Why Online Booking Systems are Paramount for Better Customer Experience in Retail Banking

Why Online Booking Systems are Paramount for Better Customer Experience in Retail Banking

Research tells us that 40% of online bookings are performed outside of business hours. If your banking business doesn’t have online booking systems, you could be missing out on a substantial number of new customers.

The fact is, we’ve been conditioned to instant gratification. If that instant option is not available, consumers will simply move on to another business that provides that gratification.

Not only will you be missing out on new leads, but your existing clientele will grow tired of time-restricted service. This will encourage them to shop around and take their business elsewhere.

So how can you ensure an excellent customer experience and hold your clients? Follow along to learn how integrating an online booking system will produce happier customers and better banking business. 

What Are Online Booking Systems?

It’s 9 pm on a Tuesday night. A client opens up their banking statement and notices something is off. Money is one of the highest stress factors for Americans, so they feel an overwhelming need to have this issue resolved as quickly as possible. 

An online booking system is the key element that makes taking the next step easy and convenient for your leads. 

The concerned customer looks at the clock and realizes it’s too late to call and ask about this issue. Their best bet is to book an appointment so they can slip in at lunch hour the next day. 

They click your ‘request an appointment’ button and schedule in a time that works well for them. They can now forget about this issue and rest assured knowing they will be able to get help as soon as possible.

This client doesn’t have to remember to call tomorrow, or even try to stop by in hopes that there will be an agent available. Their request is processed instantaneously without any time-restricting windows. 

This is the solution your clients are craving. 

Online scheduling is the workflow on a website that will allow customers to get in touch with your business, book in with their preferred agent, and adjust their appointments around their schedule. They can do all this and more anywhere and anytime, even when your branches aren’t open. 

What Can They Do

Online booking systems help your customers secure an appointment in a more convenient way. Beyond this, they can also offer a plethora of other benefits for your business.

The ease of these services is an attractive feature for potential customers and give you an edge above the competition. Instant access allows clients to book based on impulse and prevent them from searching for other banking options. 

These platforms help your business generate more meaningful leads and gather the information that you can use to follow up. When a new client requests an appointment, they will be asked to provide contact information such as an email or phone number. Some systems will also allow for custom questions to be asked, in order to gather data to help with the customer’s specific query. 

Reminder emails can prevent no-show appointments and if the client cancels, the system will follow up with them to reschedule. 

These systems have been proven to increase customer satisfaction and user-friendly ratings. This results in return clientele, new leads, and a boost in revenue.

How Do They Improve Customer Experience

77% of consumers will recommend a business to a friend after receiving excellent customer service. Statistics like this prove that ensuring happy customers is crucial for growth in share of wallet.

So how can providing online booking options impact the way customers perceive your business? Believe it or not, using these systems as the first point of contact is incredibly valuable for your brand’s reputation. 

Addressing customers in the way they prefer to communicate get’s your foot in the door and allows for interactions to grow. This customer-focused service will help you cultivate a comfortable environment. You’ll be able to create a more meaningful experience in a number of ways. 

1. Accessibility

Welcome to the digital age, where smartphones are a permanent fixture in a user’s hands. Nowadays, customers actually prefer self-service options for booking platforms over calling a business. 

With so many services available to the public at a click of a button, consumers have become used to getting exactly what they want when they want it. Businesses are now offering 24/7 customer service support and interactive features. This raises the standard for customer experience and creates a demand for being accessible online.

Consumers are drawn to this always-open feature for its convenience and user-friendly appeal. Incorporating this system for your business will prove to your customers that you are tailoring your services to meet their needs and provide a client-focused experience. 

No matter where they are or what device they are using, they can have confidence that they will be able to reach you when it suits them. This ‘around-their-schedule’ approach will allow customers to feel in charge and let them know that you value their time.

2. Conversation and Trust

For potential customers, using online booking will be their first point of contact with your business. Right off the bat, they will know that you are more readily available for their needs. 

Instead of having to wait for service hours or sit on hold, their request is managed quickly and they can interact with your brand effortlessly. This will give them a positive indication of what future interactions will be like. 

A positive first impression is crucial for customer experience. Every interaction after this will either reinforce or challenge how they see your company. Before they even enter your building, they will have an idea of what they expect. Their perception of service will be biased to their original opinion. 

Features like confirmation of appointments and reminder emails will help your business win trust. Customers will feel that they are important and you are willing to go the extra mile to meet their needs, in the channel most comfortable for them whether it’s in person, over the phone, or using video conferencing.

