It’s no longer necessary to visit a branch for many banking services, yet in-person banking isn’t going away. Instead, it’s becoming more important and more specialized and, as a result, the customer service experience a branch provides is increasingly vital to a bank’s success.

This reality is supported by Engageware’s own recent study about the state of banking, which underscores the fact that branch visits are more important than ever before. We know that in-person banking remains popular, and that technological advances are creating opportunities for more innovative branch banking experiences in the future.

As in-person banking is transforming, branches need to be ready to work with today’s technology, opening the doors to new levels of customer service experience that enable more growth and an expanded customer base. While online banking options offer convenience and immediacy, in-person banking experiences must be built on exceptional service with a personal touch.

We learned this in a recent conversation with National Bank of Canada, which built its reputation as a customer-centric institution by focusing on customer services. National Bank took note of in-person banking trends moving toward more complex services, and understood the paramount need for exceptional customer service.

The Bank quickly identified one area where improvement was possible: appointment scheduling. Bank customers communicating with the Bank call center would often get referred to one of the bank’s Advisors, who provide expert advice on a range of financial matters. Such referrals, however, invariably encountered a disconnect between the call center and the Advisors’ respective appointment calendars due to the lack of a direct scheduling option.

After implementing Engageware’s intelligent scheduling solution, National Bank now provides customers an effortless way to connect with the right specialist through any channel every time they want to make an appointment. This ensures direct connection to Advisors and eliminates the negative customer experience that can occur when customers don’t have a seamless experience.

While customers may feel ambivalent about certain aspects of digital banking, new online and mobile technologies will continue to evolve, and banking habits will evolve with them. These advances will provide challenges as well as opportunities to banks. Despite the fast-changing technology landscape, the importance of customer service will never change.

As long as the banking industry continues to evolve with new technology and a firm commitment to providing personalized service, it seems certain that banks will benefit from keeping their branch doors open.

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