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The concept of branch transformation has become one of the latest trends 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 personal touch interactions.

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 benefit your organization and what is required to make them successful. Again, branch transformation does not always entail 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 the type of bank branch design transformation that can help you achieve your goals and strategic initiatives. Branch transformation typically revolves around altering and improving your customer experience. Here are a few examples of bank transformation:

Deliver The Ideal Customer Experience

Changing your organization from being transaction-focused to relationship-focused can be 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 employees approach and meet customer needs.

“While a strong aesthetic is important, I’ve found time and time again that functionality is what keeps people coming back to a bank. Whether we are looking at banking today or banking 30 years ago, one thing remains the same—it’s an experience.”

An experienced architect can help you explore “looks awesome vs. works awesome” and ultimately, help you deliver on aesthetics and function. The overall appearance of your bank branch is important, but whether you’re building a new bank or remodeling a bank, it’s the experience that will keep customers coming back.

Elevate Customer Experience, Efficiency With Co-Branding

It’s no surprise that people are busier than ever. Finding ways to increase customer and non-customer foot traffic in your bank branch may be as simple as considering the items on their to-do lists. Grab a favorite beverage from the local coffee stop and complete bank errands? Co-branding makes this kind of customer experience possible.

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. Providing additional services outside of the normal consumer and business lending, such as financial planning and advising, can be considered a branch transformation.

Learn more about co-branding as a solution to “empty lobby syndrome and a strategic approach to bank design.

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 banking experience 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.

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Published on January 29, 2021

Topics: Bank Construction, Remodel

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