The Financial Brand published an interesting article this week titled “5 Major Emerging Trends in Retail Banking.” All of the points—from how consumers share data with their banks to which channels people use for online banking—were interesting. But the one that stood out to me was #4: “People Still Want That Personal Touch.”
Since you’re reading this on the TimeTrade blog, you probably have a pretty good idea of our position on the value for banks, credit unions, retailers and many other businesses to deliver personalized service to their prospects and customers, every time they engage. This article, which cites results from an Accenture study, reinforces what should be obvious: people want to be treated well when they buy products and services.
The article cites a caution from Accenture that it would be “a big mistake for financial institutions to commit to a purely digital strategy—one built entirely around AI, robo-advisors, automation and algorithms.” We at TimeTrade completely agree.
- 63% of respondents said if they share data with their bank, they would expect it to result in receiving a more personalized banking experience.
- 40% of banking customers say the ability to ask a real, live human being a direct question is “extremely valuable.”
- And nearly half of all consumers (48%) want banking providers to play a supporting role in the purchasing process for non-banking products, such as a house or new car or services related to those purchases (e.g., insurance products, closing assistance).
“Individuals increasingly expect interactions to be personalized and relevant to their financial needs and objectives,” according to the Accenture report. While these results are specific to banks and credit unions, the sentiment is essentially what consumers want in every business transaction, whether it’s obtaining a mortgage, buying clothes or selecting the right SaaS solution for appointment scheduling.
In the latest TimeTrade banking consumer survey, two-thirds of respondents said they would be willing to schedule an appointment to meet in-branch with a specialist to discuss a mortgage, wealth management or other important topics. And in the highly desirable millennial demographic (those aged 22 to 36 with increasingly large amounts of income), 75 percent said they desired such personalized customer service.
No matter who conducts the survey or what questions they ask, it all comes back to the fact that people like dealing with people, especially when they are seeking advice and confirmation before making major purchasing commitments. That’s why online scheduling software from TimeTrade has become the go-to choice for banks and credit unions that want to create conversations with their customers that drive business.
A recent article in the Credit Union Journal titled “Strategic Planning: In Search of the Fountain of Youth” reports that a host of credit union leaders have an increased sense of urgency to reach millennials—before it is too late.
For example, Michael Wishnow, SVP of communications and marketing for the Pennsylvania CU League said: “It’s urgent that credit unions enact strategies now to attract the next generation of members. One way they can do that is by modernizing delivery channels and spending money to ensure that the institution has the member-facing technology necessary to keep it relevant with younger consumers—a demographic that’s rapidly growing and that continues to demand increasingly sophisticated technology from financial institutions.”
Wishnow and his fellow credit union leaders are correct. Millennials are now surpassing baby boomers as the largest demographic in the U.S., which translates to a transfer of wealth estimated at $300 trillion. This presents a tremendous opportunity for credit unions to provide this generation with prompt and highly personalized customer service in a modern way as millennials are reaching the stage of life where they are making major purchasing and financial planning decisions (e.g., mortgages and retirement savings).
A recent Q2 2016 TimeTrade banking consumer survey reveals that 75 percent of millennials are willing to book an appointment for an in-branch meeting with a mortgage specialist or wealth management advisor. So while millennials are a generation that has embraced sharing models such as Airbnb and Uber, they still want personal, face-to-face conversations when it comes to major financial decisions.
However, there is a disconnect between credit unions and millennials according to Karen Houston-Johnson, vice president of OnBalance, a credit union strategic consultancy. She pointed to research from CUNA and Cornerstone which indicates that 71 percent of millennials are unfamiliar with credit unions, and she points out that credit unions need to lead the conversation with this demographic by emphasizing the positive differentiators of credit union membership. These include: member ownership, which means credit unions don’t have obligations to outside investors; lower fees and higher interest rates on deposits; lower interest rates on loans; and a commitment to their communities.
Ultimately, to win business from millennials, credit unions must market themselves effectively to this increasingly powerful generation. But equally important, they must use the technologies preferred by millennials—online and mobile—to bring them into the branch for personalized conversations that drive business. Online appointment scheduling is an important way credit unions can attract millennial members so they can meet their financial needs today—and for many years to come.
Feel free to visit us to learn more about how TimeTrade can help deliver a superior experience to your members.
As today’s consumers are more demanding than ever, financial service organizations must provide a superior customer experience across the whole customer journey — from an initial digital touchpoint, to the in-branch experience.
Logix Federal Credit Union has recently found success in increasing business volume in its branches throughout the Los Angeles market by delivering a seamless and more integrated online/offline customer experience.
The credit union has recently implemented Banking By Appointment, which gives members a self-service option to schedule an in-branch appointment to meet with a banking specialist. Logix first developed an in-house appointment scheduling solution, but information had to be passed manually and the lag time created scheduling conflicts.
Now, Logix reports they are currently experiencing 5,600+ plus appointments per month in its 15 branches and the number continues to grow. The result is increased business volume, especially with new accounts and loans, and Logix employees are able to plan their days more effectively knowing when and why a member had scheduled an appointment.
So, in addition to driving more business, Logix is greatly enhancing its overall customer experience.
Photo credit: Logix Federal Credit Union