Your intranet can be an indispensable tool in implementing the universal banker model.
The tellers at your bank or credit union branches are highly trained in transactional processes. When a customer comes into the branch to deposit a cheque, your tellers can do that quickly, and with a smile. But what happens when a customer asks how to install your bank’s new mobile application?
The transformation of tellers into universal bankers is a daunting challenge for any financial organization. Universal bankers (or member consultants at credit unions) must be proficient both behind and in front of the counter. With the continuing drop in teller transactions at branch locations, tellers are being asked to assume Customer Service Representatives (CSR) responsibilities to keep labor costs in line with branch activity. With proper training, tellers are the best fit to become universal bankers, as the long-term relationships they have built with customers give them credibility when introducing customers to new banking products.
However, a significant shift in teller mentality and retraining has to occur before the benefits of lowering costs and increasing banking products per customer can be achieved. This blog post outlines how you can leverage your existing financial intranet investment to help tellers transition to their new roles.
Selling Change using Intranet Home Page & Blogs
Before any changes can take place, staff must understand why they are being asked to change. Hopefully, you are already using your intranet to help foster company culture, by communicating leadership vision and the current industry environment to all staff members. If not, this is an excellent time to start.
Tellers that are more resistant to change will need time to adjust to the new reality. The high visibility of the intranet home page is an excellent place to publish a blog post from the president on the challenges your organization faces and the need for change. Your internal communication team can also periodically advertise links to intranet articles: staff can read for themselves why this change is necessary, and why it is beneficial to them. You can use informal polls or an anonymous feedback form to gauge how this message is being received.
If you want more information on how you can leverage your intranet to manage change, our Founder & CEO, Carolyn Douglas, recently published a blog on how your intranet can assist with change management.
Staff Training using Training Applications
To become universal bankers, tellers need to be cross-trained on new products and services. If you are doing in-branch training, you can utilize the intranet’s training calendar application to organize classes, sessions, and registration. Staff can view the courses and sessions on the intranet, and register for the classes which best meet their schedule.
To ensure comprehension, you can create online tests. Using a test form, you can create a bank of questions regarding a new product, and assign point values for each correct answer. You can choose to display all questions, or randomly ask a set of questions from your question bank. Test scores are saved, letting you know which staff member may need extra help.
Supporting Universal Bankers with Online Forms
The role of the intranet doesn’t stop once universal bankers are trained. The intranet can act as the organized, searchable index for all types of banking product information. When interacting with customers, universal bankers can use the intranet to quickly lookup product information, application forms, and current rates. Because the intranet is a web application, it can run on a tablet, allowing universal bankers to pull up information where the customer is sitting.
You can even organize online forms and printed forms in the same place, so staff can quickly locate and print forms necessary for any application process. For online form applications, the approval process can automatically be routed through multiple departments, such as loan approvals or compliance.
Finally, once tellers are comfortable in their new roles as universal bankers, learning at the individual or branch level can be diffused throughout the organization. While the initial rollout of the universal banker model requires top-down communication, once implemented, the learning now must flow horizontally.
Activity feeds and widgets help branches share what they have learned with other branches. Discussion Forums empower employees to seek out advice from each other, no matter which branch they are located in.
As product experts and evangelists develop in your organization, you can tag them in Employee Directory. This allows other employees to find and seek advice from an expert, ensuring the answers they deliver to customers are both correct and timely.
Implementing the universal banker model is a huge undertaking, requiring changing mindsets, re-training, and support for new processes. In this article, I’ve outlined some general ways your intranet can help you meet these challenges.
If your current, general intranet isn’t engaging and has low adoption rates, it may be time to switch to a Financial Intranet. Find out how a Financial Intranet from Intranet Connections enables you to deliver the tools, resources, and communication forums your bank, credit union, or other financial institution needs to connect, collaborate, and create more efficiently.