How to Boost Bank Branches
in a Multichannel World
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global
management consulting firm and the world’s
leading advisor on business strat...
March 2014
Peter Adams, Christophe Hamal, Nicole Mönter, Jean-Werner de T’Serclaes,
and Ian Walsh
How to Boost
Bank Branch...
2 How to Boost Bank Branches in a Multichannel World
AT A GLANCE
Branches will continue to play a central role in most ret...
The Boston Consulting Group • Efma 3
Customers want to
interact with their
banks anytime,
anywhere.
Imagine a network of b...
4 How to Boost Bank Branches in a Multichannel World
•• Daily and weekly operational rhythms are not sufficiently codified...
The Boston Consulting Group • Efma 5
•• What is the quality of sales interactions? How many legitimate leads are
generated...
6 How to Boost Bank Branches in a Multichannel World
really looks like, starting with their own specific strengths and add...
The Boston Consulting Group • Efma 7
Implement commercial and operational improvements. After diagnosing the
performance l...
8 How to Boost Bank Branches in a Multichannel World
results during weekly meetings, and installing guidelines for spendin...
The Boston Consulting Group • Efma 9
achieved these goals by shifting more and more activities to direct channels, mainly
...
10 How to Boost Bank Branches in a Multichannel World
Moreover, as we have seen, the current performance level does not li...
The Boston Consulting Group • Efma 11
About the Authors
Peter Adams is a partner and managing director in the Brussels off...
To find the latest BCG content and register to receive e-alerts on this topic or others, please visit bcgperspectives.com....
201404 How to boost Bank Branches in a Multichannel World
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201404 How to boost Bank Branches in a Multichannel World

  1. 1. How to Boost Bank Branches in a Multichannel World
  2. 2. The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm and the world’s leading advisor on business strategy. We partner with clients from the private, public, and not-for- profit sectors in all regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their enterprises. Our customized approach combines deep in­sight into the dynamics of companies and markets with close collaboration at all levels of the client organization. This ensures that our clients achieve sustainable compet­itive advantage, build more capable organizations, and secure lasting results. Founded in 1963, BCG is a private company with 81 offices in 45 countries. For more information, please visit bcg.com. As a global not-for-profit organization, Efma brings together more than 3,300 retail financial services companies from over 130 countries. With a membership base consisting of almost a third of all large retail banks worldwide, Efma has proven to be a valuable resource for the global industry, offering members exclusive access to a multitude of resources, databases, studies, articles, news feeds, and publications. Efma also provides numerous networking opportunities through working groups, online communities, and international meetings. For more information: www.efma.com or info@efma.com
  3. 3. March 2014 Peter Adams, Christophe Hamal, Nicole Mönter, Jean-Werner de T’Serclaes, and Ian Walsh How to Boost Bank Branches in a Multichannel World
  4. 4. 2 How to Boost Bank Branches in a Multichannel World AT A GLANCE Branches will continue to play a central role in most retail banks’ overall offerings. As purely transactional services increasingly migrate to direct channels—mainly online and mobile—branches will focus primarily on providing high-value sales and advice as well as high-touch services. Many Try, but Few Succeed Many retail banks feel that their branches are approaching true excellence. A few may be. But while many institutions achieve excellence some of the time in some branches, only a handful achieve excellence most of the time in most branches. A Dedicated, Three-Phase Program Is Needed Banks in both developed and emerging markets need a specific methodology for achieving branch excellence. Although many banks are already resizing and reformatting their branch networks, they need to look beyond that and focus on increasing productivity within their target footprints. The path to success, which requires a systematic approach and full engagement of both senior management and line management, lies in a three-phase program.
