How Banks Can Provide a Superior Customer Experience with ITMs 

ITMs and Customer Service

Enhancing Bank Customer Service with ITMs

New technology sometimes comes with the unwanted result of alienating customers or leaving them fending for themselves in an increasingly isolated and digitized world. For banks and credit unions, over-relying on these forms of tech can sever crucial customer-bank relationships. To combat this potential problem, financial institutions are now exploring cutting-edge of ways of utilizing technology that allows them to create efficiencies for both them and their customers, while maintaining that all-important customer relationship.

ITMs (Interactive Teller Machines) are one way to achieve those goals. Also known as Live Teller Machines or Video Tellers, ITMs combine the convenience of a drive-up (or walk-up) ATM with the personalized service of a traditional drive-thru teller, allowing customers to access a wide range of banking services without ever having to step inside the bank. But more importantly, with ITMs customers can engage in face-to-face video conversations with a local teller from your financial institution—as needed—throughout their entire banking process. 

The global market for bank kiosks, which includes ITMs, is expected to grow 12.65% each year, reaching USD 4.01 billion by 2030. If you’re curious about how your financial institution can take advantage of this trend and improve their customers’ banking experience, keep reading.

Why Banks Should Consider ITMs: Advantages Over Traditional Banking

When your bank is looking for ways to improve the customer experience—while managing costs and improving efficiency—ITMs can be a valuable solution. Why is this?

Physical branch locations, where staff and customers can interact in person and face-to-face, are crucial in maintaining your footing in your community, establishing relationships built and trust, and providing the space to conduct services and transactions that are better done in person. But physical branches have their limitations—for both financial institutions and their customers. Bank ITMs can help fill important gaps between traditional branch transactions and ATM/online banking services. So, exactly how do ITMs improve banking services?

Extend Your Availability Up to 24/7

Sometimes referred to as a “branch in a box,” ITMs integrate most common branch services into a single machine that is accessible outside of the branch itself. Ideal for busy individuals, customers who don’t work traditional hours, or those who don’t have time for a stop into the branch. Your financial intuition can effectively extend their branch hours in all locations with an ITM, without having to fully staff each branch.

When using an ITM, your customers can:

  • Deposit cash or checks.
  • Withdraw cash or cash checks.
  • Transfer money between accounts.
  • Check their account balances.
  • Update contact information.
  • Make payments for loans, credit cards, and mortgages using cash, checks, or transfers.
  • Dispute debit card charges.
  • Order new or replacement checks or debit cards.
  • Stop payments.
  • Set up or modify overdraft protection.

While many of the above services can be completed with online or mobile banking or at an ATM, an ITM can deliver human, personalized assistance, helping your customers complete transactions, resolve potential issues, or get answers to important questions in the process.

ITM Customer Service

Reduce Operational Costs

It’s rare to have a cost-saving measure that actually improves services to customers, but ITMs can do just that. As we mentioned above, with ITMs your financial institution can effectively extend its hours across its branches without having to fully staff each location.

ITMs can reduce your need to staff locations during non-peak hours, while still providing your customers with personalized assistance through a live, interactive video feed. And because the entire branch won’t need to be open, they can even assist with meeting sustainability goals by decreasing branch utility expenses. The result of ITM incorporation is a win-win: increased accessibility to branch services and reduced overhead costs.

Improve Customer Satisfaction

If customers need to bank after hours or have limited time to visit a branch, they are often required to utilize independent services like mobile banking. When questions or issues arise, seeking assistance can prove frustrating, requiring an additional phone call or visit to the bank. ITMs allow customers to complete transactions and use services independently—but with the knowledge that, should they need assistance, they always have a live, banking professional there to help. In fact, a 2019 survey by JD Power found that overall satisfaction among banking customers who use ITMs was 20 points higher (on a 1000-point scale) than those who use traditional ATMs.

Additionally, ITMs because there is a live teller on call for assistance, ITMs can provide more complex remote services than standard ATMs. ITMs can allow customers to perform specialized transactions, like cashing checks, paying loans, or certain account transfers, that ATMs aren’t capable of processing. 

Between improved services, longer hours, and increased access to one-on-one help, ITMs can provide a boost in customer satisfaction levels.

Long-Term Benefits of ITMs

Embracing ITMs can position your bank as both forward-thinking and customer-centric, while helping to ensure your financial institution remains competitive in a digital-first future. By integrating advanced technology with personalized service, ITMs not only meet the growing demand for flexible and accessible banking solutions but also demonstrate a commitment to enhancing the customer experience. 

Banks that adopt ITMs—vs. banks that adhere to more traditional services—are better equipped to attract and retain tech-savvy and younger-generation (digital natives) customers, reinforcing their reputation as innovative local leaders in the financial industry.

Mirror High-End Retail Experiences for an Improved CX

Major retailers have spent billions of dollars researching and developing technological strategies for improving their customers’ experiences—without taking a hit to their bottom line. ITMs build upon that knowledge to take these insights to banking customers.

