As the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are working to adapt to a changing marketplace that is complicated and will remain fluid for some time. This is because the world will not return to the old normal. Instead, a “Future Normal” will emerge, and it will significantly alter how organizations and customers interact with one another. While much of the conversation about rebuilding businesses has focused on restaurants and retailers, another sector is undergoing a monumental shift– the banking industry.
An Industry in Transition
For years, customers have been able to bank when and how they wanted, but this relationship has recently begun shifting from transactional (bank-to-customer) to transformational (customer-led within a framework set up by the bank). Even though the consumer banking experience was changing before COVID-19 due to the fact that consumer experiences with banks were trailing other industries, the pandemic has further accelerated changes within the industry. People were willing to take their banking relationships to digital platforms, but they needed a reason to do so; COVID-19 gave them that reason.
The Changing Landscape
While online banking powered unprecedented access, it also leveled the playing field as a bank’s size was no guarantee of a better experience, allowing smaller institutions to compete with their larger counterparts — and win. Them differentiating factor now between banks is simply the type of technology that the bank employs.
MMR Research Associates surveyed 1,004 people about their views on digital banking. Their research revealed that roughly two-thirds of consumers plan to use digital banking more in the wake of the pandemic, and customers who earlier said they preferred to bank in-person said they might not do so following the pandemic. The desire to change their banking method, as stated by the people surveyed, shows that banks operating in the post-pandemic economy will need to be prepared to present their consumers with digital banking options.
The Path Forward
To maintain success amid the “Future Normal,” banks must investigate how they can elevate their digital offerings without losing their overall experience. To do this, banks must take a look at customers’ journeys and analyze how to achieve company goals through new methods, while also understanding the customer’s perception of the new changes. It takes willingness to ask for feedback and then use that feedback to improve services and offerings. This process will be more important than ever as the world emerges from the pandemic.
Be Ready to Change
Banks, like all businesses, must be nimble and adapt to the shifting environment. They must also remain vigilant and expect changes as the world may remain in flux for some time. To do this, banks must consider the following aspects of their operations.
Products: To prepare for the “Future Normal” and before any decisions are made, organizations should look at what services customers want and determine what customers will pay for. When making changes to company operations, feedback is imperative.
Platforms: As customers go digital, look at what features people use, what people want, and what is required to deliver those services.
Partnerships: Identify the partners who make the experience user-friendly and rewarding and understand how to leverage those partnerships.
While there is no single approach that will work for every institution, the ultimate goal is always to create a seamless user experience across all platforms, whether it’s in-person or online.
It’s no secret the best brands put people first, and that sentiment is more important than ever. As the world emerges from the pandemic, many will reevaluate aspects of their lives and, in the process, reconsider where they do business. This being the case, you will want to make sure that your banking operations meet the needs and desires of customers so that you maintain their business for years to come.