DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY IN RETAIL BANKS

Chris Riegel, CEO and founder of Stratacache, which provides digital signage solutions to retail banks, answers our questions about how branches can enhance the experiences for their customers, leading to greater foot traffic and increased profitability.

Technology plays a huge role in banking. What role is digital technology playing?

Digital technology is one of the fastest growing industries and marketers around the world are beginning to see it as a necessity.  Retail banks globally have embraced various forms of digital technology to bolster their marketing and advertising efforts. Digital technology is responding to the necessity to provide customers with relevant information when they want and where they want it. Innovations such as BLE beacons, facial recognition software and digital display technologies continue to play a larger role in branches around the globe, as retail banks rethink the role their branch has to play across multiple channels. Online innovations and mobile applications have increased the convenience of day-to-day banking needs reducing the need to go to a branch to deposit a check.

That said, customers have indicated a strong preference to engage with Customer Services Representatives within the branch to discuss financial matters and still see a convenient branch location as a feature of high importance. Customers expect a memorable, informative and productive in-branch experience and digital signage can be custom-tailored to provide information that is specific to a particular client or customer demographic in real time. Digital signage can provide a range of messages surrounding products, services and information relevant to the audience and based on day-parting information that exists within the bank’s network infrastructure.

How can branches use it to enhance customer experience?

Chris Riegel
Chris Riegel

The customer experience is paramount and with the branch being the hub from which all other experiences with a financial institution resonate – from online to telephone banking or via mobile applications – the branch experience affects the overall customer perception of the bank. Digital signage has a positive impact on brand perception and can help companies appear to be more innovative in the eyes of their customers.  If done right, digital displays can be used for real-time marketing to create an integrated experience across various banking channels and allow for a more personalized customer experience based on business intelligence.

If customer data is being used with a very specific type of customer experience in mind, for example, to greet a highly-net-worth customer by name when they enter the branch, then the customer experience can really be impacted. In addition to the ability to do direct, one-to-one, and real-time messaging, digital displays also have touch screen capabilities. Customers can browse through topics of interest to them while being engaged through gamification and info-tainment. Marketers must always keep the end goal of the experience they want to create in mind and then work from there to determine the business intelligence and the tools like digital signage needed to create it.

What are the marketing benefits?

Digital signage brings retail banks the ability to enrich or strengthen brand awareness through message agility, improved demographic targeting and impact measurement. Furthermore, digital signage helps to elevate brand positioning and aides consumers in seeing their bank as innovative.

Message Agility – Digital signage gives marketers the flexibility and agility to tailor any message to market, create personal, segmented touch points and automate to quickly deploy and modify as needed/desired with minimal change management effort.

Demographic Targeting – It also provides the ability to deliver specific messages to specific segments in specific locations – the way digital merchandising systems do – helps bank marketers create a focus on a customer-centric rather than a product-centric brand value.

Impact Measurement – Digital displays provide banks with a better understanding of the message impact on customer behavior and enhance message recall vs. static print ads. Marketers gain the ability to review data by age, ethnicity and gender, and measurable ability to track conversions, up-sells and more. Banks can use digital displays to understand attitudinal contributions including measurements of awareness, loyalty, or advocacy and net promotion.

How are banks using digital video to help educate customers and employees?

Banks are transforming the branch from a transactional hub where customers engage with tellers, to a dynamic source of information on financial products, services, and information – through the use of digital displays.  The result is tellers that are empowered to “sell” banking services to clients, re-invigorating the potential of branches and modernizing the retail banking experience.

Digital signage is about educating the customer. Digital signage improves financial literacy and helps customers to better understand fees and services. Message recall is 34% better for customers on digital signage versus print.  Digital signs can also be used during off-hours to communicate key messages and training practices to the branch staff behind the scenes.

How does digital video improve sales for banks?

Digital displays serve as a guided sales tool that helps drive inquiry by building cross-sell and conversion opportunities which increase profitability and wallet-share. Banks can turn tellers into sellers by providing a smarter way for banks to engage with customers through guided selling tools.

Are there any disadvantages?

In order to benefit from the advantages of digital displays, banks must already have a strong marketing database in place from which they can use customer data in order to create more targeted customer experience and to leverage the full potential of the technology. For this reason, banks that have a strong marketing and technology infrastructures are best suited for this type of initiative.

Future potential uses for digital video in branches?

Other industries are looking at integrating digital displays with beacons and bank branches have an opportunity available to them to create a more integrated customer experience if they do the same. In the future, marketers will be able to use business intelligence gleaned from their customer relationship management systems to tailor the experience in store and create a more personalized experience on mobile devices while waiting in line or on digital signage displays throughout the store triggered by beacons.