Many banks and credit unions have focused on adopting a “mobile-first” mindset and seeking out digital innovations to bring their institution up to speed. New technology provides efficiency and streamlined processes that are hard to beat, but financial services is also a relationship-based industry. It’s comforting to talk with an advisor at your local branch about a significant financial milestone such as purchasing your first home, but it’s also convenient to deposit a check within minutes from your smartphone.
In this article, we’ll provide insight into how to find the right balance of human connection and digital capabilities to attract new consumers and maintain long-lasting relationships.
Meet in the Middle
Although financial institutions feel pressure to compete with companies that inspire consumers’ high expectations for a fast-paced, seamless user experience online, they can’t forget about the value of human connection. In a 2021 study commissioned by the Financial Brand, researchers found that 51% of consumers prefer digital banking experiences via their mobile phone, compared to the 29% who prefer in-branch and 20% who prefer digital via desktop. The study’s eye-catching discovery is that 71% of these same respondents also feel that it’s essential to build a relationship with banking personnel. Although the majority prefers a digitally-driven UX, an even larger majority values the person-to-person relationship at their FI.
This study reflects the importance of striking the right balance so that you can meet your consumers where they are and for what they need at that point in time. Many people prefer online for making smaller deposits and checking in on recent transactions. However, for more impactful and complex decisions like an auto loan or investing, people want to talk with someone at their branch that possesses financial expertise. Depending on the situation, people could converse with a chatbot to get the answer they need or meet with an employee for an hour, but they should still feel fluidity between all channels.
Invest and Allocate Resources Wisely
By making strategic digital investments in the technology that’s most beneficial to your institution, you make your employees’ jobs and consumers’ lives easier. Suppose a new piece of software automates a task that used to eat up a third of the workday. In that case, your staff can use this new free time on their schedule to check in with clients, pinpoint cross-selling opportunities, or provide a new consumer that is going through the onboarding process with personalized educational resources.
By digitizing some processes, your consumers may have shorter wait times at your branch or get a head start by filling out basic information online. As a result, call centers aren’t bogged down with trivial issues, and people-facing employees can dedicate more time to what matters most for your institution.
Data-related tasks hold many institutions back. These can be tedious and error-prone, especially with the amount of data that financial institutions access and gather over time. If your FI invests in a consumer data solution or marketing automation, this can help integrate digital and in-branch experiences. Whether a consumer interacts online or at a brick-and-mortar location, omnichannel marketing helps provide equally exceptional and personalized experiences.
Human connection and digital capabilities can go hand-in-hand, and both can work together to create a cohesive interaction that leaves people satisfied with your institution year after year. People can feel secure in their financial decisions knowing they have a trusted advisor and a person with their best interests in mind. Learn how Prisma’s marketing automation software can strengthen your financial institution, and visit Prisma’s blog posts for more useful marketing tips and strategies.
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