Best Practices in Digital Appointment Booking: Learning from the Early Movers

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29 January 2016


In financial services, most consumers research products online, but prefer to purchase in person. Digital appointment booking is a practical and powerful way to connect digital and physical channels for customers, a capability most financial institutions lack.

In the report Best Practices in Digital Appointment Booking: Learning from the Early Movers, Celent offers a primer on digital appointment booking and explains why every bank and credit union should offer the capability. Through examples of how the capability is being effectively used among early mover banks and the results they’re obtaining, the report distills best practice suggestions for institutions seeking to maximize their return on technology investment.

Celent finds that early mover institutions enjoy a number of compelling benefits from digital appointment booking, namely: increased customer engagement, sales growth; more effective frontline staff; improved marketing campaign effectiveness; and improved customer satisfaction. The strongest results occur among institutions combining digital appointment booking with lobby management systems to optimize both the digital experience and the branch (or contact center) experience for customers.

With such compelling reasons to adopt digital appointment booking and a number of relatively easy to implement solutions available, one might think these solutions enjoy widespread adoption. Such is not the case. Through 2014, barely a third of the largest US banks offered digital appointment booking, and adoption among smaller banks and credit unions is rare.

“Digital appointment booking is a no-brainer, and is increasingly expected by consumers,” says Bob Meara, senior analyst with Celent’s Banking practice and author of the report. “With digital appointment booking increasingly prevalent in other retail segments, banks need to get onboard quickly if they are to reap the benefits early-mover institutions have enjoyed.”

The report begins with a primer on digital appointment booking, including common solution capabilities, deployment rationale, and a vendor listing. An adoption snapshot based on surveys conducted in 2014 and 2015 follows along with case studies of implementations at Bank of America and BMO Bank of Montreal. The report concludes with a summary of best practice advice and includes vendor profiles in an Appendix.

This report contains 18 figures and 12 tables.