In “Retail Branch Strategy: High Tech, High Touch & Highly Trained Staff,” Gina Bleedorn describes how the branch is an important bridge between the digital and physical worlds
Thursday, July 14, 2022 – In the recent article on the evolution of the branch, the Financial Brand explores how staffing and strategies are changing, along with branch footprint, resulting in transformed customer experiences. The publication finds: “Banks and credit unions increasingly are adopting radically redesigned facilities, with smaller footprints, advanced technology that enables not only self-service, but a personalized experience, and much more highly trained staffs filling very different roles.” Even with “radically redesigned” smaller branches, staff finds a reinvigorated purpose in serving customers in more personalized, meaningful ways.
Even with more complex transactions, like loan applications, many consumers begin on digital channels then visit the branch to complete them, making it a “critical link between the digital and physical worlds” says Gina Bleedorn, Chief Experience Officer at Adrenaline. “While transactions may not be as important, banks and credit unions could be losing an opportunity for human connection,” according to Gina Bleedorn. “For many community financial institutions that can’t compete with big banks on mobile capabilities, the branch is a point of differentiation.” In fact, consumers center personalized service at the branch as a critical component of their financial lives.
For the branch to live up to its full potential, though, staff must be cross-trained and ready to deliver for customers – through more knowledge and more tools. “As banks and credit unions transition branches to experience centers grounded in financial advice, their staff will need new skillsets,” says Gina Bleedorn. These new roles necessitate a higher level of skill than traditional tellers provide, often requiring cross-selling, digital activation and a deep knowledge of banking products. “It requires a wholesale staffing shift,” Gina Bleedorn says. “Banks and credit unions have to invest in their people.”
For all of Gina’s insights, read the Financial Brand’s full article “Retail Branch Strategy: High Tech, High Touch & Highly Trained Staff.” The Financial Brand is a digital publication focused on brand, marketing and strategy in financial services. Serving high-level leaders, the trade features ideas, insights and information for banks and credit unions building their brands and covers a range of critical issues facing FIs today, including technology, customer service and branch transformation.
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