rates. 

4. Get involved with your community, both online and off.  

“As a bank that serves more than 110 unique communities, we’ve learned to create an experience based on our customers’ specific needs,” says Michelle.

That’s why Arvest is active in its communities. Being involved gives its associates more opportunities to interact with customers—and learn how to serve them better. Arvest associates meet customers by volunteering at local events, hosting cookouts, and holding open houses.

“We help out when and where we can,” says Michelle. “During the pandemic, we leveraged our digital platforms to engage with customers when we couldn’t meet them in person.” 

Stay connected with your communities—both in-person and digitally—so you can continue to make their experiences better. 

Creating Incredible Customer Experiences Across Every Channel

Combining digital technology with 1:1 service has helped Arvest give customers better, faster, and more convenient banking options—without sacrificing the personal touch they know and love. 

“We pride ourselves on providing great customer service,” says Michelle. “We’ve worked hard to ensure that customers feel appreciated and valued whether they do business with us in-person or digitally.”

Want more best practices for improving your customer experience and operational efficiencies? Read Arvest’s full case study now.