Since banking began, customers have been building relationships with their community banks and credit unions via the people who work there. The banking staff know their members personally from their frequent visits and because they are members of the same community. From this familiarity stems a sense of security that members experience in their community banks and credit unions. This, in turn, leads to customer loyalty due to a long-established relationship that is inimitable by larger banks.
How Covid-19 changed dynamic of banking relationships
Since many branches had to reduce their opening hours or even close in mid-March 2020 to protect their customers and staff, the dynamic of this relationship has changed. We have seen the rapid transition to remote banking and many face-to-face interactions are now being completed in digital channels. It is unlikely that members and customers will ever return to branch based banking in the same way.
While the circumstances around interaction between financial institutions and customers may have changed, the relationship itself can be improved even more. In the new world of remote banking, communication is key for financial institutions to retain their relationships with customers.
The role of communication in remote banking
Banks and credit unions are renowned for the service they provide and communication is crucial to upkeep and deliver that service. Financial institutions can now go to customers, where they are and provide them the services they need, when they need them.
Consumers need financial institutions now more than ever – they need to avail of options such as remote deposit, get a loan, skip a payment or take a loan holiday without being able to go to their branch. Many businesses are preparing to reopen and they may be interested in hearing about cashflow supports. During this transition, customers need proactive reassurance from their banks and credit unions. Otherwise, how will they know what supports are available?
Banks and other financial institutions now have the ability to proactively serve their customers where they are located – instead of customers having to come to the branch. Banks can be there for their customers even before they reach out to them. With the right tools, post Covid banking has the potential for greater engagement between financial institutions and their customers.
Proactive communication with banking customers
How the banking world communicates with its customers will determine their loyalty and the longevity of the relationship. Seamless, frictionless communication will make all the difference.
Banking is now reliant on digital communication and there are many channels: app messaging, SMS, email, live chat etc. Choice of channel is important, and frequency is a balance – over communicate and you run the risk of being annoying; under communicate and you under serve your customers.
Irrespective of the situation, what has become clear is that giving customers greater access to banking services affords them a greater sense of security in their everyday lives. Proactive communication leads to greater awareness of the different banking services available. It is an opportunity to increase customer support at a time when they need it the most.
To learn more about how banks and credit unions are proactively communicating with customers through remote banking, contact us here.