Updated: Feb 5
Customer engagement methods that combine the best of digital (intuitive design combined with timely, relevant content) with the best of physical (a human centred, empathetic approach with an ability to ‘touch the bricks’, see the product or meet a trusted advisor in person) can help differentiate full service banks from new digital only niche banks.
Customers want choice – some prefer and are comfortable doing everything online or over the telephone. Many like to visit branches for more complex advisory services – they don’t need this advice that often and when they do they are prepared to travel to get it.
But the reality is banks cannot afford to have physically present advisers in every branch, for every complex product all of the time – in this case they cannot be all things to all people.
Customers want outcomes for specific phases of their lives – buying their first house, moving house, protecting their families from financial hardship, buying their car, going on holiday etc. The reality however is that they need financial services solutions to enable them to achieve these goals – solutions that are often boring, difficult to understand and slightly scary if truth is told.
Banks who develop ‘customer-in’ thinking – rather than ‘product-out’ thinking – can re-imagine their approach by simplifying their products and making them outcome-based solutions.
Enabling these solutions to be bought self-service online by financially confident ‘digital natives’- from home or office with help from bank advisers where and when they need it in the process - keeps the service convenient and personal
For the financially less confident, or those prepared to travel (the ‘physical fans’), branches offer an appealing option – a quiet, safe place to discuss financial solutions in face-to-face environments.
Being able to meet the needs of both – the ‘digital natives’ and the ‘physical fans’ – enables full service banks to differentiate themselves.
In addition to the advantages that blockchain, artificial intelligence, and automation can provide for product simplification, enabling customers to ‘meet’ face-to-face with bank advisers from home and/or branch locations using state of the art video-centric solutions can add another level of customer engagement that suits many complex advisory situations.
These solutions are now mainly cloud based and use open API infrastructures, enabling agile deployment, lower costs and easier integration with existing systems.
Keeping people in the process at a price an bank can afford, in a targeted manner, enables a truly ‘phygital’ approach that delights your customers (and your Finance Director!).
For example, Vpod Solutions’ Dialog product is an entirely new way of customer communication that can be can be embedded within online processes and apps, or deployed in branch network to re-create the in-room experience of having an adviser physically present (even when they are not).