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5 min read

5 Things Your Branch Needs to Improve the Client Experience

5 Things Your Branch Needs to Improve the Client Experience

Today’s banking clients have adapted quickly to digital transformation initiatives, making it critical for traditional financial institutions to start delivering a better client experience.

When it comes to standing out in the banking industry, it’s fair to say that the “heat is on” for most traditional financial institutions (FIs). Even though mobile banking has become the norm these days, there’s still a high demand for in-branch service and along with it—superior client service. Besides wanting a quick and convenient experience, most people want their interactions to feel personal, authentic, and engaging.

A tall order for a bank or credit union? Perhaps. But it’s entirely possible to give clients everything they’re looking for by incorporating client experience (CX) strategies built for the digital era.

Here are five things your branch network can do to help retain current clients and attract new ones. However, before reading the list, it’s important to understandOneAZ-Kierland-05 the value of a good CX and what some people say is missing from theirs.

 

Why Banks and Credit Unions Must Offer a Top-Notch CX 

 

A Forbes Advisor survey reported that as of 2022, 78% of U.S. adults preferred to bank via mobile app or website. Despite this rapid increase in online banking, individuals still desire personalized service and 71% of U.S. adults say they prefer to visit a physical branch when they need help solving specific and complicated banking problems.

What’s interesting to note is that researchers have found there’s been a decrease in human connection across the banking industry. From trouble reaching live customer service representatives to not getting answers from AI chatbots and receiving poor in-branch service, a significant number of banking clients have become frustrated and want their FIs to care more about their individual financial needs.

Is this call to action for traditional banks and credit unions? We at DBSI think so, and by beginning to integrate the following elements into your operations, your FI can find ways to stand out from the competition across both digital and traditional channels.

 

 Ways to Improve the Client Experience in Your Branch

 

  1. Modernize Your Branch Locations to Enhance OpERATIONS

When was the last time your physical branch locations were updated? If it’s been a while, your FI may not be connecting aesthetically or functionally across your clients’ transaction journeys. Many modernized branch networks have the following:

  • Physical spaces designed for exploring products and services, having one-on-one conversations with staff, completing self-service, and receiving advisory services.
  • Consistent branding in style, color, and tone across physical branch locations and digital avenues, creating an omnichannel experience.
  • Staff members trained to provide both transactional- and advisory-based assistance.
  • Digital signage and interactive screen technology.

If your network has few to none of these, modernizing your branches should be the next step in your strategic planning process. From updating interior design elements such as colors, tiles, and carpeting to adding new lighting, workstations, and digital screen technology—there are a range of improvements attainable depending on your budget and timeline. 

In addition to making physical changes, you may also want to explore the Universal Associate staffing model and understand how it can fit in with a branch modernization initiative.

Learn here how DBSI helped Amerant Bank transform their flagship branch location and create an experience that both reinvigorated staff members and connected the community.

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  1. Promote financial literacy and educate your clients.

For the first time in decades, Americans have been experiencing the effects of inflation and rising interest rates. This combination not only has them feeling more financially vulnerable, but it also makes them more skeptical of the banking industry. Additionally, while many think they have adequate financial skills, a 2022 Standard & Poor report stated that only 57% of Americans are financially literate.

As a trusted service provider, you have the opportunity to offer your clients financial education initiatives statistically known to pay off in the form of increased loyalty and revenue. You can make these initiatives available through online and mobile banking applications, in-branch digital signage and interactive screens, and trained staff members.

Financial literacy programs are accessible through organizations such as the American Bankers Association and the National Credit Union Administration. DBSI also has a full library of apps and modules you can utilize with your digital technology to help educate customers. 

  1. Recruit self-service technologies to back up your branch efforts. 

We all know clients want more personalized service from their FIs, but they also want the ability to use accounts and services whenever it’s convenient for them. In this respect, self-service technologies can function independent of branch location operating hours and give clients 24-7 banking access. Some options for your branch network include ATMs, ITMs, and integrated kiosks—all machines that DBSI can help you source, maintain, and periodically replace. 

Besides being more convenient for customers, self-service technologies are able to help your FI in a number of ways. For one, since customers are able to complete many transactions independently, your staff members will have time freed up for more high-level advisory conversations and operational duties. Additionally, self-service technologies help reduce wait times at your branch locations, which can lead to higher customer satisfaction.

It’s also worth mentioning that these technologies promote more personalized service when the interactive video features are enabled; customers are able to speak to service representatives in real time, beyond the typical hours of a branch’s operations.

  1. Add digital signage to improve processes and engage customers.

If you haven’t noticed already, much of the retail world is now using digital signage technology to promote products and services. With its unique ability to reinforce brand identity and enhance the customer journey, digital signage captures 400 times more attention than all other methods of communication and can even double a viewer’s retention rate. Here are some specific things digital signage can do inside branch locations: 

  • Showcase products and services
  • Promote your brand
  • Encourage wayfinding
  • Help teach financial literacy 

Are you still using printed content in your branches for communications and marketing? If so, you’re probably expending resources that get minimal ROIDigital-Signage-Guide from your efforts. Rather than continuing with these inefficiencies, it might be time to utilize our Creative Experience Agency and place digital signage in your branches. DBSI can assist you in all aspects of incorporation, from installation and deployment to training, content strategy, content creation, and on-site support.

Download the Digital Signage Product Guide for more details on what DBSI offers in digital signage technology. 

 

  1. Incorporate appealing sensory marketing elements.

ICscentSensory marketing is an activity that engages a customer’s senses to attract them at a more emotional level and give them a better brand experience. It can play a critical role in how a person perceives your FI, and it’s something your digital-only competitors aren’t able to do as easily since their operations are limited to sight and sound.

Of all the ways you can improve CX in your branches, sensory marketing is probably one of the easiest and most economical tactics to deploy. Here are a few ways to start:

Sight. Develop consistent branding across the customer journey, both in-branch and online. Logos, colors, and fonts, all should appear the same whether someone is on a mobile app, in the branch reading a sign, or on their laptop doing a banking transaction on your website.

Sound. Choose soothing background music for in-branch use and for customer service phone holds. If your FI has branded sound bites, use them consistently across your corporate advertising.

Scent. Diffuse a signature aroma in your branches, one that’s calming and pleasant. You can also add a self-service coffee station for customers to use when they visit; the scent of coffee can bring feelings of positivity, alertness, and pleasure.

Ready to Improve the Client Experience in Your Branch Network?

After learning all the ways your branch network can improve CX, it’s time to choose at least one and add it to your strategic planning initiatives. With the rise of digital-only banking, the competition for loyal customers is only getting fiercer, and now is the time to set your FI up for long-term success. Schedule your complimentary consultation with us today by filling out our online form.




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