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Moving Your Small/Mid-Sized Community Financial Institution to Digital

Small and mid-sized community financial institutions have always performed well when it comes to in-branch customer satisfaction. However, the according to The Financial Brand, community financial institution customers are most often dissatisfied with their FI’s digital capabilities and experience when compared to large national banks. By leveraging your internal staff, seeking out the right talent and taking ownership over your digital transformation, your community financial institution can be competitive with the big banks in digital and take your organization to the next level.

Involvement at All Levels

Using your human resources, get your entire organization involved. Community banks and credit unions do exceptionally well with branch satisfaction. Highlight your staff’s hard work, and explain how that same high level of customer satisfaction has to translate to digital. Forming digital project teams to oversee various processes and digital components, whether it login security, mobile deposits, or online chatbots, and have them investigate and give feedback on those different processes. By allowing various teams to focus on specific online activities, your organization can take your digital transformation piece by piece and make sure you’re performing well on key touchpoints.

Importantly, make sure your staff feels a sense of ownership. Individuals who have focused on branch activity might feel like they are being “replaced” by digital. To overcome this, give their work in digital a specific correlation to their job performance overall, make them feel like their work is important in the digital space, and give praise often when a digital touchpoint is performing well.

Focus on Fundamentals

In the year 2019, it’s easy to get caught up with the idea of innovation. The industry regularly talks about FinTech organizations coming up with creative value adds and useful new ways to make use of customer data. These ideas are valuable, and innovation should be a part of any strategy. However, making sure the most common and frequent digital activities are rock solid is more important.

Customers’ core online and mobile functions should be foolproof. Consider transfers, mobile deposits, online dashboards, bill pay and omni-channel functionality as the most important pieces of the puzzle. By considering these core factors first, your community financial institution can avoid major headaches that result in digital dissatisfaction. As an organization that already delivers above-and-beyond service during in-branch experiences, creating a functional and smooth digital experience will give you high customer satisfaction.

Hire the Right People

When considering your digital transformation, having the right internal team to help you is essential. Particularly, having a single digital lead who is experienced in the space is an important element for an executive team lacking an already-internal digital expert. One highly experienced individual with a plan of action and the ability to guide your organization can make all the difference.

Beyond a highly trained leader, new hires for more traditional roles may benefit from digital experience. Hiring should consider digital talents, even if they lie outside the finance industry, and those with financial experience should have an expressed interest in digital banking.

While hiring new individuals will be an ongoing part of your organization’s digital transformation, make sure you leverage your current staff. Look for individuals who have expressed interest in digital banking or who seem to do well in the digital space, and use them as leaders for smaller teams. Tap into their passion for the digital space and analytics by giving them more responsibility and reward.

Utilize External Tools and Experts

Finally, make sure you look for the outside help of a digital consulting group. Experts in the field can work with your internal expert lead to create a digital setup that is, above all else, high performing and cost efficient. Contracting work to a digital partner will ensure you get bang for your buck, give you access to their tools and protect you from having to recreate the wheel when it comes to your digital presence.




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