A recent article in Banking Strategies, The Strategic Implications of Tellers Selling, dissects the concept of traditional tellers evolving into sales people at the branch for walk-in clients. When presented in an orderly manner, the concept brings a fresh feel to the irony of the bank branch; leverage branch resources to drive revenue and increase transaction processing efficiency while branch volume declines. Tellers selling financial services can provide a great opportunity, but there is the possibility of “heartburn” for the customer experience.
Thinking positively: A customer walks into the branch and is greeted by a friendly “customer service representative” who welcomes the customer, takes the deposit and engages in discussion regarding improved retail and corporate customer services. The CSR pays little time to the transaction processing as the checks are scanned, 100% read by the recognition software and balanced automatically. As this transaction takes place in the background, the CSR asks about the client’s recent experience with the bank, whether they have any needs on a personal level (referencing the super-low equity rates) and mentions that the FI has recently expanded its treasury services for corporate customers. The client replies positively about a new service and…whala… walks out with a new loan application and goes to speak with their boss at work.
Thinking negatively: That same customer walks up to a teller who recently passed their “Teller Selling 101” class. The customer has several appointments and must endure the newbie sales person’s artificial questions related to family, friends and new products. As he tries to be pleasant, the transaction time increases from a minute or two, to about four. His watch is ticking and when the teller goes in for the close, he can’t take it anymore. He abruptly takes his deposit ticket and departs, thinking, “That’s the last time I walk into the branch at lunchtime. Perhaps I’ll find a bank with mobile RDC.”
Great concept. It’s an evolution that must be done. FI’s need to make sure it is implemented with controls to ensure a “stellar” result!