How to make your bank’s digital transition successful

As a result of COVID-19,  walk-in traffic at banks and credit unions has severely decreased, leaving a void in the ability for financial services providers to connect with not only new customers, but long-standing ones as well.

Many institutions have seen a change in their digital strategy as more customers become more active digitally. JP Morgan Chase, for instance, saw a 3 percent increase in the number of customers who are digitally active in the fall of 2020 compared to a year earlier. Even more interesting was that half of those new users were over the age of 50, and their positive experience in using the new digital channels led to a higher likelihood they would recommend Chase to someone else.

With changes happening so quickly, the actual experience of the customer is often overlooked. Although riding this digital wave is exciting and can benefit both sides greatly, it can just as easily lead to IT headaches and dissatisfied customers.

Vendors offer many of the same capabilities and features, so selecting the “best” solution by these criteria alone can be difficult. That is why it is important to consider that you are not only investing in the software, but also the expertise of the teams who implement them. This is where a low-cost system or even an in-house solution comes up short.

A solution put together haphazardly could potentially leave your IT and management teams in the position of being everyday firefighters, spending their days constantly diffusing situations with mismanaged configurations and upset customers. In a time when investing in new digital channels is a must, it is easy to underestimate some of the complex decisions that must be made to ensure that the experiences by both the organization and customer are positive.

Here are three helpful tips to ease the digital transition:

  • Don’t rush the implementation: Take time to understand the product you are implementing. Making well-thought-out design decisions during implementation can help you enormously in the long run. Some providers offer a quick turnaround time, which can be incredibly helpful; however, this often means making concessions in certain areas of the software. Although in some cases you may be able to work with just the bare essentials, always consider the quality of the product you are giving your customer base.
  • Prepare the end-users: You should not forget your own staff members, who could potentially be managing and using these new solutions. Change management is key when it comes to having a successful transition. Let your team know early on that you will be implementing a new digital solution and that their processes may change. The messaging should be positive in order to get them excited about this enhancement. Training is critical and making sure you have a few internal experts or leads to help others within the product will make a big difference.
  • Get marketing involved early: The marketing team is typically in charge of the website and any email communication to your customers. Many of these new technologies will live on your home page or on your mobile banking platform. It is crucial to have a clean and simple front-facing user interface to ensure customers are engaged in these products quickly. After the release, always make sure to have relevant and helpful messaging to your customers to let them know that this great new solution of yours is now there for them and their convenience.

Remember you are investing in not only the product, but also the team that helps you navigate this new landscape. Ensuring that the initial reception is a positive one can heavily impact the long-term engagement of your customers with these tools.

A confusing digital experience is often a major deterring factor for many consumers. A survey by Deloitte showed that seven out of 10 customers considered digital channels important or very important when selecting their financial institution. Why risk a poor experience by rushing the process? Trusting the experts and putting together a solid project plan can greatly enhance your chances of a seamless transition.

Daniel Kim is a solution consultant at Ultimate Kronos Group.