Customers now expect 24/7 access to their finances as well as assistance from the banks. The most intuitive solution to this is online banking, which explains the notable rush of banks to move their services to digital platforms. This left the majority of clients satisfied, with two-thirds of them expressing their willingness to continue using online banking even after the pandemic recedes.
On the other hand, we also see digitalized companies return to their physical branches. A McKinsey survey shows that 75% of customers still need a physical branch in order to trust the bank. The existence of a physical branch remains a deciding factor in choosing a bank for many customers. Moreover, their level of trust toward an institution increases with the number of branches available.
This raises the question of whether the future of retail banks and customer service at large is digital or physical.
Should Banks Go For a Physical or Digital Approach?
As convenient and time-efficient as online banking is, a significant number of customers still find themselves in need of in-person assistance, face-to-face interactions, and the assurance of having the option to visit a physical location — all of which digital banking fails to provide.
In such a situation, it seems that the best solution banks can offer their customers is the fusion of physical and digital services, also referred to as “phygital” banking. Consumers are leaning toward phygital banking as it promises the best of both worlds.
Technological improvements now allow banks to automate some of the simple and repetitive customer service tasks, such as setting up a bank account or answering commonly asked questions through chatbots. Digital tools help to considerably cut back on the time required to perform such uncomplicated assignments.
However, automated tools become less effective when matters get more intricate and demand a more thoughtful, hands-on approach. Distressed customers nearly always prefer to speak directly to a bank assistant, and if banks deny their clients that opportunity due to the absence of physical branches, they lose credibility. In-person assistance creates feelings of comfort, safety, and security.
Retail interactions can be greatly varied, complex, and contrasting. To embrace the full scope of retail banking practices and transactions, modern banks need to diversify their services to adopt both online and offline solutions.
Phygital Banking As the Solution
A phygital strategy combines the best practices of online and offline banking by embracing technology, physical locations, and personnel. The results speak for themselves: Phygital experiences generate twice as much revenue as single- channel operations, according to research quoted by Fintech Magazine.
Offline and online experiences are closely interlinked, and in being so, can give banks valuable insights into their client base. Digital data can provide customer behavior reports, which banks can utilize to optimize their physical space and services.
The integration of both digital and physical banking can seem strenuous and will certainly require some time to fully adjust to, but the benefits it has to offer will well be worth it.
Businesses that manage to keep up with the changing requirements and challenges of their markets prevail in their sectors. And combining physical and digital experiences is arguably the most notable trend in modern banking.
Smooth Transition to Phygital With Earlyone
Customer experience is a key factor in a client’s decision to choose one business over another. This is clearly reflected in the banking industry, where customer experience is the second most widespread reason clients decide to switch banks.
Earlyone came to solve many of the pressing issues of customer service — one of the main ones being long waiting times. Earlyone solutions have helped dozens of banks improve in-branch customer experience, organize workflow, and eliminate the underlying reason for long queues.
Staying on par with modern demands, Earlyone equips businesses with digital solutions to manage customer flow, segregate and prioritize requested services according to type, and track staff efficiency.
The mobile app allows customers to book services in desired branches through a unique time estimation algorithm. This removes the need to wait before getting served, thus abolishing unnecessary queues.
Earlyone continues to expand and advance its services to help banks, telecom companies and healthcare organizations cope with modern standards and requirements.
For more information on Earlyone and its expertise in phygital costumer experience please follow the link, where Earlyone CEO – Gevorg Safaryan is presenting phygital approach and its peculiarities during Cusomer Care Festival 2021.