CBA is expanding a virtual contact centre construct by re-assigning staff from about 10 percent of its branches to spend their afternoons answering calls instead.
The bank unveiled plans to adjust the operating hours of 90 branches in regional areas to 9.30am to 1pm.
Staff at the branches would then switch to answering calls as part of CBA's national call centre operations from 1.45pm.
CBA said its branch teams would be trained to ensure they feel comfortable and confident performing contact centre activities in the afternoon.
“We’re expanding our Australian-based contact centre network from five dedicated locations to over 90 communities across the country, while keeping a physical banking presence in regional communities,” executive general manager of the customer service network Mark Jones said in a statement.
The bank did not respond to further questions from iTnews about its virtual contact centre setup or the software it used.
The new branch trading hours are expected to come into effect for NSW, SA and WA in mid-September while QLD, Victoria and Tasmania will see changes early October. A full list of branches impacted by the announcement is available here.
CBA noted that customers in the regional areas could access CBA services via Bank@Post at Australian Post outlets, or via ATMs, in addition to morning branch visits.
The pandemic has pushed banks and other customer service-dependent industries to experiment with new customer support models.
iTnews understands the 90 branches that will adopt the new operating model were selected to ensure the model could run effectively at a national scale.
CBA said foot traffic in its branches had generally reduced since 2020.
This has coincided with a significant increase in customers self-serving on the app or via NetBank.
CBA reported 6.8 million CommBank app logins per day over the past financial year, peaking at 10.7 million daily logins on the app and NetBank in April 2021.