  5. 5. The Boston Consulting Group • Efma 3 Customers want to interact with their banks anytime, anywhere. Imagine a network of bank branches where customers feel at home and trust the staff to find products that truly fit their needs. Staff members greet customers warmly and by name. Salespeople are energized because they know that they are offering value to customers; that each day’s calendar is full of promising appoint- ments; and that the more they benefit customers, the more they benefit themselves. Service colleagues fulfill customer transactions quickly and painlessly, identifying customer needs and sales opportunities at the same time. The leads result in sales and service prompts that are highly relevant for customers. A can-do atmosphere permeates the air. Many retail banks feel that their branches are well on the way toward achieving such a level of excellence. And a few may be. But the reality is that although many institutions achieve branch excellence some of the time in some branches, only a handful achieve branch excellence most of the time in most branches. This is of particular concern because branch performance is coming under greater scrutiny as customer behaviors change and profitability pressures steer banks to- ward multichannel distribution models. (See Distribution 2020: The Next Big Journey for Retail Banks, BCG Focus, March 2013.) Indeed, customers want to interact with their banks anytime, anywhere, just as they do with service providers in other in- dustries. And much debate has centered on a key question: What is the role of the bank branch in this multichannel world? In our view, branches will continue to play a central role in most retail banks’ over- all offerings. As purely transactional services increasingly migrate to direct chan- nels—mainly online and mobile—branches will focus primarily on providing high-value sales and advice as well as high-touch services. The problem is that relatively few retail banks have capitalized on the opportunity to turn their branches into the brand-building, loyalty-enhancing pillars of profit- ability that they can truly be. For example, the following occur in many branch net- works: •• Non-value-added tasks take up considerable time. •• Tasks that can be performed through direct channels are not actively redirected. •• The agendas of relationship managers (RMs) are not sufficiently filled, and idle time is not productively used.
  6. 6. 4 How to Boost Bank Branches in a Multichannel World •• Daily and weekly operational rhythms are not sufficiently codified and focused on commercial activity. •• Sellers, tellers, and managers are not working together as a single team with a shared set of objectives. •• Operating practices vary widely, leading to significant performance differences among branches in the same network. In order to achieve an organizational and cultural transformation that brings out the best in branch networks, banks need to initiate a dedicated branch-excellence program. We have seen such programs improve banks’ cost-to-income ratios by up to five percentage points. More specifically, commercial-excellence levers can in- crease production by 15 to 35 percent, and operational-effectiveness levers can re- duce network employee full-time equivalents (FTEs) by 5 to 15 percent. Banks need a specific methodology for achieving branch excellence. And although many banks are already resizing and reformatting their branch networks, they need to look beyond that and focus on increasing productivity within their target foot- prints. They also can learn from the best practices of banks that have achieved a high level of performance—as well as overall consistency and coherence—in branch networks. The Path to Branch Excellence When launched and executed well, a dedicated branch-excellence program will transform performance that is merely average up to a level that can be considered good. Similarly, the program will propel branch performance that is already good into the realm of the truly great. Significant results can be achieved within 6 to 18 months, regardless of the bank’s starting point or location. The path to success, which requires a systematic approach and full engagement of both senior management and line management, lies in a three-phase program: fully diagnose branch network performance, develop a target branch model, and imple- ment commercial and operational improvements. Fully diagnose branch network performance. Diagnosing branch performance begins with an external benchmarking of overall network productivity against top retail banks worldwide. In our work with clients, we have utilized BCG’s Retail Banking Operational Excellence Database, which compares performance among about half the top 40 retail banks globally across up to 160 metrics. Branch perfor- mance tends to vary widely. (See Exhibit 1.) The goal is to provide a holistic overview of a branch network’s commercial and op- erational capabilities. Key issues include the following: •• How focused is the network on value-added tasks? How much of an advisor’s time is spent on sales and advice appointments? How many appointments do RMs have on an average day? A branch-excellence program can produce significant results in 6 to 18 months.
