The South African bank Capitec Bank was launched in 2001 in an extremely competitive market with well-established competitors. In its strategy to position itself, Capitec Bank CEO Riaan Stassen revealed its new branch concept early in 2012; the concept is based on the bank’s principle of personal service and accessibility.
These strategic factors are crucial for Capitec Bank and its customers; all bank operations are based on them:
- Simplicity: the bank strives to simplify banking and develop an all-inclusive banking solution, namely, the Global One solution.
- Affordability: the bank offers the most transparent, affordable banking available in South Africa - a banking solution that makes sense.
- Accessibility: using the Global One card, mobile banking, or internet banking, customers can access their accounts and money when it suits them.
- Personal service: bank employees know that each customer’s needs and goals are unique, when it comes to banking. They aim to build personal relationships so they understand these needs - to help customers achieve their goals.
The situation and need for change
According to CEO Riaan Stassen, these customers’ questions about outdated processes in the banking industry are the key reasons for the redesign, namely, why...
- Do customers still have to fill in forms when they go to a bank today?
- Can’t customers see what bank personnel have on their computer screens before them - it’s not a secret?
- Do banks have glass barriers between the employee and the customer; it restricts service?
- Are branch managers concealed in the back office, hidden from customers? They should be the custodians of customer relationships.
- Must customers stand in queues just to be told that they have the wrong information or documentation, or that they are in the wrong queue?
- Do banks close at 3:30 PM in the afternoon?
- Are they closed on Sundays?
- Are bank fees structured in such a confusing way?
“We live in the 21st century, and technology should make access to banking easier for customers,” says Stassen. “The banking experience must change, and banks must take ownership when it comes to helping customers better manage their financial lives.”
Riaan Stassen, Co-founder, Capitec
Arriving at the bank
Capitec Bank created a new role called service champion. When customers walk in, the customer service champion greets them. The service champion then asks about the reason for the visit. This ensures that customers are directed to the most appropriate staff members; it also ensures efficient use of staffing resources. If specific customers’ needs are aligned with experts in the requisite services, then outcomes tend to be better, namely, more up-sell and cross-sell. Before issuing a waiting ticket, the service champion ensures that the customer has all necessary forms that must be filled in - so customers don’t waste their time queuing for a service for which they need completed forms.
Capitec Bank customers appreciate this attention to detail, and it shows that the bank values them. If all is in order, then customers get their tickets and can then enter the office.
To further reduce service times and deliver good customer service, existing customers can swipe their Global One card through the card reader on the Qmatic kiosk. The bank uses this identification step to process all back-end work to ensure that they are 100% prepared for the meetings. When bank officers are prepared in this way, overall transaction time is reduced, and they are better placed to up-sell and cross-sell additional products. In addition, customers get personal service, and there is a motivation for having the Global One card, which is the most widespread card in South Africa.
Capitec Bank went to great lengths to design a welcoming open-plan office in which customers are free to take a seat. Within this area, they can browse literature or simply relax and immerse themselves in the digital content on the screens. Capitec Bank actually links the content to the services for which their customers are waiting. This ensures that messages are relevant to customers’ journeys and the service for which they entered the office.
Another interesting feature is the use of the Capitec Bank logo. Its red and blue colors, together with the central negative space, symbolize the branch office’s flow, where each side represents a division; here, blue is for quick transactions, and red is for consultations and services. These are clearly divided by the customer waiting area, which is situated under a bright skylight.
Customers can also track where they are in the service process because the information is clearly displayed on the screen. This naturally comforts the customers and guarantees that they have a need to view the screen, which means that the bank’s messages are more likely to be seen. So the solution is good for both customers and Capitec Bank.
When bank officers are ready to see the next customer, they do so using the software terminal integrated into their PCs; consequently, adopting the new solution has minimal effect on employees’ behavior. It’s easy to have compliance for better service. When the customer is called, there is a clear audio and visual prompt.
This reduces the need for employees to shout for customers, and it ensures the right customer gets called for the right service at just the right time. Capitec Bank also uses audio visual prompts so that it can be fully inclusive. Anyone with visual or audio impairments is fully included and gets dealt with equally. For Capitec Bank, these important details ensure that customers have positive perceptions of the Capitec Bank services and brand. Customers also sit beside bank officers, so that they can view their accounts together on the officer’s screen - rather than the officer having exclusive access.
While Customer Experience Management is a critical success factor, data collection from the Qmatic solution adds value and delivers data that are otherwise unobtainable. Using data from the solution, the bank can now view live, historical statistics. New, useful insights mean that Capitec Bank management can make informed, branch-office-level decisions about staffing and in-demand services. And the information can be viewed centrally using the Qmatic platform.
Capitec Bank can find out which services customers asked for, which customers requested certain services (and who served them), lengths of transactions, and their outcomes (i.e., sale or no sale). Using data to gather useful insights means that Capitec Bank can manage its resources.
“The Qmatic system supports relationship building because branch office staff can now easily interact with waiting customers - based on their expressed service needs,” says Carl Fischer, Executive Marketing and Corporate Affairs, Capitec Bank. “With the new system, our efficiency will improve between 20% and 25%, at least."