Why Omnichannel Banking Matters Now More Than Ever

Already in 2015-2016, the banking industry reached a tipping point. The number of people using mobile banking applications surpassed the number of customers still going to their local branch to take care of their regular needs. Likely as a consequence of the growing number of new digital banking users, the number of bank branches in the U.S. dropped from nearly 100,000 branches to about 93,000 branches. This is a trend that we see also on a global scale.

In Sweden for example the major banks had 10 years ago in total 1400 branches combined. In the end of 2017 this number was 889.  [Source: NSD] Nordea has been the most aggressive when it comes to close branches, the past three years they have reduced the number of branches with 50%.

With most of the traditional banking transactions now mobile enabled, many bank customers visit their branch primarily to meet face-to-face with a financial expert. Inside the branch, customers have no tolerance for long lines, a lack of estimated wait time, or uninformed staff. For banks, that inclination raises the imperative to provide customer experiences defined by an even amount of efficiency and accuracy online and onsite.

For banks of every size, an omnichannel strategy represents the best opportunity to improve customer experience, increase footfall, keep staff productive, and retain valuable customers.

63% of customers want access to their bank at any time, and 65% want a competent advisor with the right skills to handle their needs.

It begins with an appointment.

By giving customers the ability to pre-book an appointment online or in the mobile phone, banks alleviate the stress of going into a branch not knowing how long it might take. Customers can approach an appointment with a sense of efficiency. Similarly, the information can help the bank prepare the most appropriate advisor to address the customer’s needs quickly and directly.

Online and mobile appointments equip staff to shift from reactive to proactive mode. In addition to preparing to meet specific customer requests, they also can remain able to meet changing walk-in customer volume. And as customers arrive, giving them the opportunity to check in via in-branch kiosks adds additional opportunities to match them with the appropriate staff members who can discuss immediate needs and even cross-sell and upsell related products.

A great video from the customer journey management company Qmatic outlining how a potential customer journey might look like in 2018.

Get the customer journey right, and the rest will follow.

Omnichannel banking is the best opportunity for financial institutions to nurture and build relationships with valuable customers. Particularly as more young banking customers come into the marketplace, they expect the experience to be seamless, immediate, and appropriate to their needs. Using the right mix of mobile and online technology, in-branch solutions, and business intelligence, banks can remain well equipped to sustain long-term relationships with these valuable customers.


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