The digital/in-person life of a financial institution’s customer is rapidly shifting. Interactions with branches have lessened, but still remain thoroughly important, serving as key moments for brand differentiation. Understanding this dynamic and the way customers think about brands based on this shifting landscape can help your organization deliver the highest possible service.
Digital Only Struggles to Make a Connection
It’s worth noting that customer who are digital-only tend to be the most dissatisfied. The combination of a lack of personality and potential issues or tasks that can’t be accomplished online may contribute to this issue. Financial institutions can encourage customers to visit a branch, reflecting the biggest demographic of customers and those who tend to be more satisfied.
However, Millennials are increasingly digital-only, a trend that is here to stay. Because of this, financial institutions need to ensure they leave no stone unturned when considering their own digital experience. This means ensuring individual touch points delight their customers, thinking about the overall customer journey in which those touch points lay, and finding unique communication strategies to differentiate themselves in a digital-only venue.
Mid-Size Institutions Close the Digital Divide
Because mid-size institutions tend to have more in-person customers than large institutions, the fact that they’re improving in the digital space makes them uniquely positioned to do well in the present and near future. Digital and mobile interfaces, which were once exclusive to the largest organizations who had the financial power to pioneer the digital path, are now more accessible and less expensive to mid-sized financial institutions, and their performance has caught up with the major players.
The Importance of Omni-Channel
Due to the often complex nature of branch visits, having a throughly thought out and fine-tuned omni-channel experience helps to eliminate growing pains in the branch experience. Customers will want to get to the heart of their issue, and providing interfaces where universal bankers can quickly familiarize themselves with a new customer will cut down on their background research time, allowing them to focus on the human in front of them. Customers will feel like their time is being respected, and that your organization has a pulse on their status as a customer and what they want from your financial institution.
Digital-Leaning Branch Visitors
Customers who tend to interact with your brand in a more digital sense, especially younger audiences, can be considered “high stakes” branch visitors. These infrequent visits present unique opportunities to engage them in a way that leaves an impression on them. Often, these infrequent visitors will come in with a complex issue or request. Your financial institution’s ability to handle this request can help solidify your place in their minds as a brand that is invested in their well-being. Failure might leave a lasting impression that causes them to seek out competitors or change their financial institution.
It’s important to note that these individuals follow their digital tendencies across different brands and purchase categories. In this way, despite less interactions, branch visitors should truly be viewed as an opportunity. Organizations that write off these individuals as only caring about digital platforms ignore important moments for their brand’s impression at their own peril.