As a business that will be handling their money, it’s important that customers feel they can trust you to be easy to communicate with. 

3. Branding and Consistency

Humans have a tendency to prefer familiarity over unknown situations. This is what makes some people nervous to try a new company or visit a new place. When they don’t know what to expect, they feel out of place and unsure.

This uneasy feeling makes them raise their guard until they are comfortable in the new setting. This translates into new customers questioning your practices. You’ll notice them putting off decisions, or even canceling appointments. 

When customers are able to interact with your brand from a comfortable space like their home, they are much less guarded. The anonymity of checking your services out online gives them more confidence and takes off the pressure. 

Now, if they book an appointment and find the process simple and pain-free, they will expect a similar experience on location. Using specific branding on your website and booking service will serve to match their visual experience online to the one in person. 

This has the same effect on return customers. In-person and online user experiences reflect one another. Clients will associate this easy and convenient service with your brand. 

4. Personalization

Your customers have unique needs and they want a business that is able to adapt to their individual requirements and preferences. 

Online booking is able to offer a more personalized experience. Customers are able to select which representative they prefer to talk to, what they are inquiring about, and what time works best for them. 

This removes your business from a one-size-fits-all mentality. It allows customers to experience exactly what they want. No more cookie-cutter pitches or rehashing of the FAQ section. Your representatives will have insights on how to best serve the client before they even arrive. 

If you are serving existing clients, insights like when their last visit was and what their common activity is will optimize your ability to offer more personalized information and services and speed up recurring visits. 

This is both beneficial for the time-conscious client and your business’s ability to serve more customers.   

5. Smoother Visits

Because you already have an idea of why the client is visiting, appointments can be tailored for efficiency. 

The best online booking system will allow customers to check-in on their mobile phone. This way, you know when they have arrived or if they are running late. This helps decrease time spent in the waiting room and improve their door to door impression. 

Shorter waits are proven to increase customer satisfaction. Eliminate frustrated customers wondering when it will be their turn. Your customers will know that booking an appointment will ensure they are able to seek help within a reasonable amount of time.  

Next time they need your services, they can be confident that their time won’t be wasted and you’ll respect their schedule. This will have them returning to your business and recommending you to their contacts.

6. Opportunity for Feedback

After a customer has completed their appointment, your business will have a chance to use feedback requests. These surveys will help you identify improvement opportunities. 

Your scheduling system can send out an automated email after their visit to gather insights on their experience. This feedback takes place online instead of in-person. This allows customers will feel more comfortable giving an honest review.

This feedback will give your retail bank an idea of what you are doing well and where you could improve. Any customer comments can be reviewed and suggestions can be implemented for that customer’s future visits.

Repeat suggestions may also help you develop new systems and procedures. They’ll point out issues customers are noticing and let you know where to improve interactions.

Giving customers a chance to chime in on your service will make them feel heard. Seeing new implementations from their comments lets them know that you value their opinion. They will know that you are working to serve them in the best way possible.

Of course, not all feedback will be actionable. However, noticing holes in customer experience will help you develop weak areas and continue with successful approaches.

7. Reports and Analytics

One of the benefits of using scheduling software is its ability to notice patterns and deliver analytics. 

Your system will be able to give you insights about your client that help you understand your target audience. Elements like demographics and banking behaviors will give you an idea of who you are already appealing to. This can help you improve your service for that audience.

On top of this, you’ll be able to accentuate the personalized experience we mentioned earlier. Trends in appointment types and past appointment insights will allow you to cater to customer needs and exceed their expectations. These insights are key for your marketers to develop high performing campaigns.

When it comes to online services, you’ll be able to see who is using your booking function and target your marketing to attract more of these customers. 

Pay close attention to analytics like high traffic windows and requested appointment times. You can use this to adjust scheduling and ensure there are more staff members available during high-demand times. This will make it so that more of your customers can access the slots that fit into their schedules. 

Monitoring reports and analytics will also allow you to take note of where you are falling short with your customer-focused approach and take steps to improve. 

Advance Your Service

From a more flexible banking solution to customer-focused visits, online booking systems are a simple solution that keep giving. Now that you know how making this switch can attract more customers and improve the experience of existing clients, there’s no reason to put it off.

It’s time to up your online availability and provide a level of service your customers won’t be able to resist. 

Ready to get started with the best online booking system for financial institutions like banks and credit unions? Get in touch with us today to gain access to our world-class scheduling software and reap the benefits of any time, anywhere, availability.