Mobile Learning Platform Enabled A New Bank to Improve the Quality of Customer Interactions

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In this article, you’ll learn how a mobile learning application enabled a new bank to improve the quality of customer interactions. The mobile learning service provider dug down deep into identifying the problem faced by the bank and figured out ways to curb the training challenges.

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India is the largest microfinance market in the world (no pun intended). Though microfinance in India is restricted to simple, unsophisticated lending products, the sector has flourished by lending to hundreds of millions of unbanked, unserved and underserved citizens. It was, therefore, not surprising that, when RBI approved 10 India’s first small finance banks, it was not surprising that eight were microfinance institutions.

The Transition from MFI to Bank

Low-income borrowers, the traditional customer base of microfinance companies could only get one limited-size loan product. Small finance bank could offer its customers a wider range of products and services like remittances, insurance, or home or vehicle loans etc.

As a bank with a presence at high footfall locations, it attracts a wide array of customers, who are increasingly more knowledgeable and demanding. This is unlike microfinance companies that usually works with the community in their neighbourhood.

With exposure to varied customers, wider product portfolio and the need to comply with statutory requirement, one of the main challenges for the new bank was to enhance the overall knowledge and skill levels of people.  Most importantly their branch teams to manage customer interactions well and keep the CSat scores high.

The Problem

The bank had a strong and active L&D team management decided to focus on building capabilities of customer-facing teams operating from 100+ branches across the country. They knew about the problems which had to be addressed immediately – major ones listed below:

  1. Other than the 10 days of formal induction at Regional Training centres, most job-related training is done by the trainers travelling to branches occasionally or by managers. But it was not adequate or uniform.
  2. The existing learning management system was web-based and demanded continuous internet connectivity. Further, a large percentage of the staff were feet-on-street, making it inconvenient and less useful for them.
  3. While the LMS had a mobile interface, the user experience was unsatisfactory, as it was a rendition of the Web LMS and not a native mobile based corporate training application. It also didn’t work offline.
  4. LMS was used for mandatory compliance training and not for job-based learning.

The bank was looking for a new age platform with an intuitive mobile learning interface for its branch teams comprising 80% desk-less staff, along with support for SCORM based training, to ensure existing content didn’t end up being redundant.

The Process

HandyTrain was selected after a stringent evaluation of 10 probable vendors. One of the most important tasks which were part of the final evaluation was to visit the bank’s branches, listen to the voice of the Customers: understand concerns, identify expectations and highlight opportunities, all of which could be addressed from a single platform. Here are our findings based on inputs from at least 75 staff members from 7 bank branches.

The Findings

Despite having an e-learning platform, most feet-on-street and frontline staff were not exposed to the platform. Other than the classroom training, they did not have any training tools. Some of the other learnings were:  

  1.  Bank has a 10-day long induction program for new joinees conducted at respective Regional Offices. However, once the staff go back to their respective work locations, there is no way to reinforce the learning.
  2.  Retaining classroom learnings is difficult and leads to a lot of errors on the field – this increases the work of the operations team.
  3. Staff preferred to learn in their native language, as not all were conversant with English.
  4. Staff had to share common laptops at the training center. This leads to loss of productive work time or spending late hours in the office.
  5. A lot of queries come in form the frontline staff during their customer visits (on-field). However, it was impossible for Branch Managers and senior team members to be available at all times to address these queries. This leads to form filling errors, miscommunication and eventually repeat visits to the customer.
  6. On-field staff and Operations team struggle due to lack of refresher training, and non-availability of immediate access to training material.
  7. Managers are unable to give time for training sessions as it would pull them away from their core responsibilities.

The Implementation

HandyTrain, SaaS-based mobile learning and engagement platform was given the mandate. What worked in our favour was the intuitively simple interface for Users (Learners and Admins), ease of content creation, offline learning, multilingual support, automated communication engine, SCORM support and comfort with the HandyTrain Operations team during face to face interactions.

HandyTrain’s Customer Success team along with the bank’s L&D team created a launch plan with teaser emails, launch videos explaining how HandyTrain can be a catalyst, and an enabler to staff’s performance and growth. For obvious reasons, the app was called ‘Swayam’ – a learning tool which is for self-paced and self-initiated learning.

Today HandyTrain is used for learning and engagement of their branch staff during their entire lifecycle in the organization. Following are the training programs and other initiatives launched by the Bank.

a. Induction

Bank can publish day-wise onboarding content to new staff by leveraging HandyTrain and the power of hardware they already own – smartphones. Onboarding is on-time and seamless, learning is uniform and the staff is engaged from their first day at work.

b. Functional Training

With today’s dizzying pace of change and information overload, the frontline staff can’t always remember the right things to do, at the right moment, to keep one’s business moving in the right direction.

If one needs the sales staff to focus on upselling a particular product, or the collection team to learn new processes or regulatory requirements, one needs to provide this information at their fingertips. The bank’s admins created small modules of content on Product, Process, Regulatory Compliance training, etc. and made it available on HandyTrain on an on-going basis. Customer-facing staff now have all the information and are independent in their interactions with customers.

c. Behaviour and Soft Skills  

A critical need was to improve overall quality of their frontline resources. Whether it’s personal grooming or email etiquettes, the admins created or used HandyTrain’s content partners, to run targeted soft skills training programs for their large frontline teams.

d. Pop Quiz And Regular Assessments  

The staff is pleasantly surprised and kept on their toes at the same time, by measuring their retention through a surprise quiz.

e. Regular Updates And Knowledge Nuggets

Frontline staff are the face of the company and the first touch point for every customer. Their experience – positive or negative, builds the perception about the organization and determines possibilities of future interactions. HandyTrain’s guided authoring tool enabled Admins to create and deploy learning content, run assessments in quick time and award certificates automatically. For improving knowledge levels of the staff, regular banking industry updates in three different languages are sent every alternate day.

The Impact of Being Mobile-First

These are just some of the comments from the staff:

“A big thank you to the team. It’s really helpful to know more about my bank and its culture. I updated my banking knowledge through this app. 5 stars to the team!”.

“Really such a great place to grow knowledge, gain knowledge and increase the power of actuality.”

“A really good tool to learn about the organization, banking and details of  banking products.”

Overall metrics on learning improved – 90% of frontline staff are using HandyTrain on a monthly basis. 77% of the learners have given app rating of 4 Stars and above (out of 5). Bank achieved 72% training completion on learners initiated a particular program. This is encouraging considering MOOCs have an abysmally low completion rate of 5% and traditional LMS not more than 25% on non-mandatory courses. Today we are working with the bank to further improve adoption and engagement with the app in the coming year.