As digital innovation continues to evolve, so does the way consumers interact with the brands and businesses around them. While banks and other financial institutions have made efforts to adapt to this ever-changing landscape, not all digital transformation strategies are created equal.
We thought it might be helpful to share a few key insights and approaches that have been successful for leading financial institutions.
1. Provide consistent service across all channels
Research shows that consumers expect (but don’t always receive) a consistent level of service regardless of how they’re engaging their bank–whether by visiting the brick-and-mortar, going online, or talking over the phone.
However, leading banks have managed to provide a full customer experience by truly understanding how to optimize each channel and the service that accompanies it.
For example, simple day-to-day transactions should be reliably satisfied through the bank’s mobile app or an ATM, while more complex interactions that require expertise and guidance should encourage branch visits.
Capital One is a great example of a financial institution that has been highly-lauded for their app and in-branch experience with their famed Capital One Cafés.
Leading banks and credit unions have implemented technology, like appointment scheduling, to drive customers with more complex requests into the branch. These are the institutions that are truly able to refer to their strategies as omnichannel.
2. Exceptional in-branch experiences
While data shows that in-branch traffic has significantly decreased due to online options, branches are an increasingly valuable asset for upsell opportunities and still serve as a place to establish customer trust.
In the US alone, 67% of customers would visit their bank branches more often if they were given more access to trained staff. This is a huge opportunity for banks, but they simply need to optimize their staff to allow that higher level of customers interaction.
Oriental Bank, one of the largest banks in Puerto Rico, was facing a similar challenge. They wanted to give their customers enough face time, while keeping administration time at a minimum. Oriental Bank chose to introduce an appointment scheduling solution for their in-branch services, which decreased customer wait time by 80% and ensured employees were more prepared for each appointment.
3. Community building through events & education
One of the largest opportunities identified for the financial industry, specifically banks and credit unions, was hosting events to further connect with customers and build a community around branch locations.
Across the US and UK, only 11% of respondents had ever been invited to a bank’s event, yet 85% said they would consider attending if invited. This is a great opportunity for established banks to better connect with their customers and educate them about financial planning. Whether services offered include classes, services, or workshops, all are a great way to establish trust.
This ultimately achieves the personal peace of mind we all crave around having confidence in our future financial planning – a key element to maintaining a lengthy and mutually beneficial relationship.
As you can see, the financial industry will continue to evolve as consumer behavior and demand evolve. It’s so important to stay connected to what’s happening in the market, and also to ask customers directly what they want.