Consumers Prefer Digital Over Personal
Most people are willing to trade a digital banking relationship for a personal one, according to a recent Gallup poll of 6,000 banking customers.
The survey asked customers the question “If you had to give up one aspect of your relationship with your bank, the digital (you would no longer be able to interact with your bank through mobile or online channels) or the personal (you would no longer be able to visit a branch or call a call center), which one would you give up?"
According to the survey, 53% said they would give up their personal banking relationship; 47% said they would give up their digital relationship.
It’s not that black and white, however.
“Given the amount of time the industry spends talking about moving everything to digital, it is easy to think that to better engage our customers we must keep evolving digital at the expense of everything else,” Gallup Senior Consultant Beth Youra wrote. “And yes, it is true that digital channels must continue to evolve, both from a customer experience perspective and from an internal bank IT and operations perspective. But if we dig a bit beyond the sensationalized headlines that even I am guilty of writing to get your attention for this article, a more nuanced picture emerges.”
There is no question that online banking is the norm for many people. For example: 71% of people in the survey said they paid a bill through online banking in the last three months and 21% used mobile deposit. But the move to digital does appear to have limits.
“While millennials will continue to drive channel use and transactions more toward digital (I can imagine a day when the deposit a check by RDC and deposit a check in a branch numbers are reversed), they also haven't had or are just starting to have the life experiences (buying a house, having kids, helping with aging parents, etc.) that generally make people either want to use personal channels or have no choice but to use personal channels,” Youra wrote.
Most people use three or four banking channels, the survey found, and only 11% said they would prefer their banking relationships to be exclusively digital, Gallup found.
But the bottom line, Youra said, is that financial institutions “need to be perfect in every single interaction with customers – every single time. You need to let customers interact with you through the channels they want – digital or personal – but you must also go out of your way to ensure a satisfying customer experience in each of those channels. Engagement drops when customers don't interact with their bank in the way they want to, but it also drops – by 40% – when they give a less-than-perfect satisfaction score to even one of the channels they use.”