Following the discussion that Tanya has started, I´ve found some charts talking about the sharp growth of European mobile banking users (at least one fifth of European mobile users use mobile banking), at the same time that the number of bank employees is decreasing rapidly:
I think taht experiences like the ones that Michael and Tanya has shown us, are likely to be the next step in order to engage customers.
Because of these facts, some questions comes swiftly to my mind: it seems clear that we all are keen on the use of internet (the virtual retail and its tools), mainly via smartphones or tablets, to access to everything we can be interested in. But….what happens with physical retail? Is it possible for physical retail to face down virtual retail in the coming years? Can physical spaces add value to virtual experiences, or viceversa?
Good point Jonathan! Personally I don´t have enough time or NERVE to go to the physical retail bank branch, that’s why I always try to use virtual tools but, off course, not always virtual tools can give me whole range of solutions in some issues so I don´t have a choice and I´m visiting the branch. I think if my visit to the physical branch were more pleasant and friendly, I´d go there no matter what. So my answer is yes, the physical place can have a value if the customer experience there is enjoyable and useful. 🙂
In many respects we use the alternative channels because the physial channels are such poor experiences. However there are still elements that are really better done face to face or at least connected to a real person.
The problems arise when you visit the physical sites and the stores are horrible and the staff are not interested in what you want, particularly the latter
A good example is Nespresso, you can actually do everything on the internet but a lot of people actually prefer to visit the stores to buy their coffee, simply because the staff their ALWAYS treat customers properly.
Regarding to this topic, I think that the new technological tools we are currently provided are neither an end by themselves, nor a demonstration that we own the “cutting-edge” technologies, but they are the means which help us get a fulfilling customer experience easier, with stable and steady points of contact with the company, more than just a smiling face.
Most of the brand new communication channels are focused in the enhancement of our natural sociability flair, and we must take advantage of them, but we must also take into account that a staff´s warm handover to the customers in physical retail is a great value for both the company and the customers, and I think It might not be substituted for any virtual channel.
You are right Jonathan. But I think there are people who would disagree with you in terms of the importance of staff´s warm, personal contact and smile. We are all so different in our needs; I think someone who doesn´t have much time would prefer just virtual tools. Most people have a love-hate relationship with their banks. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that local banks and credit unions can be difficult to use. Just look at the hours of operation for most banks: Who has time to visit the bank during those inconvenient and limited hours of operation? Good luck trying to contact your credit union by phone after regular business hours too. This is why online banking services are so appealing to many people today.
With online banking services, you’ll never need to stand in line waiting for a teller to finally pay attention to you. You can scan and directly deposit checks at any time of day, any day of the year. There are savings and checking accounts available. You can accomplish everything you can do at a traditional bank much quicker and more conveniently with online banking services.