The connectedness brought about by our modern mobile communications technologies has indeed brought a wide number of changes in how we shop, dine, travel and pay for it all. The way we bank has changed as well, with more of the routine and operational activities related to consumer banking now accomplished by many via smartphones. However, the branch has value in the FI-consumer relationship where a service agent engaging face-to-face has the best opportunity to shape a customer’s experience, as the author states:
The importance of a positive, in-person customer experience cannot be overstated. An American Express survey reported that more than two-thirds of shoppers spend more on average with a company that exceeds their service expectations. Nearly half of those surveyed reported that they always tell others when they experience a positive interaction, and old-fashioned word of mouth marketing has never been more powerful with customers sharing their opinions across large social networks.
Mercator Advisory Group recognizes the role of the branch location as an interactive channel for engagement with consumers, but the services more clients are seeking are less mundane and take into account the details of their own situation. Those FIs on the path to making their redistributed branch locations a place where these higher value services are provided in an adept fashion with personalized service will be best positioned to create and sustain a trusting relationship with the public, one consumer at a time.
Overview by Joseph Walent, Associate Director, Customer Interactions Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group
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