Debunking 3 myths of modern banking
Posted on Thursday, May 31st, 2012 by Empathica
With all the talk of changing consumer behavior in the news these days, there come a few myths that have been perpetuated in the world of banking.
- Nobody wants to speak to a live person
- Branch locations aren’t important
- Social media let’s you automate relationships
The common theme seems to be that as the use of technology becomes more widespread, the less reliant we are on personal relationships. The reality is the very reason why these new technologies have become so widespread is because they in fact enhance our ability to connect with each other in a personal manner.
If we take a closer look at each of these myths evidence and logic will show that perhaps we’ve gotten ahead of ourselves in what we’re starting to believe.
- Empathica’s Consumer Insights research has shown that while consumers love the convenience of ATM machines, when it comes to the most important transactions and questions they have regarding loans, retirement and other major financial transactions, the vast majority of consumers still prefer a human touch to help advise them. While convenience is king when it comes to day-to-day banking, financial institutions still rely on major transactions to drive revenue and that’s where consumers still expect a human touch.
- With day-to-day banking shifting increasingly to ATMs and online, many people falsely assume that the impact that branch locations have on the banking experience has been eliminated. The reality is, much as with myth number 1, consumers are still looking for a personal touch when it comes to advice on major transactions. Branches are still the locations where most of these occur. The ambience and experience consumers receive in a branch can have a huge impact on satisfaction. Major financial transactions can be stressful, and a friendly well laid out branch can be a tremendous help in improving that otherwise stressful banking transaction.
- Some people believe that social media is all about eliminating or replacing personal relationships. The reality is that the popularity of social media is in fact driven by the opposite. Social media is a powerful and convenient new channel for consumers to better maintain personal relationships. Likewise for financial institutions. Consumers, no matter how savvy, are still looking for trusted advisors when making important decisions, particularly financial ones. Social media can provide banks with a key channel to help share some of that advice. Consumers can help as well, by spreading positive word of mouth on behalf of financial institutions that have provided them with a great experience.