A return to branch advice

Richard Hurst is marketing director at Vizolution

I spoke to a mortgage adviser yesterday who had been in the industry for about 20 years and had just joined one of the big banks.  I asked him what he thought about the MMR and the additional pressures that it would place on the advice process.

His main concern was one of customer service. After the MMR almost all mortgages will have to be advised and that’s fine when there is a remote relationship between the client and a full and bustling call centre when every call is answered quickly and enthusiastically. However the branch experience can be very different and he’d already had the situation where a potential customer was turned away because he was already with a client. This doesn’t happen all the time but he was very aware that the unpredictability of when a customer walked through the branch door meant that it was challenging to ensure that someone was always on-hand to help.

This isn’t a situation that’s unique to his branch or his company and it’s easy to see how it this issue could be replicated in branches throughout the country.

The solution is actually pretty simple if branches adopt a screen sharing solution.  As long as the customer has access to the internet via a kiosk or tablet in the branch they could receive appropriate advice both visually and over the phone from an adviser in a call centre or even another branch.  Of course if the branch adviser is available they can see the customer but having a remote solution means that there will always be someone available to help.

The use of web enabled kiosks or customer accessible PCs/tablets in-branch can make this process simple as customers can receive professional advice in an instant, both visually and verbally, from either a branch adviser or a remote location. This effectively provides lenders with ‘an expert in every branch’. 

Also, because vScreen can be used from anywhere it is possible for an adviser in one branch to serve a customer in another remotely using vScreen. You can see how this can reduce the under-utilisation of advisers, which is often caused by the need to travel between branches. It can also solve the more likely issue of the lack of a qualified adviser on-site at a moment's notice when a customer walks through the door.