Branch Audio Systems Crank Up the Volume on In-Person Banking

By using network audio systems, financial institutions can reinforce Covid-19 health guidelines while also improving consumer health and safety. This will support efforts to re-open branches as the nation begins the 'new normal' in earnest.

In this era of online banking, drawing people into retail branches can be a challenge. Consumers like the convenience of banking from their home or mobile device. It saves time. It’s secure. And especially during Covid-19, they feel it’s safer than face-to-face contact. Does this mean in-branch banking has become obsolete?

Certainly not. Personalized, face-to-face customer service will always have a place in retail banking. The challenge is finding inventive ways to entice people through the door.

To that end, many retail banks and credit unions are exploring how innovative technology can help them make the in-person, in-branch experience more inviting. For instance, adding video analytics to a traditional video surveillance system can give them greater insight into consumer traffic and what steps they might take to improve customer service and satisfaction.

Everything from reducing wait times and optimizing staffing schedules to tracking the success of marketing campaigns to pinpointing and resolving service performance issues.

But is there more that retail branches can do to keep the consumer experience fresh and attractive?

Absolutely. Stephen Joseph, Segment Development Manager, Banking and Financial Sector, Axis Communications, Inc., offers some insights on how financial institutions can use Axis network audio systems to help people feel better about stepping into brick-and-mortar locations.

“Creating a good atmosphere, one in which people feels safe and secure, increases their positivity towards the brand,” Joseph said. “Whether it’s subtle background music to lift the mood or timely health and safety announcements or security alerts regarding Covid-19 protocols, an Axis network audio system can be a strategic tool for cementing customer loyalty and improving sales in your brick-and-mortar branches.”

Covid-19 Tips & Tricks:

Use an Axis network audio system with reminders to mask up, practice social distancing, and use hand sanitizer. This helps reassure people the branch is following health guidelines and providing a safe place to conduct their business.

Joseph also notes that creating a more positive experience has an equally positive affect on employee morale and job satisfaction, which, in turn, can lead to even better customer service.

What Is an Axis Network Audio System?

An Axis network audio system is a complete audio solution in a single device. The all-in-one unit comes with all the hardware and software you need to get up and running quickly. There’s nothing extra you need to buy.

“The great thing about the unit is that it’s simple to install and use,” Joseph said. “Just plug it into a PoE port and it’s connected to the network. You can easily integrate it with the branch’s VoIP telephone system for live announcements and alerts. Or you can preprogram it for scheduled broadcasts.”

Unlike a fixed analog system, an Axis network audio system is flexible, scalable, and intelligent. “You can add and remove speakers, change audio zones and content as needed without rewiring the entire system,” Joseph said. “The system gives you so many amazing options at your fingertips.”

Axis Communications branch audio systems

How Axis Audio Technology Addresses Retail Banking Issues

When people walk through the door, they expect to feel safe and secure transacting their business. Axis network audio can provide them that extra assurance they crave. Let’s look at a few scenarios where the Axis technology can come into play.

Security:
Branches can link an Axis network audio system to their existing security systems — video surveillance cameras, video and audio analytics, and access control systems — to trigger timely and targeted audio warnings and alerts.

For instance, in an attempted robbery the command center could broadcast a specific tone through the audio system that lets back office branch staff know the police have been dispatched while keeping the perpetrator in the dark.

Safety:
When a surveillance camera detects suspicious loitering in the ATM lobby or night depository drop box it can trigger a pre-recorded message from the network audio system warning the individual to vacate the premises. Or it can trigger an audio alert to security staff to investigate the situation.

Health:
As the consumer crosses the threshold, crossline detection analytics embedded in the security camera can trigger the network audio system to remind them to wear a mask, practice social distancing, and use the hand sanitizer at the door.

Marketing:
The branch can pipe in timed marketing messages through the Axis audio network system to generate interest in new products or services.

Ambiance:
The branch can play music or financial news through the Axis network audio system to build brand recognition.

Because Axis network audio systems are built on an open platform, there are plenty of options for adding third-party applications that could address the unique needs of a particular retail branch—from queue management to occupancy control.

Branches can use the technology to direct people to the next available teller, request they wait outside if the branch is currently at maximum occupancy, and so much more.

The myriad ways the technology can help improve the consumer experience are only limited by one’s imagination.

How Axis Audio Fits Into Existing Branch Technology

Whether the branch is upgrading an existing analog system or installing a network solution from the ground up, Axis offers several future-proof options.

Axis’ award-winning network horn speaker offers consumers a high-quality loudspeaker that projects crystal-clear audio over long distances. Through Voice over IP (VoIP), an operator can remotely deliver live messages or program the horn to automatically broadcast a pre-recorded audio file in response to an activity triggered by a network camera or network access control system.

“Mounting a horn near a network camera and adding analytics is a cost-effective way to turn a passive security system into a proactive deterrence solution,” explains Joseph.

Axis’ network cabinet speaker and network ceiling speaker each offer people a complete, high-quality, all-in-one loudspeaker that brings intelligence from the rack to the edge. These devices feature an amplifier, scheduling and health monitoring capabilities, recorded messages, and more. They can be used to broadcast live messages, stream music and/or schedule pre-recorded announcements across the entire network or to targeted zones as needed.

What if you don’t have the budget to replace your legacy analog audio system but want to add scheduling, analytics, messaging and more? Axis has just the answer!

Axis’ network audio amplifier and network audio bridge provide a passive analog audio system with network capabilities. These simple plug-in devices allow analog systems and network speakers to work in unison, fully leveraging music streaming, live and pre-recorded announcements, scheduling, system health monitoring, and more without having to rip and replace your legacy investment.

Creating a Better Brick-and-Mortar Experience

For brick-and-mortar to continue co-existing in an online banking world, it needs to offer people an attractive reason to conduct their financial business in person. By integrating Axis network audio systems into their security solutions, banks and credit unions can create a more welcoming, safe, and secure environment to draw people through the door.

Additional Resources:
Axis Audio Management Software explains how Axis audio management software helps you efficiently manage and control your audio system regardless of its size and complexity.

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