Your Branch Strategy Should Guide Your Digital Presence
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Your Branch Strategy Should Guide Your Digital Presence

9 December, 2018

Most financial institutions put time, energy and money into their in-branch customer experience. They think about each need, each touchpoint, and how the experience can best serve those who support their business. And, likewise, most financial institutions (and businesses in general) think about their online presence. However, the physical storefront and the online presence don’t always align. This lack of fluency between the two channels can leave customers feeling confused or simply off-put due to inconsistent communication. As the world transitions to a increasingly digital state, financial institutions should apply their in-branch messaging, personality and services to their online presence.

Reflecting the Universal Banker

We’ve written numerous times about the importance of the universal banker — a single-source, jack-of-all-trades financial institution employee who can do anything from helping deposit a check to opening a new line of credit. The importance and benefit of this individual lies in customer satisfaction, specifically in terms of their appreciation of a single individual being able to guide their entire branch visit.

This same principle should carry over into a financial institution’s online presence. Customers should be able to do anything with ease of navigation, whether they’re reorganizing funds in an existing account, opening a new bank account, or pursuing a business loan. Complex tasks will likely always require interaction with a bank representative, but the ease to navigate and access everything in an intuitive matter is an expectation set by an increasingly tech-fluent consumer population. Beyond navigation, making sure online representatives available through chat windows are trained to the standard of the universal banker will help solidify your financial institutions reputation as a reliable, customer-centric brand where they can have their needs met with ease.

An Opportunity for Promotion

Promotion is everywhere. In the same way, a financial institution’s web copy should take full advantage of any opportunity to present customers with more value. Relevant ads are always appreciated, and any service that can help a customer make more of their money or have a more meaningful interaction with your brand should be included on landing pages, dashboards and informational web pages. This idea can be enhanced by customer analytics, particularly within their unique profile/dashboard/account. As an example, if a customer is saving a lot of money and tending to avoid touching it, which can be identified automatically using analytics, offers an a landing page or within an online dashboard for opening a checking deposit should be offered.


Imagine the following: A customer’s phone call is on hold and they’re waiting for a representative to answer. In the the background, they her pleasant music and a soft voice telling them, “Did you know, we offer ATM forgiveness on up to $20 in fees per month?” The setting is pleasant. Suddenly, the representative picks up and grunts, “Eight-digit account number, please.”

The difference in tone is jarring. Believe it or not, these types of intra-brand disconnects happen all the time. They promise friendly customer service, then allow representatives to become transactional. They ensure ease of use, then inundate customers with confusing facts. Another major possibility for this type of disconnect can occur between branch and online. What is the tone of your financial institution? What do you promise to your customers? How do you train your employees to interact with your customers. These ideas, and particularly the way you think your financial institution is different from others, should influence your online presence, down to the sentences and words on each online touchpoint. Meticulous attention to this detail can help your financial institution create a consistent, reliable brand that differentiates you from the rest of the pack.