Monday, July 13, 2009

Improving Teller Line Service

By Mark Brousseau

While online banking continues to grow in popularity, there is still a significant population that prefers to do its banking at the local branch. This is indicated in a recent study that found that 92 percent of all U.S. households have used a bank branch within the last 30 days. Because of this, it is important that financial institutions not lose site of maintaining efficiency and excellent customer service at their teller lines, says Hugh Clary, vice president of Monrovia, CA-based Addmaster Corporation. An easy, yet oftentimes overlooked, way of ensuring this is to use the latest teller line peripherals that enable tellers to better interact with customers, reduce technical error and quickly process checks and produce legible receipts, Clary adds.

Enable better interaction with customers
Clary notes that some of the latest teller receipt validation printers feature smaller designs, ergonomic improvements and quieter operation that enables tellers to better interact with customers. Smaller printer sizes reduce clutter and free up counter space at the teller window– providing a professional organized workspace that customers notice when interacting with tellers. Newer printers feature ergonomic improvements that simplify roll paper loading and improve form insertion. "This makes it easier for tellers to operate the machinery and focus more on customers," Clary says. "Newer ink-jet and thermal printer models are also considerably quieter than earlier serial dot-matrix printers. These new features enable tellers to concentrate more on making eye contact with customers, engage them in conversation and ask questions that can possibly lead to higher product and service sales."

Reduce technical errors
New teller receipt printers also feature integrated microprocessors and electronics for increased reliability, as well as standard see-through tear bars or optional metal tear bars. "These improvements reduce the risk of technical error such as paper jams, uneven tearing and print formatting problems," Clary says. "These problems can increase customers’ wait times and potentially damage the printers if not quickly addressed. New technology can greatly expedite teller line processes, especially when tellers – and customers– do not have to deal with the frustrating technical difficulties often brought on by outdated peripherals."

Quickly process checks and produce legible receipts
Improvements in new, automated check scanners dramatically decrease the manual workload of bank tellers, delivering a time savings of as much as 125 percent when compared to manually entered transactions, Clary says. Plus, new scanner features reduce the risk of leaving a batch of checks with an error since potential errors and check-validity problems are caught before a transaction is completed. Also, modern image quality and image usability tools immediately alert tellers of checks that are poorly scanned. "These tools help expedite check processing for tellers while further reducing the risk of costly errors," he explains.

New teller receipt printers are also capable of a wider variety of fonts and printer formats. Certain printers are compatible with a number of high performance print cartridges that operate at speeds as quick as 15 lines per second with resolutions as high as 600 DPI. These advances can maintain or improve service by providing higher quality receipts and transaction throughput–items that will undoubtedly be noticed by customers, Clary says.

"While the numerous improvements that have been made to teller line technologies may seem small, they can make a big impact on customer service in bank branches by enabling better interaction with customers, reducing technical errors and expediting check processing and producing quality receipts," Clary says. "And, because many of the new devices that feature these improvements also host a variety of customizable features that enable them to easily replace different printer brands or integrate into existing systems, banks can update their branches at minimal cost."

What do you think? Post your comments below.

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