Digital banking with a human touch: How to do it the branch way

Ugo Aliogo

A successful business owner looking for a loan to expand his inventory walks into a bank after seeing countless TV commercials about how it treats its customers like royalty. From the gate, the security staff greets him firmly but cordially. As he approaches customer service to make his request known, he is again greeted by a smiling face that takes him straight to the manager’s office. While there, he is offered a cup of his favorite brand of coffee as they discuss his impressive credit score, guarantees and repayment plan.

A number of people might be familiar with the scenario described above; in the past, transactions were mainly done in this way. The focus has been on building trust, and one of the ways banks have done this has been to treat customers as if they were the backbone of the business. It worked – who wouldn’t want to feel like royalty? Customers less financially dynamic than the successful business owner in our scenario were still treated as if they were important, albeit in a less bourgeois way. It was not uncommon at the time to find candy bowls containing candy for customers in the bank lobby, which they could help themselves. Customers generally felt welcomed by their peers, and small acts like these helped banks build and maintain a strong relationship with their customers.

Such “royal” treatment of customers, like the one mentioned earlier, is slowly disappearing with technological advances in banking. Although most young adults today generally hate the thought of walking into a banking room, people still want a human touch when providing services and financial services are not exempt. Technology has brought about many transformations in the banking industry and has enabled a bank like Branch to offer essential financial services as it currently does in Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania and India, all at the touch of a button. a smartphone. However, it is important to strike a balance between transformational technology and maintaining the human element in the delivery of financial services.

Branch does this in three ways:
Empathetic Customer Relationship: What’s the essence of talking to customer service reps if they talk like robots and don’t show basic empathy to a customer? It’s not enough to quickly resolve customer issues – they need to make the person looking after them really care.

In a Branch customer survey, one of the customers noted that what struck her most about the company was how she was treated when she took a few days behind on the repayment of his loan. She was impressed with how a customer service representative who called to remind her of the late payment date, listened to her with undivided attention, showed empathy, and extended the due date. due date rather than just telling her to pay what she owes or deal with harassing tactics like with loan sharks. .

Put a face behind chatbots: If you’ve ever used an interactive website, you must have seen a chatbot before. Many websites now have this chat-bot feature which allows users to have instant conversations with the customer service team rather than waiting hours for an email response or being put off. waiting on the phone.
However, what most websites lack is an instant messaging feature that connects customers directly to living, breathing customer service agents with names and faces. The branch is not most websites. Interacting with a real human being helps build relationships by making the user feel heard and understood.

Great UI on Apps: For the less tech-savvy, UI simply means UI, which basically refers to the visual presentation of an app. Now more than ever, people rely on the internet and apps for almost everything. This has led companies to invest heavily in creating aesthetic user interfaces to optimize user experience (UX) and in turn support the functionality of their websites.

Customers notice these things, as evidenced by the following response to the Branch customer feedback survey mentioned earlier: “Branch is such a great app with a great user interface.” Simple tweaks like this go a long way in reducing customer frustration, which in turn reduces the number of angry “stinky” users sent out.

Going forward, human contact will remain crucial to building customer loyalty and building trust in the banking industry. That’s why Branch continues to explore new ways to forge strong relationships with its customers. At Branch, the human element is an important consideration in improving the experience of its customers at every stage of service delivery.

Accessing services like fast loans at attractive interest rates and sending or receiving money seamlessly is as easy as ABC on Branch. Simply download the app from the Google Play Store, create an account in seconds, and instantly discover a world of easily accessible financial services.

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