Consumers prefer branch to digital for banking advice — if it's a good experience

Consumers are happy with digital interactions for quick transactions, but for more substantive conversations they'd rather deal with humans, according to new research commissioned by Samsung.

The study found that 77 percent of consumers prefer face-to-face interaction for at-length discussions with their bank. Even for quick questions, 53 percent would rather pick up the phone than deal with a digital solution.

 Additional findings from the study:

  • The use of mobile banking skews dramatically across age groups, but branch use is popular across the board. Three-quarters of consumers age 18–29 use mobile banking, compared with 29 percent age 60 or older. However, 74 percent of younger adults also visit the bank branch compared with 85 percent of older adults.
  • Though most consumers prefer the branch for more involved transactions, a poor branch experience could keep them away, or even make them consider switching banks. The biggest complaints were unprepared banking associates (68 percent), long wait times (55 percent), impersonal service (49 percent), and the unavailability of specialists (43 percent).
  • The branch-level changes customers would most like to see involve faster, more convenient, and more personalized service enabled by technology — e.g., greeters prepared for their arrival with personalized information (62 percent); an expanded mobile app where they can check in or compare wait times at branches (55 percent); and interactive touchscreen displays to explore products and get advice while waiting (53 percent).

"For the past several years, banks have been heavily invested in online and mobile technology, at the detriment of their branch experience," says Julie Godfrey, U.S. Lead of Financial Services Solutions & Innovation at Samsung Electronics America. "These results underscore the importance of bank branch associates having the tools they need for a personalized consultative customer service engagement."

Read the full report.


Topics: Bank / Credit Union, Branch Transformation, Omnichannel Banking, Trends / Statistics

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