Hosted by top 5 banking and fintech influencer, Jim Marous, Banking Transformed highlights the challenges facing the banking industry. Featuring some of the top minds in business, this podcast explores how financial institutions can prepare for the future of banking.
An important component of digital banking transformation is to be able to improve efficiency and productivity in your organization while also helping employees to serve customers better.
With complex customer engagements, you need to ensure that the right people are engaged at the right part of the customer journey, using a scheduling tool that reflects the customer need, expertise required, timing and locational constraints, and the ability for both your team and the customer to drive the process.
We are joined on the Banking Transformed podcast today by Tom Chang, Distinguished Solutions Engineer at Salesforce. He discusses how a scheduling tool can create stronger relationships with precise, personalized appointments.
This episode of Banking Transformed is sponsored by Salesforce.
Salesforce Scheduler is a tool built natively on the Salesforce Platform that helps create stronger relationships with precise, personalized appointments. Boost scheduling efficiency and bring together the right resources, whether people or assets, with the contextual information needed to get the job done. Streamline appointment scheduling for employees and customers, delivering consistency across all channels of engagement, ultimately improving customer experiences.
Jim Marous: Hello, and welcome to another Banking Transformed Solutions podcast. I'm your host, Jim Marous, Owner and CEO of the Digital Bank Report and Co-Publisher of the Financial Brand. An important component in digital banking transformation is to be able to improve the efficiency and productivity in your organization while also helping employees to serve customers better. With more and more complex engagements, you need to ensure that the right people are engaged at the right part of the customer journey using a scheduling tool that reflects the customer's need expertise required, timing, vocational constraints, and the ability for both your team and the customer to drive the process.
Jim Marous: We are joined today on the Banking Transformed podcast by Tom Chang, Distinguished Solutions Engineer at Salesforce. He discusses how a scheduling tool can create stronger relationships with overarching, precise, and personalized appointments that can engage the entire organization for the benefit of your customer.
Jim Marous: So welcome to the show Tom. According to research from Salesforce, 70% of consumers say connected processes are very important to winning their business. If communications are disjointed or internal resources can't be corralled and focus on the specific needs of the consumer, trust and patience suffers.
Jim Marous: I'll tell you what. My biggest frustration with both my primary financial institutions is that I don't feel like either organization knows me, understands my needs, or uses the resources available to help me improve my specific business and personal financial wellness needs. They have the ability to serve, it's just it's hard to engage. You know, the solution to this challenge is to provide me the ability to find the resources that can help me succeed on my personalized level, or for my bank to have the ability to bring the right team to the table when I have a need.
Jim Marous: Bottom line, why is it so easy for my car dealer to know when I have a need, offer me a solution, and efficiently schedule all of the needed appointments and services in an efficient sequence? Why can't my bank do that?
Jim Marous: It's interesting. The Salesforce Schedule is a tool that helps create stronger relationships with very precise, personalized, and appointment setting capability. It boosts efficiency and brings together the right resources with a contextual insight needed to improve customer experience.
Jim Marous: So Tom, before we get started with that long introduction, can you share a little bit about your background and your current role at Salesforce?
Tom Chang: Yeah, absolutely. First of all, thanks for having me Jim, I really appreciate the conversation. My name's Tom Chang, I'm a Distinguished Solution Engineer with Salesforce. I just had my 10 year anniversary, so I've been here for a little bit. Most of my experience is dealing with the financial institutions, so when Salesforce decided to verticalize the banking industry about six years ago using our financial services cloud product, I worked with the largest financial institutions at that time. And since have been working with many different various sizes of institutions throughout the last 10 years.
Jim Marous: So Tom, based on that, why is a company like Salesforce providing a scheduling tool? Is it because the integration with other platforms you have, or can this work independently?
Tom Chang: Well, I mean Salesforce has always been focused on the customer 360 and providing a complete view of the customer, and scheduling is a big part of it. I mean tracking why customers are reaching out to the bank, tracking those engagements and activities of when they happen, how they happen, why they're reaching out, all those things in the past we integrated with other third party solutions. But a lot of those things fell through the gaps, like we didn't know why they were contacting the bank. Some of those engagements just never got tracked and never got logged as activities. So having our own scheduling tool really helped us keep ahold of everything. And it really becomes important when artificial intelligence becomes a part of the overall play because all of those little touch points become really important to understand the customer.
