Acquiring new customers is expensive in Financial Services. While digital innovation is a critical element in addressing and anticipating client needs and improving profitability, it’s just as vital to deliver on the non-digital fronts as well, especially when customers expect a personalized experience versus the same old service, at a brick and mortar bank, says a recent Nielsen study.
In financial services, says the report, modern ATMs, apps and online services offer convenience and functionality for an array of services, but despite the myriad of things we can do on phones and computers, there’s still a significant need for physical branches in financial services.
Customer experience plays a big role in customer retention, and research shows that physical locations are critical for many financial interactions, particularly when it comes to cashing and depositing checks.
Why Consumers Prefer Bank Branches
% of Respondents
Personal service/interaction with associate
Ease of use
Concern about security of transaction
Preferred method not available
Dollar amount of transaction
Don’t like using computer/mobile device to interact with bank
Source: Nielsen, June 2016
The study shows that physical locations are still critical points of distribution for many financial interactions. Therefore, understanding the consumers and trends in each trade area is critical for evaluating locations, the products/services offered at each location, and the type of support provided at each location, to be successful.
Physical locations, and the personal interaction they offer, provide the comfort that consumers need, and help build loyalty for the brand/ financial institution. Activities such as opening deposit accounts, cashing and depositing checks, seeking financial advice, and even resolving problems/asking questions, are still heavily reliant on in-person interactions.
Percent of Individuals Using Physical Bank Location
Reason for use
Retrieve account information
Source: Nielsen financial Channel Track, Q4 2015
In some cases, financial services providers may be able to use customer service as a way to change consumer behavior. If, for example, interacting with a human is more pleasant or effective than using a machine or phone, some consumers might opt make a change.
In looking at the results from the fourth-quarter 2015 Financial Channel Track survey, personal service and interaction with an associate is the top reason consumers visit a physical location. Convenience, ease of use and security are common sentiments as well.
Acquiring new customers is expensive, though. While digital innovation is a critical element in addressing and anticipating client needs and improving profitability, it’s just as vital to deliver on the non-digital fronts as well, especially when customers expect a personalized experience versus the same old service.
Percent of Individuals Using Channel By Interaction Type
Open a deposit account
Cash a check
Deposit a check
Seek financial advice
Source: Nielsen Financial Track (Q4 2015,) June 2016
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