Issues : Technology

The Value of Company Intranets


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The popularity of digital channels is placing increased pressure on bank branches to maximize every opportunity to acquire, engage and retain customers. Branches are evolving away from segmented teller lines and personal bankers to single points of contact that can facilitate any customer request. Key to this evolution is the presence of an intranet, which can be thought of as a centralized workflow that provides quick access to information, something that does not exist in most branches today.

By leveraging an employee intranet to create universal bankers, banks can successfully transition from a passive environment to one that drives engagement, reinforces the brand and establishes a new standard in service.

“A centralized system makes the process smoother, as the employees can locate the information they need and provide it quickly to the customers,” says Judy Price, vice president and senior operations and compliance officer at Carolina Alliance Bank. “When customers come into the bank, we want to quickly address their needs and make the experience enjoyable. A bank’s ability to continue growing is a direct byproduct of its ability to prioritize serving and engaging customers.” Combining the roles of a traditional teller and personal banker means that the employee is knowledgeable enough to serve anywhere in the branch instead of being confined to a single location. This role removes silos and functions across multiple tasks, such as facilitating transactions, opening new accounts, completing loan applications and managing the essential business of general customer service.

Intranets have other benefits as well. A single repository of information is essential to educating employees on cross-departmental responsibilities. For management, an intranet system can generate reports weekly, monthly or as needed to track employees that have completed training and also communicate if someone has failed to satisfy any requirements. Depending on the size of your financial institution, the degrees of universal function likely vary. A universal banker must be able to provide information, forms, policy and procedures on any product that the bank offers. To do so, access to a system-wide exchange of information must be available, providing insights into customer requests and ensuring that each one has been directed to the most appropriate person, tracked and completed in the timeliest manner possible.

An intranet is an extremely effective channel for communicating internal news, brochures and documents and posting announcements. This information can include content that is generated by others in the organization as well. Sue Besselievre, vice president of Kitsap Bank, says “Our site is so engaging now that our top executives are regularly producing company-wide blogs and fresh content for our employees.” An employee can access any system needed and stay up to speed on important information, while also maintaining a channel of communication with management. Consider a financial institution that is spread across multiple states with many locations; the ability to eliminate the duplication and data redundancy ensures that everyone is seeing the same information, sparing any confusion and subsequent time spent trying to remedy the situation.

No bank or credit union will be successful without demonstrating its respective prioritization to serve customers or members. Intranets are not new, but it is a proven technology and making an investment in this capability ensures that a financial institution presents its brand accurately, while managing every channel and making sure customers can interact at their preferred point of contact with ease.