Jim Marous: It's interesting. I'm just going to take my own example that I'm a small business, I'm a publisher. I believe there's probably people within my business bank that have capabilities in my field or at least have other customers that have the same needs as me. The beauty of digital is not only can you measure these things, but as you mentioned, you can actually do a better job of targeting and bringing together the resources that can better serve my needs. Maybe it's not publishing, but maybe it's a similar field.So really, the beauty of digital is this is all trackable. It's all measurable. It's all targeting that can be done better now than ever before.
Jim Marous: With the pandemic and the impact on customer engagement overall, what are some of the trends that you saw in the need to schedule and the need to interact with digital platforms?
Tom Chang: Yeah, COVID brought about a lot of new use cases because financial advisors, wealth advisors, they weren't able to meet with their clients. So being able to expose their calendar to people allowed a lot more self-service. So people were able to schedule appointments through our scheduling tool with their advisors. One of the most important things there is the ability for omnichannel scheduling. So it's no longer in person. It's more Zooms, it's your Hangouts, all these digital channels of engagement, and being able to schedule those was really important.
Tom Chang: Typically for a lot of customers like you and I Jim, when we reach our bank, we call an 800 number and in order to get to the right person, you're transferred around multiple times, and then a lot of times it's just not a satisfying engagement. But if you can schedule an appointment with the right person, the right time with the right channel that you want to engage with and you're comfortable with through COVID, that was the key thing. And a lot of the Ang started realizing that we have to connect our customers with the right person when they want to do it. So that omnichannel started emerging. I mean everyone really knew that Zoom was available, but scheduling around it and digital meetings never really happened before. And now scheduling those appointments, those omnichannel capabilities really became an emerging trend.
Tom Chang: I think another thing that banks are preparing for getting back to normal is something they're calling lobby management, like you just don't want all of your clients coming into the bank in random and then cluttering the lobby and maybe increasing the chances of spreading the virus, as an example. So using scheduling technology where they can schedule appointments with either a branch, the right person in a branch, or an omnichannel capability, gives them more of a sense that they can get what they want to get taken care of in a personalized way without just showing up randomly in the bank. Which a lot of times if they had a question let's say about home equity, they might not be able to connect to the right person. It'll be an underwhelming experience. So scheduling and in terms of lobby management kind of go hand in hand in my view, and that's a big thing that's emerging in banks as well.
Jim Marous: You know, you bring up an interesting point. When I get reached out from my branch manager or my assistant manager, I really don't think they understand my business and they're not really bringing all the resources of the bank to bear on my situation. But with this omnichannel capability of scheduling, there'd be a way for a branch manager to know who they should bring into the call, be able to schedule it so that not only do I and him communicate with each other, but he can bring other people into the meeting either in a branch situation with a Zoom call still, or it all being handled through a Zoom call. But this is made much easier through this type of scheduling call. It's not just a scheduler says, "Oh, you have a meeting at 10:00." It's who do you bring to this meeting? What resource do you bring to bear? Correct?
Tom Chang: Oh, totally. And you're hitting it on the head of where the power of our scheduler product works. So Jim, imagine if you can just go to a site and say, "I have some questions about my home equity and I want to speak to my financial advisor." And by default and behind the scenes, it may also bring in a mortgage specialist to include in the meeting. And it'll go across those two calendars with your financial advisor and the mortgage specialist, and find the slots that are available that you can select, and by default will include the right parties in that. So I know one of the things that banks are concerned about is compliance as an example. Maybe we can start to bring in the right compliance officer or a legal person into a discussion when it's necessary to fulfill compliance needs. Or another example is in the case where you want to start tracking those appointments for compliance, KYC as in an example, you have to reach out to the client every once in a while, make sure you're in touch with what their needs are and what they're looking for. We can start to track those activities as well automated through these scheduling capabilities.
