Putting the Retail in Banking, Part III: Generating Branch Involvement

June 7 — If, as discussed in Part II, strong branch interactions drive product sales, but also if, as discussed in Part I, branch traffic is diminishing, how can banks drive branch traffic? Aside from giving potential customers easy ways to book appointments for in-person consultation, community and/or educational events give people a way to experience in-person branch interactions.

Only 14 percent of U.S. respondents to the bookingbug survey reported being invited to banking event in the last year, but 82 percent reported they would or might attend such an event. For those who had been invited, over half did indeed attend.

Examples of possible events include:

  • College financial planning night: Invite prospective parents and students to discuss how best to prepare to pay for college. Bring in an educational specialist from your own staff and a local college dean. Parents and students will not only gain insight from your experts but from each other as well. If considering this type of event remember that with U.S. college tuition becoming increasingly expensive, parents and students interested in this type of information may skew younger than you’d expect. If parents are seriously considering college for their children, many begin considering the costs while their children are still in junior high or even late elementary school.
  • Retirement planning seminar: Invite future retirees to discuss the best ways to achieve retirement goals with financial planners as well as current retirees.

Providing education and financial guidance can also set banks apart from competition. Online and mobile channels can be leveraged to allow customers to access financial  tools and FAQs. Online classes can even be offered, and bookinbug suggests offering a discount of some sort to customers who complete these classes. As the report stated, “Consumers that complete these educational opportunities become better informed and are less of a drain on staff resources.”

By providing customers with a seamless experience between digital and branch, giving people a reason to visit the branch, and then ensuring their in-branch experience is as positive as possible can increase the level of trust between bank and consumer, driving sales.

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