Why Balancing Digital and People is More Important Than Ever

Emma Schoth

Emma Schoth

August 08, 2022

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To remain competitive in 2022, traditional financial institutions are seeking ways to elevate their customer experiences as alternative lenders continue to gain new customers in the business banking segment. 

Banks and credit unions have proven their ability to quickly transition to online alternatives to visiting the branch over the last few years. Today, they face a new challenge. With most of the restrictions from the pandemic lifted, lenders are now deciding how to utilize their branches moving forward. 

Although the way consumers choose to interact with their branches has changed, they are still turning to the branch for assistance and advice from their trusted advisors on more complex transactions, like small business loans. This provides a unique opportunity for traditional financial institutions to create a distinct competitive advantage that will be difficult for online only lenders to duplicate. 

Historically, banks and credit unions have been known for the white-glove customer service they provide to their customers. In 2022, they recognize this service is no longer enough to remain competitive, but when combined with best-in-class technology, they can create an outstanding experience allowing customers to choose how they interact with the institution, whether it’s in-person, online, or both. 

Implementing a strategy that combines digital and people isn’t an easy task for many financial institutions and typically requires lenders to transform the way they operate at the branch level. 

Transforming the Branch to Balance Digital and People 

Branch transformation is a concept that is top of mind for many lenders this year. Branch transformation means balancing digital and people by creating a customer experience that incorporates both technology and best-in-class customer service.

Earlier this year, we developed the Digital Transformation Curve to help financial institutions better understand where they’re at in their digital transformation journey and the steps they need to take to move to the next level. 

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The Digital Transformation Curve includes the following levels: 

  • Level 0: Legacy. This describes financial institutions that have yet to invest in technology.
  • Level 1: Incremental Improvement. This describes financial institutions that have invested in point solutions.
  • Level 2: Financial Product Transformation. This describes financial institutions that have used technology to completely transform an individual product or service. 
  • Level 3: Full Category Transformation. This describes financial institutions that have used technology to completely transform an entire category of financial products or services.
  • Level 4: Business Model Transformation. This describes financial institutions that have used technology to completely transform how they lend to businesses and go to market.

Level zero, legacy, is the starting point for every bank that’s beginning their transformation journey. Each of the following levels represent an increase in technology adoption on the path towards digital maturity. 

During a recent webinar session, we surveyed our audience to find out which level of transformation they believe their institution is at today, and 91 percent of respondents reported that they’re at either level one or two. Lenders in these levels have seen efficiency gains from digital transformation and many of them are choosing to expand their use of the Numerated platform to leverage more solutions within the next 12 months. 

Pairing an expanded use of the Numerated platform with their best-in-class customer service has led institutions to experience higher levels of customer satisfaction across the institution. No matter what level they are at, the balancing act between in-person customer service and technology advancements still exists. 

Some of the ways lenders have successfully balanced digital and people include: 

  • Creating Omni-channel Experiences
    Today, business borrowers are seeking omni-channel experiences. Lenders can leverage technology like Numerated to provide customers with consistent experiences across the branch network and online. Taking an omni-channel approach to business banking allows lenders to effectively balance digital and people by providing customers to choose when they want in-person assistance, allowing financial institutions to uphold their value of excellent customer service in and outside of the branch. 
  • Enabling Non-Credit Trained Employees to Assist Business Borrowers
    As the war for talent continues, lenders are seeking new ways to serve customer questions related to applications, so credit trained employees can focus on more tedious processes related to loan origination. Using the Numerated platform, lenders have been able to handle 4x the loan volume by enabling non-credit trained employees, like tellers, to assist business borrowers. 
  • Restructuring the Physical Layout of the Branch
    When it comes to branch transformation, the physical layout of the branch is another key area that lenders are focused on this year. To better serve their customers in-person, some financial institutions have begun to restructure the layout of their branches to ensure they can efficiently serve their customers by combining technology and in-person experiences. 

Adopting Technology to Transform the Branch 

Effectively balancing the relationship between technology and people will create an invaluable competitive advantage for financial institutions allowing them to drive profitability within the branch and secure new customers in the small business segment.

To achieve this level of branch transformation, lenders need to focus on choosing the right technology partners. Banks and credit unions leveraging the Numerated platform have seen value from their investment in as few as 72 days. 

Learn more about how you can get started with Numerated by registering for our upcoming webinar session where we will take you through our product roadmap for the next 12 months, here

Can’t wait until the webinar session? Contact our team to learn more about how your institution can make business banking easy with Numerated.

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