Covid-19 and online banking: Your website = #1 branch

April 24th, 2020
Your website is a branch always open and is located in the home of every customer (and future customer) you have. Since the pandemic has many utterly reliant on digital solutions, ensuring your site provides an optimal customer experience is more critical than ever.
It’s both prominent and easy to lose sight of; a banking institution’s website is one of the most powerful drivers of customer experience, everyday transactions and account maintenance, and sources of information you have. Your website can be a branch that’s always open, always fully staffed, and located in the living room of every customer you have. At these magically ubiquitous branches, there are never wait times or lines. And especially relevant in these crazy times, there’s no need to don a mask or risk going out in public to complete banking needs. Online banking is more important than ever.

Are you investing enough to capitalize on the power of this tool?

Like so many other types of businesses, many banking institutions are scrambling with the unforeseen events of this year. Between instituting safety measures for their staff and customers, maintaining staffing levels at branches, investing in increasing phone support representatives to mitigate high call volumes, and so many other well-intentioned measures, banking institutions and credit unions are spending significant amounts of time, resources, and money in response. 
Investing in maintaining service levels and fulfilling customer needs during this extraordinary time is warranted. But are you investing your time and money optimally? If investing in your website isn’t the primary focus, then the answer is likely no. 

Does your website provide the same standard of customer experience as your best performing branch?

If you can’t answer yes with certainty, then it’s very likely you’re not only allocating resource investments suboptimally, but also may be providing a negative experience for your customers. Right now, the stakes are higher. Providing your customers a substandard experience is exacerbated by the stress and financial duress many Americans are feeling. Now more than ever they value a partner they can trust, one that feels like they are in their corner, when so many people are feeling left alone to navigate this new scary reality. Lastly, what is the impact of an investment into adding a few new call center reps? Perhaps it reduces call wait times 20%, which is a good thing. But that same investment into your website and the digital experience it provides your customers can have an impact exponentially greater.

You can learn more about ways to ensure your most powerful asset - your website - is providing the standard of service and level of experience your customers are seeking and deserve below.

Here’s the good news: Our award-winning team at FFW are experts at building or improving digital experience platforms. We have helped many of the world’s most notable brands and organizations facilitate incredible experiences, fostering new avenues for service and collaboration. Knowing every situation is unique, we take a tailored approach to each project, emerging with a bespoke solution that delivers on an organization’s digital and business goals. Contact us to set up a brief initial discussion with one of our team members to learn more about how FFW can help.

The surge in online banking usage will not phase out with COVID-19

User reliance on online banking services has continually climbed for years, and it’s likely this will see an even more dramatic rise even after the fallout of the pandemic has cleared away. In 2019, the number of digital banking users in the United States was expected to surpass 161 million, over a 20% increase from 2014 (Statista). Now, people who had formerly rejected digital channels are being forced to try them, and are ultimately creating new habits that will stick long after the pandemic ends. It’s no longer just younger, tech-savvy generations who are choosing to go online rather than go to their regional branch -- it’s everyone.

Proactive measures will set you and your customers up for success. Now, and for years to come. 

With the current influx of people using digital banking services, it might be tempting to halt any additional developments or updates till after things settle. But doing so would be doing a major disservice to the many people now completely reliant on the one branch they feel safe entering. Your website. Proactively updating your site will allow you to create pre-curated and live messaging, improve information intuitiveness, and disseminate information in a way that’s accessible to all.

Continuously improve customer experience

Does the influx of new online users mean you should be considering a full replatform and redesign? Not necessarily. While that can certainly be an option, what may be even more beneficial is evolving your site through gradual, regularly-cadenced updates and maintenance. Continuous development and optimization are not major overhauls to your website, but with ongoing efforts, they can result in marked improvements similar to those of a full replatform. Findings from user research or A/B testing can gradually be incorporated into your website as this knowledge is gained, because you’re implementing constant developments, rather than creating drastic changes and waiting two years for another redesign.

Customers aren’t waiting to use your online branch. Don’t wait on improvements.

Investing in your website will continue to pay dividends long after the pandemic fades. But your customers need an optimal online banking experience now more than ever. And the desire and reliance on digital customer experience will continue to rise. 
FFW can help. Our team of digital experts can help your organization not only maintain the stability, security, and accessibility of your web platform. Still, it can also help you sustain progress towards your goals and improve the experience it provides your prospects and customers when needed. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you maintain and advance your website during increased online usage and decreased staff, with services like expert staff augmentation and continuous delivery and optimization.

Author

Kayla Eidenbrook

Kayla Eidenbrook

Marcom Specialist
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