More than half of US consumers are avoiding non-essential trips to banks, yet 63% would appreciate remote telephone or video service from their banks or credit unions during the Coronavirus outbreak.
With the number of Covid-19 cases in the US continuing to climb, and as social distancing and self-isolation measures continue to be enforced, many consumers and businesses are under increased financial pressure and need access to support from their banking providers – yet the majority are fearful of making a visit to their local branch.
We recently surveyed 2,000+ consumers throughout the US and found:
- 52% of consumers who make regular visits to banks and credit unions are avoiding making trips as a direct result of the pandemic. A further 39% are reducing visits.
- Only 8% of consumers are doing as many trips to banks as they were before the Coronavirus outbreak.
- Respondents are considerably more likely to visit a grocery store or pharmacy over their bank branch.
While they might be choosing to avoid bank branches, many consumers still need access to financial services and support. Here are three ways retail banks can continue to serve customers during Covid-19:
1) More than half of Americans want remote service over the phone
Creating a positive in-branch experience is one of the most effective ways of building strong customer relationships, but as most people are either avoiding branches or limiting their visits, banks should instead seek to engage customers and build personalized relationships through virtual channels.
Almost two thirds (63%) of consumers in our survey said they would appreciate some sort of remote service from their banks or credit unions during the Coronavirus outbreak – and more than half (55%) were in favor of remote service over the phone.
This can be achieved by creating easy to access phone banking appointments that service customers at home by enabling them to schedule appointments or join virtual queues to connect with advisors via telephone.
2) Remote video service is in high demand with younger consumers
One in five (17%) consumers in our survey said they want remote service via video from their banks. When looking at the insights by age, we found that younger generations (GenZ, Millennial and GenX) are twice as likely to want video service over their Baby Boomers counterparts, and are equally as likely to want phone service.
Based on the younger demographic interest in video service, it’s likely that this interest extends beyond the Coronavirus outbreak. We could see the present day could act as a catalyst for ongoing virtualized brand interactions in the future – so investing in these capabilities now makes sense in the long-term.
We also noticed a strong interest in remote video service by those from higher income households, with 33% of those earning more than $300,001, and 21% of those earning between $150,001 – $300,000 saying they want remote video service from their bank.
3) Support social distancing with virtual queuing app
When our survey took place towards the end of March, an average of 52% of consumers said they were avoiding visits to banks, while a further 39% say they had reduced visits. And even with the lockdown easing, consumers will still be cautious about making visits to branches.
Retail banks can build customer confidence by investing in customer management processes that support social distancing measures, such as a queuing app, that allow customers to join virtual queues instead of waiting in physical lines.
Alternatively, a number of leading retail banks are allow customers to schedule in-branch appointments with advisors or bankers online, subsequently limiting their time waiting in line and in-branch.