  7. 7. The Boston Consulting Group • Efma 5 •• What is the quality of sales interactions? How many legitimate leads are generated? How many sales result from these leads? •• How efficient are branch processes? How many transactions does each service FTE in branches and in operations handle each day? What is the average customer waiting time? An additional internal benchmarking within a bank’s own network allows us to compare individual branch performance with clusters of comparable peer branch- es. The high variance in performance among peer branches demonstrates the po- tential for improvement for low performers. (See Exhibit 2.) Part of the internal benchmarking involves visiting branches with a view toward understanding the root causes of underperformance. These visits, typically conduct- ed in a sample of 10 to 20 representative branches and lasting about two days each, include interviews with branch management, RMs, and other branch staff. Sales meetings, coaching discussions, and daily and weekly branch meetings are closely observed. Branch processes and behaviors are assessed against a scorecard of best practices. Such visits allow the bank to collect factual information not available at the central level, such as how processes actually work in the field (as opposed to how they are designed). Develop a target branch model. To make consistent progress on the journey toward true branch excellence, banks need to clearly identify what great performance Time spent by advisors in branch (%) Advisory and sales Other activities Least advisory 22 78 Median 52 48 Most advisory 68 32 Proportion of customer-facing employees versus non-customer-facing employees Sales per client per year resulting from leads1 Customer-facing employees Non-customer-facing employees 4 Ø 47 6 12 50 71 83 100 NF–MA EB DC Bank N F–M E D C B A Bank Source: BCG Retail Banking Operational Excellence Database. 1 Index Bank A = 100. Exhibit 1 | Bank Branch Performance Varies Widely
  8. 8. 6 How to Boost Bank Branches in a Multichannel World really looks like, starting with their own specific strengths and addressing their weaknesses. They then need to draw a detailed roadmap for the journey and identify quick wins to build momentum and help fund the program. Above all, banks need to focus on the specific levers that will genuinely make a dif- ference in the branches. Which levers really contribute to network strategy and to the bottom line? Which are possible to implement in a reasonable time frame? Which are truly under the control of branch management? We have seen leading banks create a formal operational handbook that contains best practices and sug- gested solutions to problems that frequently crop up. Such banks also develop oper- ational tools that branch management and staff can use to track performance. These tools are particularly effective at raising the performance of third- and fourth-quartile branches. Choosing which levers should receive the most attention will depend on the bank’s market specifics, starting position, and strategic priorities. Implementation should be intelligent, offering leeway to branches that are already performing well but providing clear input and guidance to underperforming branches. Portfolio clients with advice contact (%) Wire transfers through digital channels (%)1 Commercial performance Operational effectiveness Number of branches Improvement potential 16 8 8 24 40 32 56 64 56 120 88 72 72 80 56 48 16 8 8 8 16 32 24 88 48 88 88 96 112 80 80 48 16 8 30 9565 Number of branches Improvement potential 75 9080 Source: BCG case work. Note: Bank branch numbers are representative, not actual. 1 Includes ATM transactions. Exhibit 2 | Variance Among Peer Branches Demonstrates the Potential for Improvement Among Low Performers
  9. 9. The Boston Consulting Group • Efma 7 Implement commercial and operational improvements. After diagnosing the performance level of the branch network and developing a target branch model, banks must embed the new improvement levers and operating model into the organization. Small-scale pilots should be used to refine the most complex improve- ment levers. Coherent incentives, key performance indicators, and transparent reporting are essential. A critical element is constructing dashboards to assist branch management in identifying and implementing improvement levers at the individual branch level, applying knowledge gained from the pilots. The dashboard has proved to be an invaluable tool for jump-starting the performance of individual branches. A further important step is establishing detailed action plans that include sales and profitability goals. None of this, of course, can be accomplished without new train- ing programs that allow local top performers to transfer essential knowledge to rank-and-file branch employees, or