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The Role of the Branch in Today’s Changing Business Model




Today, nearly all consumer segments have altered how they interact with suppliers because of the convenience digital brings, and it affects every stage of their customer journey—awareness, consideration, purchasing, service support, retention, and then relationship expansion. While digital solutions give consumers a greater level of empowerment, it reduces the effectiveness of a conventional customer delivery model.

For example, customers are active in the awareness and consideration stages as they explore how to address their needs. However, in a digital world, banks are no longer aware of this interaction and need. So, during perhaps the most important customer journey stages for customer acquisition, a bank cannot influence like they previously were able to in a physical engagement. Perhaps as important, digital customers take on a self-service role in the fulfillment process.

While the increased use of digital solutions and engagement methods have affected the traditional customer delivery model, the branch still has an important role in this new model.  Banks have a great advantage today with their branch assets. Customers now want both the convenience digital brings and easy access to financial expertise as they meet their needs. As a branch’s transactional role diminishes, their customer service and advisory roles increase. Branches today have less separation of duties, a reduced need for transaction scale, and an increased need for advisory services.

The advisory needs of customers vary.  Different market segments have different needs ranging from insurance protection to investment to financial planning. Wealth segments typically have specialty advisory services not generally needed or applicable to mass retail and small business markets. The largest need is personal financial planning 101 for debt reduction, retirement and educational savings, auto and home purchases, and expense management.

ARGO solution brings personal financial planning directly to the consumer. Goal-based, it covers many of these customer education and planning needs. It even compares a consumer’s expenses to national peer averages assisting the customer to better gauge where expense levels are out of line. It offers a customer great value while allowing the bank to capture valuable information.

For more information on the new customer engagement model and the role of the branch, and how to implement it for your institution, view our recent solution brief.

Download Solution Brief