To say we’re living in unprecedented times would be an understatement. Thanks to a global pandemic, it seems like just about everything has changed, from social norms to travel to where and how we work. While we’re not out of the woods yet, we do seem to be settling into new ways: a post-pandemic world, if you will. And thanks to the latest technology, many businesses, including banks and credit unions, have the tools to adapt and even thrive in a remote world.
Despite the many changes we’ve all experienced, some things haven’t changed. The customer or member expectation of personalized digital service is one of those. That’s why effective client communications through digital channels should be high on your list of priorities. Even when the pandemic is over, this expectation will still stand. Here are four big reasons why digital communication will continue to rule in our post-pandemic world.1. Expectations Have Changed
After months of depending on online delivery and digital services, people will expect these options to remain available. What was born from necessity will continue out of convenience. For banks and credit unions, this means you’ll need to provide tools for your accountholders to self-serve and access information faster. No doubt your competition is already offering these digital options. Keeping up with the latest technology is now a competitive matter.2. (Online) Safety Should Come First
As more and more of our daily communications shift to digital channels, vulnerability to online attacks will naturally increase. Keeping your accountholders’ data safe should be a top priority. Offering a secure online client portal is a must. By providing your accountholders with a safe way to access to their data, you are helping to protect their business and yours from potential data breaches. Tools like multifactor authentication allow you to share select information without compromising confidentiality – and perhaps most importantly, will provide your clients with peace of mind.3. Respect Your Time & Your Accountholders’ Time
Technology has allowed us to do more with fewer resources, which is great for the bottom line. But having fewer people means that everyone’s time is more precious, including that of your accountholders. By offering them easy and effective ways to communicate online with your staff, you are showing them that you value their time.
Digital self-service technology can also be a benefit for your employees, who can spend less time answering phones and returning emails and more time focused on higher level tasks. There are still times, however, when human interaction is necessary, as technology can never replace empathy. And these exchanges should be made better when managed by employees who have not been overworked by mundane tasks.4. Optimize the Client Experience
Anytime that your staff interacts with clients, it reflects on your company. This goes for digital interactions, too. Let’s take, for instance, the onboarding of new accountholders, which should be the time at which expectations are set for what your accountholders can expect from you as their service provider. A frustrating online experience (such as a lackluster bot or a complicated way to get in touch) just won’t cut it anymore. Your digital communication experience needs to reflect the type of service customers and members would receive in person at your organization.
With a digital communication channel – like a client portal – you can push helpful reminders of important events (e.g., office closures or altered funding times resulting from bank holidays). Providing your accountholders with reminders of these types of events will help them plan accordingly.
For organizations that were resourceful and were able to adapt quickly to new remote work, digital communication was widely and readily adopted by their accountholders in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. By empowering your accountholders with digital tools, you’re not only meeting their expectations, but you’re also respecting their time. Another positive is that every time accountholders can self-serve, your team is available to work on higher-value tasks.
Simply put, customers and members have adapted to relying on digital lines of communication when it comes to interacting with their banks and credit unions – and that’s not going to go away just because your doors are fully open again.
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