3 Ways To Improve Banks’ Operating Efficiency

By Mashum Mollah

October 26, 2021

Operating Efficiency

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Expectations and demands of banks’ customers, including a wide variety of services, easy and continuous access to their accounts, information availability, etc., are constantly multiplying. For a bank to be able to endure the challenges of a world that moves and changes as fast as the one today, there are a plethora of steps that have to work almost perfectly, or at the very least fast and precisely.

This is why rather than expecting to create an impeccable workflow, a perfect secret formula for a certain success – to truly operate efficiently –, a bank should work towards one that will persistently evolve in accordance with the changes in customers’ demands, technology, and the trends in the financial services sector.

In a complex organization such as a bank, all of the elements are tightly intertwined and greatly influence each other. And while the number of these elements is immense, two basic things keep this “weave” from tangling.

The first one is the human factor – the employees and the customers, and the second one is the workflow, with all of the processes, operations, and components it entails.  In other words, to improve your bank’s operating efficiency, you should focus on your employees, your customers, and the workflow.

Prioritize the Employees

Prioritize the Employees

Your workforce is one of the building blocks of your bank’s operating efficiency. Any company or organization, regardless of the industry, can be only as good as its least prepared employee.  So, in a sense, to invest in your employees’ training, education, professional development, as well as their satisfaction, is to reinforce the foundation upon which the bank’s success, and everything that leads to it – from customer satisfaction to the ROI – rests.

While formal education is undoubtedly important, employees adequately prepared for the relevant systems are crucial for good customer service and the bank’s efficiency. By getting bank training pertinent to the company, the employee can gain valuable insight into the organization and learn about the federal and state regulations.

In turn, they will be able to better represent your objectives and interests. Moreover, this can help them enhance their abilities to think critically, present the right solutions and services to the customers and, ultimately, contribute to the success of the bank.

But along with improving the operating efficiency, well-chosen compliance training can be beneficial to the employees themselves, as well. Namely, a good bank training course can help the employee further their knowledge in their field of interest, or even discover new interests and talents.

More importantly, it can allow them to align their own goals to those of the company. As a result, this employee will be more productive and perform better, and thus help the bank meet its objective.

Employees that are satisfied with their jobs aren’t only more likely to be concerned with the success of the business, but also, they are key to the quality of the customer’s service.  In fact, simply expecting good performance and productivity of your workforce, is not the best path.

Instead, aside from investing in their training, you should also focus on job satisfaction. This doesn’t only depend on incentives like salaries or bonuses, but also on things like the work environment, the working conditions, the safety, the working hours, and so on.

Learn from Your Customers’ Behaviour

Learn from Your Customers’ Behaviour

The pool of customers for banks is generally diverse – from the absolute fans of the concept of “contactless”, younger people who do everything online, all the way to the older generations or people who don’t trust the internet.

So, understandably, it’s virtually impossible to please everyone. The quality of a bank’s customer service is a very complex concept, and rather than simply following trends is not always the smartest solution, as a financial services provider you should locate the core customers and focus on meeting their expectations.

Even though it can be debatable whether or not the customer is always right, customers satisfaction is one of the best indicators of a bank’s operating efficiency. With educated employees prepared to find solutions for them, inform them of the services you provide, and help them with their inquiries, banks can certainly learn a lot from customers. Knowing their demands, doubts, complaints, etc., can help you optimize the services and update the operations accordingly.

Implement New Strategies Reasonably

For an optimal efficiency ratio, the workflow has to be fast and efficient, and for this, constant implementation of new strategies is crucial. This doesn’t mean simply following trends and turning to new systems or technologies that seem good or have proven useful for other financial services providers. One of the ways to determine the changes that you need to implement is by monitoring and analyzing performance, customer satisfaction, current costs, etc.

And while revenue and ROI are the ultimate objectives, any change that will affect the bank’s workflow should only be integrated if it improves efficiency, and helps you provide quality, fast and trustworthy services to your customers.

For instance, implementing a new technology platform should only be done after considering all that it implies, as well as assessing if it will improve the operations. Upon integration, it’s also crucial that the employees get the proper training to ensure smooth operation and efficient workflow.

Continuous strategic upgrade of the processes according to data gathered, along with proper bank employees training can affect the efficiency ratio significantly. However, it’s also crucial that the changes made with improvement in mind are cost-effective and don’t overwhelm the workforce, thus slowing down the workflow.

In a Nutshell

The role of the employees in the success of a bank is undeniable, which is why properly trained employees, who are satisfied with their job, are the first of three key ingredients in any recipe for improving the bank’s operating efficiency and, ultimately, the ROI. The second ingredient is gathering information and analyzing everything that is happening in your bank. And the third is focusing on optimizing the workflow by using the gathered data and reasonably implementing changes and new technologies.

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