Why Should Your Community Bank Care About Digital Banking?

Recently, we shared our viewpoints on the industry shift to a ‘click and mortar’ banking model. We outlined the growth opportunities available to those banks that embrace the changing expectations of their customer base. 

Driving the multichannel are the approximately 70% of banked customers who want to connect with their bank both offline and online. For the customer, online channels offer improved, more convenient self-service access to account information, branch information and product offerings. For the bank, the digital access points can reduce costs and produce lower attrition and higher customer satisfaction rates.

Yet, while customers say that they want the convenience of the digital channel, there is the expectation that a live representative will be available to them when they are ready to make a decision, negotiate a transaction, or have a question or issue. It is this meeting point between self-service and high-touch that gives your community bank the opportunity to enable personnel to increase the “touch” by leveraging all channels to build and nurture customer relationships. 

The relational feel of the community bank, translated over digital channels becomes a real asset if you can also offer the tangibles that customers want. Because the digital channel is powerful in its convenience and scope, it enables you to proactively supply information via a multitude of access points. Using what you know about your customer to shape that online experience infuses the information they demand with the personal feel they appreciate. 

In particular, some of your most valuable customers are members of the younger generation, who are starting their banking relationship with an expectation of anytime electronic access to information. You are their vital line of trusted support as they make significant decisions like buying their first car, home or starting a business, they also need to be able to interact with you face-to-face. 

Now is the time to challenge how you think about your bank presence:

  • Is your digital experience consistent with the face-to-face experience you’ve cultivated?
  • Do your digital channels give customers the flexibility they want as part of their bank experience?
  • Who are your current customers? (Are they baby boomers? The children of baby boomers? Who is setting foot inside your bank most often?)
  • How much do you know about your customers? How can you transform that into personalized communication and offers that can be offered via your website, email campaigns and social media channels like Facebook and Twitter?
  • Are you challenging the branch experience of your bank and enhancing the experience for customers? This is a great opportunity to enhance the experience and value of your branch personnel. 
  • Are you making the most of your community involvement? (You have a great opportunity to be present in the communities within your footprint. Providing resources like financial literacy and cash management are great tools for connecting with new generations and creating future long-term relationships. Relationships start with you.) 

Your bank can’t wait on customers to find you. You must have an integrated multi-channel approach that centralizes and communicates information and offerings conveniently to your evolving customer base – when and how they want – including face-to-face. Remember, the branch is no longer the whole bank and ‘bank hours’ no longer exist. Make sure your touch points extend to your entire widening, changing community.

Have you thought about your strategic vision for creating a compelling digital presence with your customer base?  Are you challenging the status quo with your branch banking?

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Topics: Community Banking

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