Jim Marous: So what's interesting is if you take this a step further, it gives the branch person the tools of knowing who in their organization may be best for any specific question. But we don't have to confide it to that, do we? I mean we could bring in outside parties through this same tool and say, "Oh, we need to bring in an agriculture specialist, or we need to bring in a tax specialist or a payroll specialist," that may not reside within the bank, but can make the relation have stronger. And this is almost like an open banking solution where you can bring in the resources needed to bring the best possible solution, which certainly improves engagement level, improves the customer experience. It makes it so that I may rely on my branch a little bit more than I ever have before, where right now I'm saying, "The brand itself really doesn't serve me. I wish I knew where this person was or this person," but it also gives the tools to the branch person to help them understand what the bank can do, can't it?
Tom Chang: Yeah, absolutely. I mean you're hitting it on the head. Scheduling internal resources, that's one thing because you always have to match up calendars, but then bringing in the right resources like you said Jim. Like an example is if you're dealing with a trust with a banker, maybe you have to bring in your spouse, and you don't necessarily have to go and schedule everything. You can have the solution handle it. And if it's someone that's not easily accessible, maybe someone that's handling the trust or some other financial advisor, you can automatically bring them into that scheduled appointment.
Jim Marous: Well, you look at things such as overseas funds transfers and things that are not normally handled by every financial institution, they have partners in this game that they reference when needed. These can be brought into the scheduling tool so it really becomes a better understanding of what the organization can provide as a whole and things like charities and everything else. It's really interesting how this could really become much bigger and much more important than simply scheduling meetings. There's a lot of scheduling tools in the marketplace. How does a financial institution justify the investment? Is this type of tool accessible to organizations of all size, or is this just really a tool that's for the biggest organizations?
Tom Chang: Yeah. I mean the beauty of Salesforce providing our own Salesforce scheduler tool is that it's already part of the platform. So what it does is it eliminates a lot of [inaudible 00:12:38] integration, which used to happen in the past where you needed to integrate multiple platforms and try to consolidate the data. So a single platform where you can just turn it on or off, or basically use configuration to set it up, is a huge factor. It saves organizations of any size a ton of time, which makes it feasible for them to deploy the solution.
Tom Chang: And that was the ultimate goal is let's eliminate points of failure through integration. Let's make it a seamless component of Salesforce. Just like managing a lead or an opportunity, we can manage scheduling. It's just a part of the entire process. And so, that was really important directive I think when Scheduler first came to bear is just let's keep it on the Salesforce platform, let's keep it simple. Let's make it easy for financial institutions to deploy.
Tom Chang: And I think it takes out the complexity, which small organizations typically are worried about. Like I have to deal with now IT teams to put together two platforms and integrate it properly and maintain it, all that is gone, so it makes it reasonable for all sizes.
Jim Marous: That's interesting. We talk about this quite a bit on this show is that organizations have gotten better and better at working with other solution providers. But more importantly, the solution providers have really worked very hard on using the data, using the back office, using the capabilities of organizations of all sizes that have different levels of complexity and levels of maturity in different areas. So it really helps that again, I don't have to bring on more people to be able to implement this type of solution. I can really just partner with Salesforce and make it so this is almost like a turnkey. I mean nothing's ever as turnkey as we think it's going to be, but it certainly makes it easier to implement.
Jim Marous: So what is the return on investment? When you look at the cost, how do organizations right now offset that with revenue? How do they measure that?
Tom Chang: Yeah, I mean all the things that you've mentioned Jim, like being like a car dealer or being even like a restaurant using Open Table, just a better customer experience, whereas a customer you feel like you can reach out to the right person at your own preference, at your time, at your date and your channel that you want to meet with. I think a lot of banks today don't provide that, rely on an 800 number, like I said, and the experience is usually underwhelming. You're channeled through IVR multiple times. You're transferred between people multiple times. And they don't really know who you are other than reading your record on a screen, which is just an underwhelming experience. So I think some of these things are tangible with revenue, but a lot of these things are just bringing about loyalty, things of, "What a great experience my bank gives me. I can't wait to bring them more business because the experience is so great."
