Branches and credit union must take a holistic approach to better serve their customer.

The Need for Holistic Service

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Have you ever thought about what makes a great-tasting stew so delicious? Is it the freshness of the vegetables? The tenderness of the meat? The combination of the spices? The truth is, no single ingredient is more important than the other. They all have to marry together just right. Otherwise, it's just soup.

That's the idea behind financial institutions' need to both receive and provide holistic service. Banks and credit unions are compelled to consistently seek ways to improve their facilities in an effort to enhance efficiency, speed and the customer experience. To do so successfully, they must recognize that every aspect of the service they get feeds into the other. Whether it's assisting with your cash strategy, customizing the layout of the branch, or making the banking process more personalized, you need a vendor that can provide all services to help you achieve authentic branch transformation.

That desire for transformation has been prompted by the consumer demands and technological advancements that have revolutionized the banking experience and intensified the pressure to expand and improve services. The vast majority of financial institutions are subsequently either making changes now or aim to do so. Indeed, 71 percent of respondents in a recent study conducted by ATM Marketplace said they want to modernize their branch design, such as with open-concept interior layouts that better meet customer and/or member expectations.

"Modernization doesn't occur in a vacuum."

A la carte? Not for FIs
Modernization can't be achieved in a vacuum, driven only by state-of-the-art design. Indeed, 58 percent of respondents in the same survey indicated they planned on increasing the number of assisted-service devices and terminals. More than half – 52 percent – sought to grow their cross-channel integration capabilities as well. This means they're prioritizing the facilitation of transactions all in one place (assisted-service devices) and via channels that can allow people to start and finish on different equipment.

Ironically, as American consumers expect more functionality from a single source provider, a la carte services have also risen in societal prominence. Television is a classic example, as millions of Americans are cutting the cord. Instead of selecting pre-made cable packages – which often include programming and channels viewers very rarely watch – they're saving money and improving their entertainment experience by purchasing the news networks, premium channels and streaming services they actually use. High-speed connections, in part, have allowed viewers to be more discriminating in their selections, and providers are acclimating to the shift to remain competitive and put consumers in the proverbial driver's seat.

Great banks come in packages
Successful financial institutions are going about things differently, however – and for good reason. FIs must ultimately be all things to all people in terms of financial service. In order to do that, banks and credit unions have to ensure that customers and members can fulfill all transactional needs in one fell swoop.

Subsequently, today's leading FIs are taking a more multifunctional, holistic services approach. According to a 2018 study conducted by PYMNTS, 80 percent of the nation's top financial institutions are focusing their innovation efforts on both new and existing products. Additionally, a majority of these same banking facilities – 53 percent – have multifunctional core payment processing systems.

They're taking this collective approach to not only meet, but hopefully surpass escalating customers expectations in the face of rapid fire technological changes. And priorities intersect institution-wide: Whether its automating core businesses processes or replacing legacy systems – such as ITMs in place of ATMs, or improving security – banking facilities must strategize and customize cohesively so nothing gets missed and customers don't defect to more holistic providers. 

25% of mobile app users have visited a branch four or more times in the last month."

Customer traffic at physical branches remains strong
Of course, not everyone feels this way. Given the prodigious growth in online banking and reports that branches are closing, some contend that it's far better to focus exclusively on mobile banking. But the data suggests otherwise, as customers continue to patronize their local branches as a complement to online banking. Nearly 53 percent of mobile app users in the aforementioned American Banker study said they'd visited their branch at least once in the previous month. More than a quarter said they'd gone inside their facility on four or more occasions.

Branches and credit unions' ability to modernize and customize is what has led to more engaged customers. Finding the right vendor that makes these updates possible gives FIs the dexterity and agility to implement full-scale changes without unnecessary business interruptions.

BranchServ is your one-stop source for 360-degree branch transformation. We have all the ingredients you need – in the form of hardware, software, security and operational support – to turn your facility into one that's as full-bodied and cohesive as a flavorful stew. Contact us and we'll help you put together a winning recipe.