Optimizing Face-to-Face Interactions: The Missing Link in Branch Channel Transformation

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22 July 2015


With “future branch” designs slow to emerge, institutions need quick wins with their current branch infrastructure that will also support future designs. Celent identifies five often overlooked technologies that achieve these two objectives.

In the report Optimizing Face-to-Face Interactions: The Missing Link in Branch Channel Transformation, Celent examines five technologies that help improve face-to-face interactions, along with short case studies illustrating the results that can be achieved through their use.

According to a survey conducted online in May and June 2015, the two most common drivers of branch channel investment are achieving greater sales growth and the pressure to reduce costs. These proximate needs in many banks can’t wait for a long-term “future branch” vision to materialize — something that can take years.

Facing competing priorities, needed branch channel investments often lose out because of their high cost and complexity.

“Branch channels are expensive beasts. Efforts to redesign are therefore inherently costly and complex compared to other, competing priorities,” comments Bob Meara, Senior Analyst and author of the report. “Banks need bite-sized, high rate-of-return projects that can be implemented ahead of large-scale branch transformation efforts.”

The report reviews five initiatives designed to maximize face-to-face interactions in the branch, along with case study excerpts to benchmark the impact these technologies can produce.

1. Branch customer experience surveys.
2. Desktop and process analytics.
3. Digital appointment booking.
4. Video analytics.
5. Workforce management.

This is the second of a series of reports based on Celent’s newly created Branch Transformation Research Panel. The purpose of the effort is to look deeply into the objectives, priorities, risks, barriers, and likely outcomes of the growing trend that is branch channel transformation in North America. Panelists were recruited among Celent clients and nonclients alike. Celent is accepting additional requests for membership in the panel and expects to field ongoing research through 2016 at semi-monthly intervals. To request to join the Branch Transformation Research Panel, contact

This report contains 11 figures.