Tom Chang: Like if I can have access to my financial advisor's calendar all the time and say, "Hey, I just want to do a quick phone call for 15 minutes," I mean that's something that most banks can't do today. So I think that's where some things are very tangible I think revenue-wise that will help increase existing customer base, more deposits, more products. And then from word of mouth beyond that of people saying, "This is just the best bank." It's like saying you should use certain products because I'm just having a great experience with them. Word of mouth is a great way to drive revenue there as well.
Jim Marous: Now does this also ... this [inaudible 00:16:31] to also automate and dictate the followup process. So in other words, most integrations or most conversations aren't going to end there. Does this build in the capability of being able to do followup monitoring and be able to send out the invites to the various parties to be able to fulfill on that? Because I'll tell you what, that's where things fall through the cracks. I mean they do it me, and I'm not even a big business. To be able to do that followup and have that automated or at least make it so that if a meeting isn't specifically set up, it gets into a rotation where these are sent then to those calling officers that may be in charge of the relationship.
Tom Chang: Yeah. I mean once you start the scheduling process, everything is basically tracked. So even if you abandon it, we can notify the relationship manager or financial advisor and say, "Hey, they were thinking about scheduling an appointment. Maybe you should reach out to them," and give them those notifications. And then once appointments are scheduled, of course we're going to send reminders to everybody, give them a link to allow them to reschedule or cancel if they need to. So all of those are standard capabilities within Schedule It.
Jim Marous: So, it's interesting. We meet with a lot of different organizations that have amazing solutions that some of which I'm not even sure if I knew they were out there to begin with. And we discussed this a lot and banks and credit unions love the concept, but sometimes they don't move forward. In your experience, what holds organizations back from saying yes or signing on the dotted line, even though they love what your solution can do?
Tom Chang: Yeah, it's an interesting challenge I think for a lot of business leaders because they know that this technology is best for their customers. Where they start to get worried or a little concerned is the adoption of internal users. I mean for a lot of financial advisors or wealth advisors, exposing your calendar, technically exposing it to a other people and giving away control of your calendar, is a little nerve-wracking for them. And so imposing those capabilities on their users and concerned about adoption I think is a lot of times a big worry of users of banks that end up not deploying it.
Jim Marous: Yeah, it's interesting because we all always talk about the wealth advisors. They're very, very protective of all data and all the experiences and of their time. But I think that when you look at a branch person, it really isn't just the wealth advisor that can benefit from this. Basically everybody in the organization can. And what's interesting too from what you've discussed, the ability to bring together in one place, one clearinghouse, who in the organizations are specialists for different things, which right now in many organizations is not put in place really well. This really brings that all together into one database, for instance.
Tom Chang: Yeah, absolutely. I mean you're hitting it on the hit. I think across the banks, there may be teams that push back like wealth advisors, but for retail banking, it's a huge value. Like filling their time with valuable engagement is a big gain for all the banks because a lot of times they're not proactively reaching out to maybe the middle or bottom end of their book of business. But if you can proactively push engagements, even drive marketing to say, "Here, schedule an appointment with your advisor," it really becomes a valuable use of their time, especially if their user's in their book of business.
Jim Marous: Well, it's interesting too about the scheduler from Salesforce is the appointment can be initiated from either the consumer or the customer or the financial institution. So if I have a need, I can reach out, I can get on a scheduler and I can start the process. Or if I haven't talked to my bank for a long time, the bank manager or the wealth advisor or anybody else within the bank can initiate that and bring the entire group together. So I think what's nice is there's so much flexibility as to where the process starts and the simplicity of the process. Right now, we're overwhelmed by the demands of the day and, and sometimes to be able to have that scheduling capability and have something that automates it, but even more importantly automates the followup and the next steps, makes it so we don't lose these opportunities because right now efficiency and effectiveness are very important. The customer's time is very important. But to be able to bring the right solution to the right person at the right time, it's the key of marketing but it's also the key in this type of program.
