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ATMs play a central role in customer satisfaction at banks

Despite a high level of change in the banking industry in recent years, ATMs continue to be one of the most common ways customers interact with their neighborhood financial institutions.

These machines are on the front lines, providing customers easy access to basic banking services. As a result, it's essential for branches to pay close attention to the user-friendliness and overall experience their ATMs provide.

The banking industry knows all too well about the importance of customer experience. ATM Marketplace issued a report, titled "2015 ATM and Self-Service Software Trends," which explored how financial institutions interpret the relationships with their patrons. Citing data from Ernst and Young, the report said negative experiences are the No. 1 reason why customers close their bank accounts and head elsewhere.

ATMs also fulfill a need for self service

Banks often focus on ATMs when thinking about what would improve the overall experience at their branches. According to the ATM Marketplace report, 66 percent of banks surveyed said they are focusing on adding more functionality to these machines based on feedback from account holders. Forty percent are interested in offering more self-service options to their customers.

The growing interest in self-service banking is one of the main reasons many financial institutions are rethinking the look and feel of their branches. With more competition from mobile technology, the need to serve customers in the most convenient way possible is stronger than ever before.

The demand for ATMs with more functionality and accessibility means banks also need machines that can withstand an increase in traffic. Reliable hardware and software is a must for making sure any branch transformation effort succeeds in the long run.

July 11, 2016