Learning from Retail Giants

High-end retailers like Apple have built their brand around their ability to provide a personalized customer service experience. At Apple, they are able to offer expert-level assistance in a face-to-face setting—utilizing technological enhancements like iPads and centralized customer data to facilitate the experience. The result is a streamlined and efficient one-on-one system that customers truly appreciate. Similarly, ITMs leverage technology to better assist customers—without sacrificing the benefits of having an expert banker, ready to help.

Thoughtful Implementation to Achieve the Highest Level of Service

However, Apple’s success isn’t that simple. How products and services are presented to their customers is a key component of any effective integration strategy. To get a better understanding of how your financial institution can implement ITMs into their standard practices, let’s take a look at an example.

As the Financial Brand explains, one local financial institution, ORNL Federal Credit Union, carefully developed processes to assist both staff and members in using ITMs for the first time, ensuring a smooth introduction and promoting increased adoption. When the machines were added to the drive-thru, ITM staff—who would soon be interacting with members through the ITMs—traveled to the branch to train onsite teams and personally guide customers in using the new technology. When the focus of implementation is an improved customer experience, your branch can truly maximize the benefits of ITMs. 

ITM Experience 3

Promoting ITM Adoption Among Customers

From choreographed marketing strategies to in-person practices to promote usage and reduce skepticism, there are many things that banks can do to effectively introduce ITMs to their customers, driving engagement and adoption of this innovative technology.

Marketing Strategies

As with any significant rollout, marketing your financial institution’s adoption ITM technology requires a tailored strategy. These can include:

  • Interactive demos: Set up demos at branches and community events to allow customers to experience the technology firsthand with guided assistance from knowledgeable staff. These demos can highlight key features and benefits, making the technology more accessible and less intimidating.
  • Webinars and Video Clips: Webinars that offer virtual demonstrations and Q&A sessions, as well as short explanatory videos posted on your website, can provide customers with a thorough understanding of ITMs from the comfort of their own homes. These sessions can cover topics such as the step-by-step process of using an ITM, security features, and the range of services available, helping to demystify the technology and address any concerns. To encourage customers attending webinars, consider offering special rewards or perks.
  • Incentive programs: In addition to encouraging customers to participate in ITM education, incentives can also be used to get them to go out and try an ITM themselves. For instance, your bank can offer rewards such as small cash bonuses, fee waivers, or loyalty points for completing their first ITM transaction.
  • Promotional campaigns: Finally, be sure to integrate online marketing into your strategy. Social media posts and email newsletters can allow you to get the word out to users, showcase user testimonials, and provide informative content about ITM benefits. 

Handling Skepticism

Addressing common concerns and fears about using new technology such as ITMs is crucial for fostering customer confidence and ensuring widespread adoption—for both staff and customers. 

Transparent communication to customers plays a pivotal role in this process. Whether through email, direct mail, online advertisements, and even blog posts, it’s important to communicate with your customers (and potential customers) about these branch upgrades. By openly discussing how ITMs work and the benefits they offer, staff can alleviate customers’ apprehensions and retain trust. Additionally, providing educational resources, such as instructional videos, brochures, and hands-on demonstrations equips customers with the knowledge they need to feel comfortable and competent using the new technology.

As you develop communications, be sure to showcase the reliability and safety features of ITMs, such as secure transaction protocols and real-time video assistance from local tellers, providing further reassurances to your customers.

Replacing Existing ATMs

Customers may be so comfortable with ATMs, that they are hesitant to give ITMs a try, missing out on major benefits, while reserving transactions that ATMs can’t handle (but ITMs could) for in-person branch visits.

By replacing existing ATMs with ITMs at prime drive-thru locations, customers looking to use an ATM will overcome initial hesitations in order to conduct required business. Ultimately, an easy and positive experience will pave the way for your customers to embrace this improved banking option.

Why Shields Business Solutions is Your Perfect Partner for ITM Implementation

Looking for a reliable partner to assist you in your ITM implementation? At Shields, we offer:

  • Advanced ITM Features: Our ITMs offer advanced features that enhance both security and convenience, including biometric security, multi-language support, and high-definition video conferencing.
  • Planning to Execution: We provide a comprehensive guide covering initial assessment, selecting the right models, site preparation, installation, and final launch.
  • Staff Training: Shields also provides supplemental training for bank staff to handle new queries and understand how to properly use and educate customers on the use of ITMs.

Partner With Shields to Get Started with ITMs in Your Branch 

Ready to elevate your bank’s customer service and stay ahead in the competitive financial sector? Interactive Teller Machines (ITMs) from Shields Business Solutions offer a blend of convenience, efficiency, and advanced technology tailored to enhance your customer interactions. 

As a trusted leader in ATM and ITM solutions across PA, DE, NJ, and NY, we are committed to helping your bank succeed. Don’t wait to transform your customer experience—contact Shields Business Solutions today to learn more about our innovative ITM options and how they can benefit your business. And don’t forget to subscribe to our blog for more tips on security and ATM/ITM management!