Jim Marous: So for those organizations that do decide to go forward with this program, what are the biggest challenges that they have in implementing the scheduler process?
Tom Chang: Yeah, I mean some of the things that I've seen is typically some banks haven't really thought through what the actual skillsets are of their employees, so that this starts to make them think of like even simple things like Spanish speaking agents versus non Spanish. That's a simple thing that you just take for granted, but now you have to start putting it on paper and actually implementing those skillsets. So that's one thing. It's not hard. It's just really coming up with your internal processes and putting them on paper, which should be done anyway in my opinion. The other big challenge is if they use tools like Workforce Management or other scheduling type tools internally, integrating those with a scheduling tool could be somewhat complex depending on how deep they are into their processes with those external tools.
Jim Marous: So it's interesting because what you bring up here is the reason why you use an experienced third party provider. Building this from scratch, it's bigger than a bread box. You'd have to have a scheduler to schedule your scheduling meetings, but to work with a company like Salesforce or another provider that has vast experience in financial institutions, you're able to help an organization avoid those detours that can really cause a lot of time delay, but really don't bring results. In the same sense, you have a lot of examples of how to streamline the process of implementation to say, "Let's take a division at a time, let's take just the wealth management group or let's just take the branch system or whatever else." You're really able to, through your experiences, you know what pitfalls have happened in the past, you know where the delays happen, you know how to build the best ROI early so that you get re-engagement and get this to become a bigger thing than it would've been otherwise.
Jim Marous: So again, it's the benefit of using experienced third party providers that avoid that start from scratch thing. And I will say it, and I've said it in many of my podcasts recently, is that speed of decision making is another key element that there's a lot of providers out there that offer are different flavors of scheduling tools. The key element here from my perspective is for an organization to make a decision today rather than make an analysis for the next 18 months and coming up with an answer that's really probably not a whole lot different or a whole lot better than what you'd make today.
Jim Marous: And I bring up the examples of implementing mobile banking or implementing a lot of just different major things is that we get into the paralysis of analysis where we lose the opportunity to make money because of how long we take to make decisions. And I would encourage any listener to say whoever you work with, make the decision today to move forward. You're going to be better off than waiting for the longterm.
Jim Marous: So Tom, as far as getting engaged with Salesforce or finding out more about your solution, how do they get in touch with you or your organization around the scheduling tool?
Tom Chang: Yeah. If you've worked with Salesforce before and you have a relationship manager that you can reach out to, they'll be able to give you a full demo. They'll set up a full demo of Scheduler, probably ask you some questions and tailor to your needs as well. If you aren't familiar with Salesforce or have never worked with Salesforce, visit our website, just sign up. And what we will do is we use our own technology to assign the right person to communicate with you. You can find me on LinkedIn as well if you have any questions regarding the product, feel free. My name is Tom Chang, Salesforce, and happy to answer any of your questions as well.
Jim Marous: Tom, great having you on this show today. And it's interesting as I said, there's a lot of people that we have on the show that I go, "I didn't know this type or this depth of solution existed," and many times certainly don't know where it exists, where it resides. I can tell you and my producer Leah can certainly tell you that I could probably use a scheduling tool myself for my business because I'm not always the best in bringing the right parties together at the right time with the right solutions, and my followup is sometimes not as good as I'd like it to be. So Tom, thank you so much for being on the show today. I really appreciate all you've shared.
Tom Chang: Oh thank you. It's been a pleasure. Really enjoyed it. Thanks Jim.
Jim Marous: Thanks for listening to Banking Transformed Solutions, a new banking podcast that focuses on innovative solutions for financial institutions. We'd like to thank Salesforce, the sponsor today's show. If you are a solution provider wanting to discuss how you can help bankers and credit union executives solve a major marketplace challenge, drop me an email. We are keen to help.
Jim Marous: This has been a production of Evergreen Podcasts. A special thank you to our Producer, Leah Longbrake; Audio Engineer Sean Rule Hoffman; and Video Producer Will Pritts. I'm your host Jim Marous, until next time, remember relationships are won and lost based on how well organizations leverage internal resources to respond to specific customer needs.