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ATMs are part of a robust customer service strategy

ATMs are part of a robust customer service strategy

ATM technology offers a variety of conveniences for bank customers and credit union members, which contributes to a stronger overall experience. However, convenience is only part of the picture , according to an article from customer experience consultant Micah Solomon published in Retail Customer Experience. Financial institutions must understand how their ATMs contribute to long-term customer retention plans. 

Cash is still highly important to consumers. In fact, the overall number of ATMs installed around the world could grow by as much as 44 percent between 2012 and 2018, ATM Marketplace stated, citing RBR's "Global ATM Market and Forecasts to 2018" report. High consumer demand for ATMs is expected to continue in both developing and mature economies.

As financial institutions continue to expand their ATM offerings, these organizations may be better able to reach unbanked and underbanked individuals. While there are a number of factors that have traditionally caused the unbanked population to avoid seeking financial services, one of the primary issues is a lack of access. Expanding ATMs to more areas could help financial institutions connect with a potential new customer base. ATM Marketplace pointed out that it is typically more cost-effective to deploy ATMs in new locations than opening an entirely new branch. Because cash is still widely used by many customers, this move could significantly increase convenience.

ATM expansion could raise customer loyalty
Not only could more ATMs help reach the unbanked and underbanked population, but they could also give financial institutions a way to boost loyalty from their existing customer and member bases. Convenience is highly beneficial to individuals, but customers will be more likely to remember a high-quality overall experience rather than just the ATM, Solomon suggested. Still, expanding offerings allows financial institutions to devote themselves to providing excellent customer service to each individual. ATMs are simply one step in the process. 

June 6, 2014