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How do you differentiate the bank experience?

By : Carol Hamilton

July 24, 2014 09:30 AM

How can a bank make itself different from its competitors? It’s a difficult question–basically all banks perform the same functions, all for similar price points.

 

Convergence across the sector is striking. Clear’s marketing research Brand Desire studies show that no other industry displays such a high level of similarity between competitors–diversity of service is not banks’ strong suit. But that’s not in itself a bad thing–banks do need to offer the same products, services and be professional. There isn't really room for an Apple Bank. Or is there?

 

So, if you do the same thing and it costs the same, the only thing left is to make the experience better for consumers. Here are three ways in which a bank can stand out from the crowd by creating an exceptional customer experience.

 

More convenience:  Not everyone can get to the bank during open hours. Not everyone uses online banking and many customers around the world still rely heavily on checks. Therefore making it easier for customers to do more outside of traditional branch hours will help a bank differentiate themselves. Whether it’s harnessing mobile check imaging technology to let people pay from their home or work; or just making sure that self-service options are available in more convenient locations 24 hours a day, consumers will appreciate the difference.

 

Reaching out:  Video technology isn't exactly cutting edge, but when deployed in the right way it can transform the banking experience. Video can be integrated into ATMs to create a whole new way of connecting with consumers. Users can choose to benefit from the self-service function of an ATM or connect with a remote teller for a two-way, face-to-face conversation with the centralized teller remote controlling the entire interaction. Video is a great way for banks to improve their offerings in more convenient locations. The device could be located in a mall, for instance, allowing customers to speak directly to their bank without having to travel out of their way to reach a branch.

 

Eliminating the wait:  Traditionally, customers walk into a bank and wait in line. If it’s busy, such as during lunch time, people may leave and have to come back later. Not a great experience. A bank that can serve customers in a short space of time is a great advantage and will see loyalty benefits. Increasing automation is key–by directing customers to machines that can perform many of the functions of a teller it’s possible to drastically cut wait times, not to mention costs. And also important, more automation means staff can be out on the branch floor helping (and selling to) customers, rather than behind the teller window.

Carol Hamilton

Branch Sales Specialist

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Carol is a Branch Sales Specialist sales of NCR’s branch solutions for the UK and Republic of Ireland. She has 10 years’ experience in financial services within NCR and also with Tesco Bank in the UK. She is based in Dundee, Scotland.