The concept of branch transformation has become the hot buzz word in the financial industry for incorporating technology into your financial delivery services. Many bankers seem to have the perception that branch transformation means one thing: becoming more reliant on technology-based services in lieu of providing the personal touch interaction.
But this is not always the case. Before making a large investment in technology to keep up with the Joneses, you must first understand what branch transformation means to you and your organization.
What is Branch Transformation?
Simply stated, any type of shift or change you do in your organization can fall under the category of branch transformation.
First, you must understand how the changes can be a benefit to your organization and what is required to make them successful. Again, branch transformation does not always have to mean technology enhancements, it can be as simple as changing how your staff interacts with your customers.
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to branch transformation. What it's really about is identifying what type of bank branch design transformation can help you achieve your goals and strategic initiatives. Branch transformation typically revolves around altering and improving the experience you provide to customers. Here are a few examples:
Shifting the Customer Experience
Changing your organization from being transaction-focused to relationship-focused can be considered a branch transformation. This involves altering the ways in which your branch operates. These changes include physical remodeling, like removing the traditional barriers of the teller line and introducing a concierge station or pod concept in your branches. These changes also involve process remodeling, like shifting how your employees approach and meet customer needs.
Co-Branding is another opportunity to transform your branch which allows the financial institution to team up with another retail or professional service industry to help generate additional foot traffic to the branch. Providing additional services outside of the normal consumer and business lending, such as financial planning and advising, can be considered a branch transformation.
Technology and Branch Transformation
While branch transformation does not always have to lean towards technology integration, there is definitely a place for it within your overall plan for transformation. With that being said, I want to reiterate this fact: you cannot just insert the latest technology trends into your business and hope that they will work for your organization.
Focusing on technology first can be a recipe for disaster. In order to choose the technologies that will help your branch expand and become more efficient, it's invaluable to start with the customer experience. When you start with your customer in mind, navigating the latest technologies such as teller cash recyclers, interactive teller machines, self-service coin counters, deposit automation, and digital displays (to name a few), can bring big benefits to your branch transformation and how they meet their needs.
The idea I want to leave you with is that technology is here to help with branch transformation, not dictate it. You do not have to incorporate all of the latest trends at one time. The best course of action is to fully understand what branch transformation strategies are right for you and how they can be best integrated into your organization.