For years, financial institutions have been prodding their customers to take care of more of their banking tasks online. After all, digital experiences offer customers with the ease of handling routine tasks such as depositing checks and transferring money between accounts whenever and wherever they want. For banks, creating end-to-end digital channels offered the potential to generate savings, but only if customers went online and consequently retired their branch and telephone usage patterns.
Then came the coronavirus pandemic – which created the perfect opportunity for banks to broaden their digital transformation. And customers have never been more ready to bank online.
Yes, this is the optimal moment to advance your journey, but, as with any strategic initiative, you need to first capture a solid baseline of data on your customers and invest the time to understand how they want to meet you digitally. What works for one customer won’t work for another, as you know from the various products and services you offer.
The hardest part is getting started – which is why we suggest you focus on the needs of three important customer segments:
Most of us started our financial lives here, living paycheck to paycheck. These customers need ready access to cash and usually have only the bare minimum on hand to cover expenses, including rent.
These individuals aren’t worried about precisely when their paycheck comes in the door, but they always make sure they have money to cover their expenses. They’re also looking for ways to save as they plan for bigger purchases, like a new car or vacation.
This group can make financial decisions without having to check their income statement because they know they have ample money in the bank. Their focus has shifted to growing their net worth.
Each segment has different needs, so where should you begin? Start by ensuring that simple transactions – check deposits and accessing online statements, for example – are ready and easy to execute digitally. As you gain digital customers’ trust in your digital storefront, you can introduce other features and deepen their relationship.
Fortunately, 2020 has given you a running start on your digital transformation strategy because the COVID-19 crisis has reshaped how we live, work and play. It’s also drastically accelerated changes in how consumers want to bank. Senior business leaders already came into this year with digital transformation risk as their top concern. You certainly don’t want to invest in an initiative that doesn’t deliver on the end goals you and your customers want – and expect.
You also can’t afford to wait any longer. You don’t have to be perfect out of the gate, but know that each next step generates operational efficiency and earned customer engagement that will underpin your bank’s survival in an ever-changing marketplace.
My latest white paper, “Disruptive Innovation and Digital Transformation: A Win-Win for Banks,” discusses how banks can no longer wait to pursue meaningful digital transformations because their customers are living now, more than ever, in the digital age. Download your copy now – and make sure your organization doesn’t miss any important step in making this journey successful for your bank and your customers.
While banks have been attempting to migrate customers to digital channels for more than a decade, the COVID-19 pandemic has been the biggest (and most effective) driver for this consumer behavioral shift. But as banks ready themselves for a post-pandemic future, a recent Credit Karma/Qualtrics survey finds that even among staunch pre-pandemic, in-person bank customers, many plan to continue banking digitally.
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