Looking to 2020, consumers worldwide are banking in more ways than ever before, and there’s one commonality that has emerged: omnichannel. Consumers are banking by phone, in-branch, and online – it’s all steeped in convenience and preference.
Consumers expect their banks and credit unions to provide them with omnichannel financial services experiences, connecting with them whenever, wherever, and on whatever devices they prefer. They no longer just want online experiences or offline experiences – they mandate more fluid processes, transcending digital and physical opportunities with consistency between touchpoints.
For banks, the opportunity lies in maintaining a consistent relationship with prospects and customers – online and face-to-face – to engage in powerful conversations that drive loyalty and ignite exceptional experiences. To successfully achieve this, banks must allow their customers to make seamless transitions from online channels to offline ones – if they don’t, they’ll jeopardize their relationships and businesses.
JRNI’s third annual Modern Consumer Banking Report identifies the key trends in omnichannel banking based on the behavior of 2,000 U.S. and U.K. consumers from June 2019 to July 2019.
Here are some of the highlights:
Engage consumers via omnichannel banking
Omnichannel shopping for banking products and services is accelerating globally. On average, 55% of consumers, up from 48% in 2016, research banking products online, and purchase in-branch. Alternatively, 44% of consumers, up from 37% in 2016, on average, research banking products in-branch, but purchase online.
There is good news for banks as 46% of consumers prefer to meet with financial planners in-branch, as opposed to 18% who prefer to do so online, signaling strong desire for in-person meetings.
Offer online appointments for personalized conversations
Consumers want more face-to-face interactions with their banks, which is why 61% of respondents, on average, are interested in scheduling appointments online to meet with branch staff. In fact, 35% of consumers, up from 25% of consumers in 2016, on average, visit banks to talk face-to-face.
When customers meet with branch representatives in-person, they can have more personalized conversations, ask more complex questions, and establish stronger relationships. Most importantly, appointments help bridge the digital-to-physical divide and allow banks to put the convenience of scheduling directly into the hands of their customers.
Organize in-branch events to foster loyal communities
Providing exclusive in-branch events is another opportunity for banks to enhance customer experiences, cultivate brand advocacy, and forge trustworthy communities.
Banks must prioritize events because consumers are interested in attending them. While only 20% of consumers, on average, have been invited to banking events over the past year, 63% of them, on average, would consider attending events.
Bringing like-minded customers together bolsters banks’ chances to garner feedback about products or services. When customers share their candid thoughts with banks, they can initiate two-way dialogues that yield strategic relationships – the foundation of loyal communities.
Refine in-branch experiences for customers
While 72% of consumers rate their in-branch experiences as “good” or “excellent,” there are some areas where banks must improve.
Respondents said wait times, staff knowledge, and convenience are the most important areas where banks must enhance their services. We found that:
67% of consumers want banks to reduce time spent waiting in lines.
69% of consumers want staff to increase their knowledge of products and services.
70% of consumers want more convenient locations to bank.
When banks create great customer experiences, they’ll achieve more loyalty and foot traffic.
Connect with consumers... now
Customers’ experiences with banks used to be universal, but they now want tailored approaches for their banking needs.
Consumers expect to open loans online, and complete transactions in-branch, and they want to make appointments at the most convenient times for them to open new accounts or obtain lines of credit. They want to attend in-branch events to learn more about products and services and build relationships. Online booking solutions enable institutions and companies to manage all of these omnichannel banking interactions effortlessly.
Banks must engage consumers across channels and deliver remarkable experiences. If they don’t, they’ll lose to the competition. Check out our Modern Consumer Banking Report for actionable insights about the modern banking consumer!