MELBOURNE: With financial habits rapidly changing, ANZ – one of Australia’s big four banks – is rethinking the in-branch customer experience by using first party data more effectively.

"Every time you use your credit card or take money out of your account, we've got all that data. We're probably terrible in comparison with most companies in using that data," said Steve Odgers, Head of Distribution Transformation - Retail Banking at ANZ at the recent Customer Experience Innovation and Tech Fest in Melbourne.

But using data and digital more effectively can result in a better experience for both the customer and staff. (For more details, read WARC’s report: ANZ streamlines its in-branch customer experience with data.)

One major area of improvement for ANZ has been in personal loan applications, which once involved an hour in-branch and 400 different pieces of information regardless of whether a person was an existing customer.

By integrating existing customer data, the same application now takes 12 minutes and requires only six pieces of information.

"It's a dramatic change for both the bankers and customers and made possible just by using the information we already had about them. So that's a really good outcome," said Odgers.

Another development has involved redesigning bank interiors so that staff engage with customers in a common space, rather than behind a counter, or in places where there is a physical barrier.

Visits to banks typically involve branch staff sitting behind a computer opposite the customer, for example, but ANZ has redesigned a number of branches in a pilot project with the express goal of fostering a better experience through side-by-side discussions between bankers and customers.

Odgers said: "It's not a matter of pointing to the device and telling customers they should learn how to use it themselves.

“So if we have an 84-year-old customer who is not too familiar with ATMs, every single time she comes into the branch, we'll help her use the ATM. That's just the way we serve, instead of serving from behind a counter, using technology the customer can't see or interact with."

Data sourced from WARC