Banking has evolved rapidly in the last decade. With the introduction of technology, your bank branch customers have become more independent and savvier than ever before.
This has led to some fears about the future of branch operations in the banking industry. The number of people using bank branches for everyday banking has plummeted. Customers love the convenience of ATMs, online banking, and apps. These tools give them the freedom to bank from almost anywhere, at any time.
If bank branches want to survive, they need to evolve. Almost everything about the branch’s role is changing, from the reason customers visit to the technology you use.
The Changing Role of the Bank Branch
As mentioned, the number of Canadians who use a bank branch as their primary method of banking has fallen drastically in recent years. Branches are relatively inconvenient. They have limited hours, and they may not be located close to a customer. If the branch is busy, the customer may need to wait in line.
It’s little wonder customers choose banking apps and ATMs when possible. Nonetheless, there are still situations when your customers prefer to visit the branch. Most Canadians indicate they prefer to visit a branch if they encounter a problem, require advice, or have concerns.
In this way, the bank branch is evolving into a customer service centre, providing solutions for customers who have questions or concerns. The branch is growing into a role as a financial advisor, a trusted source of advice and expertise the customer can turn to when an app just won’t do.
Evolving to Meet Customer Expectations
Just as the role of the branch is changing, so too must technology keep pace. When a customer arrives in the bank branch today, they’re more likely to be upset or concerned. They’ve encountered a problem they can’t resolve using an ATM or a web app. They’re reaching out for help.
You want to be sure you can address their needs in a timely and effective way. If a customer comes into the branch and needs to wait in long lines, they’re going to be more frustrated than they were when they walked in.
You’ll also need to supply accurate information on the spot. If your systems aren’t in sync with the smartphone app or online banking, the customer may wonder if you can actually help them at all. You may not be able to ease their concerns and reassure them.
The Right Technology Supports All Your Customers
This is where the right technology becomes crucial to bank branch operations. Your customers are more independent than ever before. If they enter the branch, they may want to be able to conduct their banking themselves from a kiosk.
There will also be customers who need support. Some of your customers may still rely on the bank branch to conduct their daily banking. You’ll want to ensure all your bank branch devices and peripherals are in good working order, so customers can feel confident in your branch and complete their transactions quickly without issues.
It’s clear technology will play an ongoing role in bank branch evolution. As the way your customers bank changes, the right technology will help you offer best-in-class service delivery.