Better branch ROI requires better equipped universal bankers

Bank and credit union executives need to consider how to make a great impression on those increasingly rare occasions when customers visit a branch. Many have added universal bankers, which removes some friction for customers since they don't have to wait for a specialist or, even worse, make an appointment to see one at a later date. Few institutions, however, are maximizing how they use those universal bankers. It's a missed opportunity to differentiate the branch experience.

Adding universal bankers to the branch staff is a trend that took off more than a decade ago. Yet banks and credit unions still struggle with limitations that keep them from making the most of the universal banker approach.

At its core, a universal banker combines a teller role with a sales role. This hybrid job suits the consultative approach that many financial institutions favor, but it is a poor fit for the teller line that still exists in many branches.

In a sense, the teller line has become something of an impediment to the ideal customer experience. If a customer waits in the teller line to do a transaction and then wants to open a CD or has questions about a loan, they often are asked to sit in the waiting area for the next available representative.


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