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Most financial institution (FI) executives realize that business intelligence

can provide powerful insight into service and productivity at the retail
branch. To obtain this information, they may use data captured from DDA,
time/deposit, loan, and credit card systems.
However, even those that can harvest this data often lack the ability to
dedicate the necessary ongoing resources to aggregate the data and utilize
it to consistently monitor and measure lobby performance. Fortunately, an
increasing number of FIs are turning to branch queue management
systems to capture and analyze all the pertinent lobby metrics, giving
executives a much greater understanding of the overall lobby picture.
In this article, Ill discuss how these systems work, identify the benefits of
implementing them, and detail the key elements executives should look for
if they pursue a solution.
How Queue Management Systems Work
A queue management system typically is a web-based application that
captures lobby performance information in real-time. That information can
be used to streamline the service process for account holders, increase
customer satisfaction, and enhance the productivity and accountability of
lobby employees. Furthermore, most of these systems provide on-demand
reporting and analysis that can be used to drive an increase in sales and
identify performance breakdowns.
Queue Management Systems should address (and collect data at) three
key points in the account holder lobby experience: Sign-in, Wait Period,
and Assist Period.
Sign In: During sign in, the account holders name, arrival time, and
purpose for visit are collected and entered into the system, either by a
greeter or a self-service station. The more robust solutions also provide a
notes section where greeters or other employees can capture personal

details, such as attire that makes a customer easy to recognize or a

personal comment made that can be used in later conversations.
Wait Period: After sign-in details are input, the system begins tracking
wait-time. This is arguably the point in which tracking is most visible. The
information is visible in the system, usually on representatives desktop
terminal screens. A best practice included with some solutions allows you
to incorporate pop-up alerts and email notifications, which are designed to
warn representatives and their managers of excessive wait times.
Assist Period: Once a service representative is ready to work with the
account holder, they transition their status in the queue from waiting-in-thelobby (tracking wait-time) to being in their office (tracking assist-time).
During this interaction, all pertinent product and service information is
captured by the service representative in the system for later analysis. This
information is beneficial to management for assessing actual happenings
on the platform side of the branch; by supporting who, what, where, when,
and why productivity and service questions. When the account holder has
no further questions or needs, the session is closed, which stops the assisttime clock.
The detailed reports (see figure 1.1) compiled from the data collected in a
queue management system, allow for bank executives and/or branch
managers to pinpoint specific performance metrics that fall outside industry
tolerance levels or stated branch sales and service goals. With this
information, management can provide more targeted coaching and address
uncovered process inefficiencies.

The detailed information captured by queue management systemsover
time at the institution level, branch level, and employee leveleventually
turns into invaluable trending data that enable executives to see a more
complete picture, resulting in a more effectively managed and staffed lobby.
Value-Add Benefits
Queue management systems offer additional benefits beyond improving
customer service and lobby productivity.

They eliminate the privacy risks associated with manual sign-in


Can deliver cross-sell metrics (what products/services were actually

purchased versus what they came into the branch for) and can use this
information to identify high and low performing employees.

The cross-sell metric is particularly important in light of research

indicating customers who purchase three or more products/services are
the least likely to leave your financial institutions.

Queue Management Technology: What It Captures

Queue Management Systems often capture a wide array of performance
data. However, not all may be this comprehensive. Metrics to look for in
your own search include:

Average Account Holder Wait Time (per branch, per institution)

Average Assist Time (per service representative, per branch, per


Cross-sell Ratio (per service representative, per branch, per


Number of Account Holders Assisted (per service representative, per

branch, per institution)

Product vs. Service Interaction Percentage (per service

representative, per branch, per institution)

Services Most Often Provided

Specific Purpose for Each Account Holder Visit (customized

categories chosen per institution)

Top Products Sold

Additional Thoughts
If youre intrigued enough to evaluate queue management systems for your
own bank or branch, consider these points during the process:

Is there an alert system?

Does the system accept notes, product/service entries, and other

data? How easy is it to enter this data?

Is the system compatible with a Kiosk- or iPad/tablet-based solution?

(Using tablets can save up to 80% over the cost of Kiosk purchase and

Can the solution be securely accessed from any computer?

How many and what types of reports does the solution generate, and
can they be customized?

Can the solution schedule staff to need?

Is there a real-time dashboard and on-demand reporting?

Any automated queue management solution is going to be an improvement

over none at all. However, taking time to select the right system for your
needs will yield happier customers, more productive employees, and
increased sales.
BIO, W. Michael Scott, FMSI
W. Michael Scott is President / CEO of Financial Management Solutions,
Inc. (FMSI). FMSI provides easy-to-use, yet sophisticated, business
intelligence and performance management systems that allow financial
institutions to manage and staff efficiently to meet service and sales needs.
For more information, or call 877. 887.3022.
10 Steps to Implement and Manage a Queue Management & Reporting
Increasing customer service, product and service sales, and lobby
representative efficiency requires more than just installing Queue
Management & Reporting software and waiting for results. Step One is
evaluating your options and making a selection (we suggest using a vendor
that specializes in banking business intelligence solutions). To extract
maximum benefit from the system, we recommend nine additional steps.

Define expectations with the executive management team, and

create clear metrics goals for acceptance.


Clearly define and lay out the expectations for use/performance of

lobby tracking reports.


Develop benchmarks and measure performance through quarterly

and annual reviews of expectations, recognition, and accountability.


Set thresholds for wait-time alerts.


Provide performance coaching for underperformers and recognize

high performers through incentive and recognition programs.


Determine consequences for unsatisfactory performance.


Conduct a weekly or monthly review of products/services offered and

sold, wait-times, and service interaction times.


Establish semi-annual reviews of procedures and internal controls.


Incorporate lobby key performance indicators (KPIs) in management