Retail Bankers: Embrace the Omnichannel Revolution

Gaining a truly multidimensional view of customers is a goal that has eluded many financial institutions. In fact, it historically has been viewed as out of reach. Bankers recently gathered at the American Banker: Retail Banking Conference in Las Vegas to work on this issue, as well as discuss the digitization of retail banking, branch network transformation, revenue strategies, and security and regulation. Theme of the conference? “Embrace the Revolution.”

Gary Class, Senior Vice President, Virtual Channels Group Strategic Analysis, at Wells Fargo, shared his insights on the value of this multidimensional view during a luncheon speech sponsored by Genesys and hosted by Genesys Senior Principal Business Consultant Mark Stanley, PMP.

Who should know better than Wells Fargo? One of the largest banks in the United States, Wells Fargo supports more than 6.4 billion customer interactions on an annual basis in the physical and virtual channels. The digital channel is overwhelmingly the most popular channel, involving 4.4 billion sessions per year. Transactions through the ATM network account for 900 million transactions, and the branch 600 million transactions. Wells Fargo reportedly has the number one US retail bank branch network with approximately 6,200 branches in 39 states. Its contact center usage, though, comes in close to ATM usage at 400 million contacts per year, with 32 contact centers running 24/7 for all retail bank customers and multiple other business lines. All of the channels are being used “to meet the customer’s need for convenience and control,” said Class.

A focus of the Wells Fargo move toward a multidimensional or omnichannel view of its customers is to build on available systems data to create a model of the business processes that reflect the customer’s experience—not just their transactions, their actual experiences—in interacting with the bank. This is a very different view for the financial services industry, which traditionally has focused on operational metrics.

Interestingly enough, Class said there is actually a gold mine of information that already exists within the bank that can provide this important view: passive logs that have previously been captured for developers who might want to chase down infrastructure issues. Class said a lot of information can be inferred from these logs, including predictive knowledge about the customer, the context of the interactions, and the sequence of the interactions. The objective of data-mining what he calls “customer value metrics” is to keep an eye on the interaction’s actual impact on customers.

This omnichannel focus is based on Class’ understanding that the quality of issue resolution for customers is directly related to value drivers within financial services, such as retention, revenue expansion through product cross-sell, and the acquisition and onboarding of new customers.

We’ve seen this correlation not only in the financial services industry but across the board— from government agencies to hospitals, organizations understand that having full context during all interactions is critical to quality customer service.