without full support at the group level. What a Best-Practice Network Looks Like Banks with best-practice networks not only implement a series of critical commer- cial and operational levers from their branch-excellence programs, but they also work on them holistically to achieve maximum impact. The key categories of levers are branch organization and management; sales and service effectiveness; staff management; and customer centricity. (See Exhibit 3.) Branch Organization and Management. Best-practice banks professionalize the operational rhythms of their branches by instituting daily staff meetings 15 minutes before opening (the “morning huddle”), systematically reviewing commercial • Professionalized daily and weekly operational rhythms • Dynamic management of activity mix • Active performance monitoring • Better sales and advice interactions • Effective conversations • Actively managed sales pipeline • Service excellence • Targets and incentives • Performance management • Coaching and training • Branch “look and feel” • Staff attitude and behaviors • “Walk out working” functionality • Effortless movement among channels Target commercial and operational performance Branch excellence levers Branch organization and management Customer centricity Staff management Sales and service effectiveness Determine improvement potential Understand what it takes to capture potential Source: BCG analysis. Exhibit 3 | Levers Sustainably Lift Commercial and Operational Performance
  10. 10. 8 How to Boost Bank Branches in a Multichannel World results during weekly meetings, and installing guidelines for spending noncommer- cial and idle time. (See Exhibit 4.) They also use sharp and focused management information at the regional, area, and branch levels to diagnose the activity mix and improve performance. Sales and Service Effectiveness. We have seen banks significantly improve the quality of sales and advice interactions by using structured scripts for conversa- tions, conducting holistic customer reviews, limiting interruptions (such as by phone and by colleagues in person) during commercial meetings, actively manag- ing the sales pipeline, and differentiating service levels across customer segments of different value. We have also seen leading banks limit cash handling to select branches only, reduce opening hours at the counter, terminate delivery of debit and credit cards at branches, and stop accepting paper transfers. Such banks have Generating and monitoring leadsPrecall appointments and other preparation Internal meetings The length of customer interviews should be tailored to the complexity of a given customer’s goals; individual time slots do not need to be exactly 45 minutes long These time slots are flexible and may be used for customer interviews, which should be prioritized Learning and coaching Time Primary activity Secondary activity1 Morning huddle Individual preview meeting Customer interview 1 Proactive customer contact Customer interview 2 Proactive customer contact Buffer between customer interviews 2 and 3 Proactive customer contact Proactive customer contact Outbound prospecting Proactive customer contact Lunch Lunch Outbound prospecting Lunch Customer interview 3 Proactive customer contact Customer interview 4 Proactive customer contact Buffer between customer interviews 4 and 5 Prequalification for next day appointments Customer interview 5 Outbound prospecting Proactive customer contact Outbound prospecting Prequalification for next day’s appointments Outbound prospecting Observation, peer coaching, and one-on-one with branch manager 8:45–9:00 am 9:00–9:15 9:15–10:15 10:15–11:00 11:00–11:15 11:15–11:45 11:45 am–12:15 pm 12:00–12:15 12:15–12:45 12:45–1:15 1:15–2:00 2:00–2:15 2:15–3:00 3:00–3:45 3:45–4:00 4:00–4:30 4:30–4:45 4:45–5:00 End-of-day review Customer interviews Source: BCG analysis. 1 The secondary activities occur when the primary slots end earlier. Exhibit 4 | Daily and Weekly Operational Rhythms Must Be Professionalized
  11. 11. The Boston Consulting Group • Efma 9 achieved these goals by shifting more and more activities to direct channels, mainly online and mobile. Staff Management. Targets and incentives must offer mutual benefit for staff members and customers. They should include metrics that go beyond typical financial key performance indicators. For example, it can be highly effective to base some incentives on inputs (such as the number of client appointments) versus outputs (the number of sales resulting from those appointments). In addition, a critical element of achieving excellent results—one that cannot be overemphasized—is the importance of training and coaching. We’ve seen banks where branch managers spend up to 20 percent of their time coaching their employees. Customer Centricity. Perhaps most important, best-practice