As we've adapted to new ways of life since the beginning of the pandemic, many brick-and-mortar businesses have had to completely transform their strategies to survive and thrive. One strategy that many have implemented during COVID-19 is curbside pickup for businesses. While curbside pickup is not a new concept , it continues to become more popular as customers look for ways to safely engage with retailers, banks, grocery stores, restaurants and other storefronts.
Curbside pickup is on the rise
The popularity of curbside pickup has grown dramatically over the past several months - in fact, curbside pickup for businesses increased more than 208% from April 1 - 20, 2020 as compared to the same period in the prior year. According to a recent study on COVID-19 consumer behavior shifts, 87% of consumers said they want businesses to continue to offer a curbside pickup service and other options that curtail the need for in-person visits.
The demand for curbside pickup will continue to impact retail store strategies as the possibility of lockdown looms across the globe. While curbside pickup has become an integral part of many retailers' offerings to improve the customer experience, banks and financial institutions also have a major opportunity to capitalize on the success of this type of service. From pickup options to on-site financial services, curbside service can give banks a competitive edge and help improve bank branch performance .
Customers want the option and convenience of getting something immediately, or at least same-day. A curbside pickup experience can provide the safety and quick turnaround that customers expect
An opportunity for banks to shine
One of the first changes banks made during the pandemic was to offer drive-thru banking - safe and similar to a curbside option. As part of their digital transformation, banks have the opportunity to create an experience unlike any other and to stand out by offering curbside service in addition to drive-thru banking. Here are a few examples of what your bank could offer as a part of your curbside strategy:
Pick up a new debit or credit card
Drop off or pick up financial documents
Open or close an account
Debit card orders
Some banks are testing the availability of a few services with a plan to expand, or create a curbside service per branch based on employee availability and expertise. As an additional option for customers who still want to meet in-person, banks may deploy virtual queuing . This service option enables customers to wait safely in their cars until it is their turn to meet with branch staff.
Clear communication equals a better customer experience
What's the most important aspect of curbside pickup for businesses? Clear and concise communication! Customers are anxious about new processes and regulations surrounding COVID-19, so you want to provide clear instructions on what they need to do. Similar to how you updated your branches with clear signage and communication about hours and COVID-19 policies, any new curbside service should be managed with the same attention to detail. Things you should consider communicating to customers prior to and at arrival:
Parking or pickup area details
Check in instructions
Required documents or identification
Car details or license plate information
Wait time details
Any communication should be personalized based on the type of curbside service for maximum customer experience. For example, if someone is picking up a new debit card, you should clearly communicate what they need to have ready to show a staff member, such as identification and bank account information. Whatever your service or process, ensure you set your customers and staff members up for success!
If you are able to clearly communicate and provide an exceptional experience, customers are more likely to use your curbside pickup service again, and spread the word to friends and family members.
Curbside pickup is here to stay
As consumer behaviors have shifted during COVID-19, so have their expectations. Whether today or post-pandemic, one thing is certain: curbside pickup for businesses is here to stay and your customers want more of it. If you haven't already, now is the time to rethink how you typically do business to provide better experiences and peace of mind. By improving the customer experience through new, engaging, and safe curbside options, you can increase customer satisfaction, build customer loyalty, and drive revenue growth.