In the previous blog in this series, we talked about the kind of data and metrics available to retail bank branch networks through existing and emerging technologies including cameras, infrared sensors, and Bluetooth beacons.  All these options can complement information already received when customers conduct a transaction, but they are also dependent on the level of infrastructure available in each branch.  For example, existing CCV technology can be reused if already connected to the internet with the right level of resolution.

Studies have shown that, despite internet banking, customers still value face-to-face contact, especially for advice and education.  In Accenture’s Consumer Survey 2017, 61% of millennials said they use branches regularly.  Branches play important roles in many communities and can serve as brand ambassadors, increasing the affinity consumers have with the brand.  Branch reformatting can increase key sales metrics such as foot traffic and conversion.

We have created two scenarios to demonstrate how area or regional branch directors could better manage their staff and serve their customers if they had the right insight available.

Scenario One:

This is a “20th Century” branch that still schedules branch staff in a linear fashion, without insight into busy times, and provides one-size-fits-all training without tailoring it to each staff member.  Customer interaction is limited to staff insights and “rule of thumb” demographic information, and branches are renovated in a traditional five to seven-year cycle.

John, the manager for this branch, has planned annual training to manage changes in the network, using his standard calendar on Excel, without a full appreciation of branch traffic over time or the exact needs of his staff.  He wonders why, despite recent investments in training, he doesn’t see any improvement in performance levels.  He decides to conduct a time and motion analysis, using external help, to find out why improvement is lacking.  He tells the staff that people will be coming to observe and help.

Customers may walk past the branch, or they may enter; they may be task-oriented, or they may spend time looking at a display or browsing through financial products and services.  They see generic promotional messages and any connections made are based on best guesses drawn from broad demographic studies.  Conversations with branch staff are measured only in terms of staff reports to the CRM database.  Changes to the branch are made in five to seven years’ time, when the interior starts to look shabby.

Clearly, the 20th Century branch scenario is not optimal.  In the final blog in this series, we will look at how a “21st Century” approach changes the dynamics for staff and customers.  In the meantime, feel free to email me with questions or comments at

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