Anyone remember the '90s one-hit-wonders New Radicals? Even if the name doesn't ring a bell, their most famous song might: "You Get What You Give." The song itself was catchy, but the message was what truly resonated – what you put into the world, for good or for ill, comes back to you in spades.
However, is the opposite also true: Does what you are given impact what you can give? Answer: You bet your bottom dollar it does, especially in world of branches and credit unions.
What does your vendor give you?
Financial institutions must be responsive and ever-evolving to stay competitive and provide high-quality service to customers. Consumers have been trained to expect it all, and branches deliver by ensuring a retail experience that satisfies their desire for convenience, security, speed and personalized attention – all of which require strategic vendor partnerships. Your sourcing partners have to be doing their jobs for you to successfully accomplish yours.
"Are you getting enough from your vendors to sustain the services your customers demand?"
When the rubber meets the road, are you getting the kind of results from your vendors that enable you to supply the service your customers demand? How you answer these questions can help you get a better read on whether your partnerships are truly paying off:
Is your vendor there when you need them?
Timing is everything and service never takes a holiday. Branches must go the extra mile to be available when their customers need them, and with the expectation of 24/7 service, vendor response rates – both regular and emergency – have become a critical metric for branches. Your vendor should be taking every effort to be there for you, providing service that ensures uptime and deploys technicians immediately to address issues that arise.
Do they get things done right the first time?
Just showing up isn't enough – it's all about quality of execution. Vendors are the professionals for a reason: They're able to complete in minutes what takes amateurs hours. Not only that, they do it correctly right off the bat.
If a vendor is spending time fixing the same problem over and over again, that's just not a useful partnership. With more than 20 years of industry experience, the expert technicians at BranchServ have what it takes to execute error-free.
Are your employees set up for success?
For your customers to be truly satisfied, your staff has to be both supported and well-trained. Their ability to accomplish FI goals is contingent on their work environment, where what you make available to them determines their success and their satisfaction.
For example, branches are increasingly using automated equipment for routine, by-the-book transactions that don't require a human touch. Vendors who are truly invested in your branch's success provide ongoing training so your staff can gain the assistance they need to optimize adoption. This allows them to amplify their interactions with customers that take place over the phone, in person or online.
At BranchServ, we practice what we preach. Our in-house training center, complemented by vendor-provided product training, ensures that our employees are optimally equipped to take care of your security and automation equipment. Their training also allows them to support your employees to boost their proficiency and ability to serve your customers.
Are your vendors keeping pace with technological developments?
Technological advancements are moving at the speed of light and branches need to leverage them to remain competitive and nimble. With more customers making use of digital channels – 66 percent of customer bank online once a week or more, according to a separate Accenture poll – vendors need to be attuned to what's new and improved at the branch level to make the most of what's working and support optimal foot traffic.
Are your customers satisfied?
This is the real end goal. Customers are in the proverbial pilot seat – they always have been, but it's especially true nowadays, given the choices they have, from the items they buy to the financial services they need. Bank operations know it full well, too, given that 3 in 4 leaders say the customer experience is their uppermost priority as far as long-term strategies go, according to polling done by Accenture.
So demands on vendors come down to the basics. "It's really about service and response time, Chris Hollen, CEO for the Minneapolis-based credit union, told American Banker."When we're having issues, we need help and we need it quickly."
From branch automation solutions to video surveillance, vendors are in the businesses of providing specific services so your focus can remain on the customer and strengthening relationships. If you're picking up for their slack, you're not getting the service you deserve, and likely diverting resources from customer service.
At BranchServ, we understand that putting your Best Branch Forward isn't a solo mission. Everyone has to be giving it their 110 percent to achieve lasting results that you can see and your customers can feel. We set a higher standard of service so you can raise the bar in the pursuit of customer satisfaction excellence. Don't settle for the rest; realize results with the best.