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Best Practices in Back-Office Efficiencies

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To best serve account holders and continue to enhance their user experience, it’s important that digital banking solutions turn inward to increase back-office efficiencies. The first step is to analyze your financial institution (FI) team’s day-to-day responsibilities. Which areas are your team spending time on, and what should the main focus be? What are some existing pain points that can be addressed? Taking a deep dive into current processes and overall goals can help you on the optimization journey. 

These four best practices can help shape your strategy and address any back-office efficiency pain points. 

Best Practice #1: Focus On Employee UX

Focusing on account holder user experience frequently reigns in digital banking strategy. But is that same strategy applied to employees? For Brian Avery, chief technology officer at STAR Financial Bank, this was a key priority.  “If they’re using a system that is not enjoyable, that is really going to make their overall employment with us less enjoyable.”

This strategy is key in today’s competitive labor market, as it’s crucial to retain and attract the high performers. Two-thirds of FIs now consider talent a top concern with 40 percent of digital banking decision makers expressing employee turnover as their institution’s greatest risk over the next 18 months. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 732,000 employees quit jobs in the financial services sector between May and September 2022. By providing employees a solid foundation and new tools, this trickle-down effect then enables employees to provide a consistent, quality account holder experience. 

Best Practice #2: Minimize Human Error with Automation

There is room to automate more simple, day-to-day tasks as well. This is not to replace employees, but to capitalize on their strengths. This allows employees to focus on more valuable, revenue-generating tasks, and reduce errors among others. Scaling up to reach revenue goals is more attainable when processes can be digitized. Key initial areas that can be focused on:  

  • Built-in compliance and industry required checks and balances. Keeping aligned with consumer regulations, combating cyber-attacks, and change management are a few of the many challenges FIs face. By implementing automated, rules-based decisioning, this helps streamline the tasks.
  • Calculating financial ratios. Automating the request for loan servicing assistance allows necessary information to be instantly validated, versus a more manual process.
  • Keep record of actions. Transitioning to a centralized order processing system enables team members to stay on top of underwriting and processing actions. 

It’s important to keep in mind that the problem is best addressed at its root cause. Finding what the biggest challenge is, improving the process, and then finally automating can be a formula for success. 

Best Practice #3: Modernize User Onboarding and Sub User Management

When employees are asked which process can be automated and improved, a common answer is either user onboarding or sub user management. Overall, it can be a difficult and tedious process for the FI. But this process should be seamless for the account holder or business account, as this is likely their first impression of the FI. This process can be modernized with the help of automation. Having a single process will take the manual load off the FI’s or businesses’ plate and ensure compliance needs are met.

On the existing account holder side, there frequently is insufficient support among loan servicing and other customer support services. Implementing platforms such as online direct messaging or AI powered chatbots for frequently asked questions can free up employee customer service time for in-depth and revenue building opportunities.

Best Practice #4: Put Personalization to Work for You

It’s no secret that there often is a direct tie between account holder personalization and upselling for increased revenue. With the help of your FI’s marketing team, generate dynamic audience targeting lists of account holders, based on their transactional behaviors using insights. These personalized offers can be delivered in a range of ways, from within the digital banking platform to direct mail to e-mail and even in-person by a teller. Particularly with the case of pre-approved offers, account holders can automatically be placed into a campaign. And as behaviors change, automatically place them into a new segment. Marketing automation can take a lot of guesswork out of a historically manual process.

Assessing employee pain-points can give FIs the broader lens needed to create both back-office efficiencies and better account holder service.  Take a look across your entire ecosystem and start on the employee-facing side. This is a case where fulfilled employees and smart automation will lead to better retention of both staff and account holders.

For more insights on getting started with automation,

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