As consumers continue to conduct more and more of their banking online, branches are becoming less important for many to the overall banking experience. But while time spent face-to-face is waning, your physical locations are still communicating your brand and its message to your customers.
To remain successful, it’s critical to keep your locations inviting, modern and relevant. While that can include costly updates to furniture and décor, it doesn’t always have to be a significant expense. Consider how attention to key areas can help make the online and offline experiences more consistent, and more relevant to your customers.
Branding – Is the messaging and design in your branches congruent with your website?
Interaction with your brand, be it online or in-person, will make an impact with your customers. This impact should not only be positive, it also needs to be consistent. If you’re investing in your digital presence to modernize your brand online, you should also be making changes in-branch to be sure your customers don’t feel as though they’ve stepped back in time walking through your lobby.
Small collateral items like banners, brochures, business cards, envelopes, posters, and letterhead can easily be updated to match your online look. These items are a small investment, but one your customers are sure to notice. Larger investment items could be roadside and building signage that introduces your brand’s new look to passersby. We have a tendency to have selective blindness when viewing the same thing over and over again. A change offers an opportunity for potential customers to see your brand anew. That might be all it takes for an individual to reconsider their current bank, especially so if it feels stuck in the past.
Community – What local happenings can you connect with (understanding our current times) to demonstrate awareness?
We’ve all seen and heard from community banks, most of the time with a very similar message. Is your bank backing up that talk with community action? It’s more than a sponsorship or ad in a local paper, supporting the local school’s sports teams, it’s community visibility and awareness. Your team should be known to the community for their actions therein. The more a community is aware of your involvement the more likely they are to see your bank and its employees favorably. What’s the inherent benefit in that? Well, it could generate leads in those pivotal moments of decision when evaluating where to get their next financial product. Stay top-of-mind with your community, be top-of-mind when they’re making financial decisions.
Convenient – How can you make the branch experience as quick and easy as banking online?
It’s no secret that mobile and online banking are on the rise. Customers have found that some transactions are simpler and faster when done online. However, David Kerstein of Peak Performance Consulting Group explains that customers still want physical bank locations. “Countless surveys show that branch convenience remains the top criteria for selecting a financial institution,” says Kerstein.
But why? Customers still want to talk to a human for complex banking items. With simpler transactions occurring online, all bank employees should be equipped to handle more complex banking items to make the in-branch experience short and sweet.
Your brick and mortar locations may not be seeing the traffic they once did, but they are still important to your bank’s overall perception. If you’d like to discuss how REVEL can help keep your branches at their best, or to learn more about what we do, send us an e-mail and we’d be happy to chat.
Finextra, 2019 Trends and Opportunities In Branch Banking, https://www.finextra.com/blogposting/16746/2019-trends-and-opportunities-in-branch-banking
BAI, From Customer Experience to Bank Branch Significance: Five Predications for 2018, https://www.bai.org/banking-strategies/article-detail/from-customer-experience-to-bank-branch-significance-five-predictions-for-2018/