banks markedly im- prove the experience of customers in branches. Top institutions accomplish this by selling to need rather than to target, by codifying the “look and feel” of each branch, and by formalizing and driving optimal staff attitudes and behaviors toward customers. They effectively publicize product promotions and clearly post important information for customers in their branches. Such banks also achieve end-to-end process effectiveness, demonstrated by shorter cycle times and “walk out working” functionality for major products. They enable seamless multichannel integration that allows customers to move effortlessly among branches, online and mobile channels, and the call center. The change-man- agement skills they show in transforming the behaviors of their staff are transferred to customers through an overall experience that is more efficient and more effec- tive in meeting the customers’ most important banking needs. Seizing the Moment Successful branch-excellence programs can bring major improvements to the top and bottom lines, enabling the bank to move into a leadership position in its target markets. For example, one major financial institution with a large retail footprint and a historically high cost-to-income ratio was under severe profitability pressure following the 2008-2009 global financial crisis. The bank ran a branch-excellence project as part of a large-scale transformation program, focusing mainly on reduc- ing costs and FTEs in the network. The project, which is now repeated annually to reinforce best practices, has had the following impressive results (percentages are approximate): •• A 9 percent reduction of network FTEs •• An 8 percent increase in the number of advice contacts per FTE •• A 4 percent increase in the number of appointments per FTE •• A 10 percent increase in the conversion rate of leads •• A 4 to 5 percent improvement in the cost-to-income ratio Best-practice banks markedly improve the experience of custom- ers in branches.
  12. 12. 10 How to Boost Bank Branches in a Multichannel World Moreover, as we have seen, the current performance level does not limit the poten- tial benefits of a properly conceived and executed program. Even banks whose branches are already humming along at healthy rates of revenues and profitability can experience significant improvement. Nor does the region or type of market matter. We have seen banks in developed and emerging markets all over the world raise their games considerably. Ultimately, banks should not simply explore how they might go about a rigorous branch excellence program. They should also think about what their competitors are doing with their own branches and then ask themselves a critical question: what are the potential consequences of standing pat and not acting at all?
  13. 13. The Boston Consulting Group • Efma 11 About the Authors Peter Adams is a partner and managing director in the Brussels office of The Boston Consulting Group. You may contact him by e-mail at adams.peter@bcg.com. Christophe Hamal is a principal in the firm’s Brussels office. You may contact him by e-mail at hamal.christophe@bcg.com. Nicole Mönter is a principal in BCG’s Brussels office and the manager of the global retail-banking segment. You may contact her by e-mail at monter.nicole@bcg.com. Jean-Werner de T’Serclaes is a partner and managing director in the firm’s Bogotá office and the global topic leader for retail-banking distribution. You may contact him by e-mail at jwts@bcg.com. Ian Walsh is a partner and managing director in BCG’s London office and the global leader of the retail-banking segment. You may contact him by e-mail at walsh.ian@bcg.com. Acknowledgments The authors offer special thanks to the following BCG colleagues for their valuable contributions to the conception and development of this report: Sébastien Bard, Gennaro Casale, Fabien Chazal, Audélia Krief, Andy Maguire, Reinhard Messenböck, Michaël Niddam, Sukand Ramachandran, Axel Reinaud, Beatriz Reyero, Rob Sims, Sam Stewart, Steve Thogmartin, Saurabh Tripathi, and Christian Ziegelmayer. The authors also wish to thank Philip Crawford for his editorial direction and Katherine Andrews, Gary Callahan, Lilith Fondulas, Kim Friedman, Abby Garland, and Sara Strassenreiter for their contributions to the editing, design, and production of this report. For Further Contact If you would like to discuss this report, please contact one of the authors or send an e-mail to branchexcellence@bcg.com.
  14. 14. To find the latest BCG content and register to receive e-alerts on this topic or others, please visit bcgperspectives.com. Follow bcg.perspectives on Facebook and Twitter. © The Boston Consulting Group, Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. 3/14

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