American Banker: Digital Training for Bankers Paying Off in Coronavirus Crisis

These days, social distancing means it’s unwise for a teller to look over a customer’s shoulder or whip out a tablet for a quick demo when the customer needs help, say, depositing a check by phone — if the bank is even letting customers visit branches at all.

But banks that have invested heavily in training their employees to be more digitally savvy are finding themselves well prepared to support customers who need to replicate in-person transactions online or by app.

At the same time, they have had to creatively tweak their tactics as branches transition to drive-through lanes, allow visits by appointment only, or close completely to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“Now is time to be equipping branch staff to educate every customer that comes in with account questions,” said Bob Meara, senior analyst at Celent. “In the past, it was kind of nice — ‘We love to see you, come as often as you want, but there’s a way to do it without leaving home.’ In today’s environment this is not just a courtesy, but ’it’s really important we show you how to do this, and someone is here right now to help you.’”

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