There is a new way of life brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Consumers young and old are going digital. From shopping online, grocery delivery and video conferencing, to 86-year-olds learning how to sign up and use Facebook to view church services. Even me sitting here at my home office desk, cat on keyboard, wondering is this my new norm? These changes are likely going to stay even after the pandemic is over. Now more than ever, it is extremely important for banks and credit unions to adapt to the new world—beyond mobile apps and chat bots. Financial institutions must engage, guide and fulfill customer needs 100% digitally.
Who would have ever predicted the term “social distancing” was going to be used in our lifetime where everything is about socializing? Overnight, everything changed. We are having to adjust and change how we do everything. Right now, I am at my home desk trying to figure out how to get groceries, a frozen margarita and, yes, toilet paper—without possibility infecting others, my family or myself. My kids are teaching me how to order groceries from Costco, and dinner via Uber Eats. Wow, it is so easy and convenient. From now on, I will have Saturday mornings free from my ritual visit to Costco. Game changer!
I’m not the only one in my family that’s learning how to use technology differently for the first time. My 86-year-old mother called me the other day asking me to teach her and my dad how to sign up and use Facebook so she can watch her church services. Mind blowing! That lead to setting up Zoom so she and her friends could have virtual happy hours and continue their Friday night dinners together, all 9 of them. After one virtual happy hour, dinner and Sunday services, she is hooked!
The entire country is learning how to entertain themselves, host virtual birthday parties and celebrate life’s little moments—good and bad—in a whole new way.
Some things that haven’t changed include our fear of financial decisions and the need for guidance and understanding. We all know someone who is looking for credit availability, new savings and investment accounts, education on loans and loan programs like the SBA loans, mortgage assistance, as well as general financial recommendations to meet their needs, TODAY. Rather than having a series of disjointed communications with chat bots and long hold times, banks and credit unions should listen to and learn from the consumer in a dynamic and digital way.
What I have learned in my 22 years on the digital side of the business is that it is ever evolving and keeping up is with change is important. While technology has empowered us to stay connected during this time of social distancing, it can also empower banks and credit unions to engage with their members and customers in a positive, effective and memorable way. As well as meet and fulfill their needs with accuracy and intelligence.
As we are all helping our loved ones adapt to this new way of life, we are here to help you and your team. With many cities, business and FI’s opening back up, social distancing is here to stay a while longer, and digital is here to stay for good. If you want help in readjusting your branch to accommodate to the new virtual consumer today and into the future, let me know, I’d love to help and let you in on a few tips we taught our clients during these life changing times.
By Barbie Boe, Co-founder & Chief Marketing Officer, Ignite Sales