April 12, 2016

Study: Personalized Attention a Top Priority for Banking Customers

BOSTON—April 12, 2016—Today’s “on-demand” consumers want personalized attention from their banks and strongly prefer in-person assistance when making major purchasing decisions, such as first-home mortgages, according to new research from TimeTrade, the leading provider of appointment-driven personalization.

TimeTrade’s State of Retail Banking 2016: Consumer Survey reveals, among other findings, that younger demographics especially value the chance to visit an actual branch. These younger bank customers strongly desire in-person discussions about first-home and other purchases, TimeTrade’s research shows, with Gen Z (20 and under) and Millennial consumers emerging as the groups that are most willing to visit a bank branch when seeking important banking advice.

To better understand bank customers’ current mindset, TimeTrade conducted a survey of 2,064 consumers, asking in-depth questions regarding their perceptions and behaviors around their customer experience in banking. Results reveal that nearly half of consumers are looking to visit the branch, especially when they have important banking questions. Consumers also expressed apprehension about banking automation, overwhelmingly opting to get banking assistance from actual people rather than from online tellers.

“Today’s customers now apply the same ‘on-demand’ requirements to banking that they do to retail, travel and other industries,” said Gary Ambrosino, CEO of TimeTrade. “At the same time, the data tell us that people still want a face-to-face experience when making big financial commitments — not strictly automated online services — and they expect these services with minimal wait-time.”

Key findings of the report include:

  • Consumers still want to meet a bank specialist in person at the bank: When asked how they would like to interact with their financial institution, 57% admit they would like to interact with their bank in-person at the branch
  • Consumers are visiting their branches: 43% of respondents report visiting their bank branch more than 10 times a year, with the average consumer reporting they visited their bank branch more than 6 times per year
  • When visiting their bank, 78% said one of the reasons they came to the bank was because they required assistance from a specialist
  • When visiting their bank, 64% of consumers are willing to wait less than 10 minutes to be helped
  • One way that banks can provide customers with quicker service is by offering consumers the ability to pre-book appointments, with 46% of respondents indicating they would like their bank to offer this option
  • Convenient location and personalized service are the factors most important to respondents when they visit their branch

Despite some industry buzz, consumers are, for the most part, uncaring about whether or not a bank branch has a café-style environment and report it has no influence on their decision of where they bank

Consumers are not ready for fully automated branches: When banking consumers were asked how they felt about experimental bank branches that have no tellers and offer only automated transactions, more than half would still like the option of being able to talk to a teller

TimeTrade’s survey suggests that banking customers prefer a high-value, in-person interaction. This gives banks a prime opportunity for cross-selling products and services — especially compelling in light of consumers’ admission that insurance and wealth management are services they use least with their bank.

“In banking, personalization equals trust, and smart banks are positioning themselves to build trust — and get more business — by personalizing their customers’ banking experiences,” said Ambrosino. “The power is now with consumers, and today’s on-demand customers have expressed their views very clearly: they want banks to deliver personalized attention.”

About TimeTrade
TimeTrade provides an appointment-driven personalization solution to consumer retail, retail banking, health and wellness, higher education and telecom customers. TimeTrade’s appointment-centric customer experience solution enables customers to convert digital first touch interactions into a high-value, in-person meeting. TimeTrade has driven more than 400 million connections between consumers and businesses, directly translating into more than $3 billion in commerce every year.