A 2017 Pew Research Center survey found a large majority respondents would be willing to pay more to work with a live resource instead of some form of artificial intelligence. I suspect these results reinforce what most of us already know – you can’t automate human interaction! We live in a fast-paced world and as consumers we expect the ability to toggle between the convenience of automation, and the quality of interpersonal communication.
Much like other industries experiencing a technological renaissance, community banks and credit unions are being asked to strike a delicate balance between technology that lowers operating costs and extends reach, and human capital that builds lasting connections with customers and members. So which part of the strategy is more important – technology or people? The answer, of course, is BOTH!
According to a J.D. Power study released in April of 2018, customers or members who leverage a blend of both digital and branch resources are more satisfied and engaged with their financial institution. Digital-only consumers recorded lower satisfaction scores in communication and advice, products and fees, and the account opening process. “There is no doubt that digital banking channels give banks an enormous opportunity to reduce costs, but the risk is that those cost savings come with lower levels of customer engagement,” said J.D. Power’s Paul McAdam. “Right now retail banks need to address the growing digital divide that is emerging within customer segments.”
It is tempting to think in terms of which channel is more important for the future – digital or brick-and-mortar. This is the wrong way to think about the opportunity ahead. Consumers don’t want one or the other; they want the ability to toggle between the two on an as-needed basis. Cashing a check? Deposit automation ATMs or advanced self-service terminals are an expectation, no longer a luxury. Opening a basic account? Secure video banking solutions or offsite video kiosks offer reach with an enhanced personal touch. Looking to make a large financial decision – home purchase, investment rollover, large deposit – everyone, including millennials, prefer face to face communication with a banker so you’d better have your branch staff trained and ready!
At Cornelius Systems, we see the experiences we sell and support as a means to enhance human capital, not simply replace it. The technology we help community banks and credit unions exploit closes the gap between digital-only and branch-only consumers, creating that blended experience highlighted in the J.D. Power study. Rather than allowing branch, digital, and ATM strategies to compete, we view customer and member engagement holistically and help our partners offer complementary experiences that both lower cost and drive increased satisfaction. We’d love the opportunity to sit down with you to learn more about what you’re facing and how we can help. To setup time to chat over coffee, lunch, or in the afternoon, call us at 877.545.5558 or shoot us a note at [email protected].