While financial research begins online, conversions, account openings and financial product purchases are completed in the branch. Consumers want the helping touch, financial knowledge, the ability to review their options and affirmation that they are making the right decision before they're willing to complete a transaction.
While transactions have slowly migrated out of the branch to online and mobile and other electronic channels, customers still prefer to come into a branch to open accounts, finalize loans or start a financial relationship. So instead of being asked to perform routine tasks, branch associates are increasingly expected to be more consultative and helpful when closing new business.
Remove Sales Obstacles
Before finalizing their decisions, financial consumers prefer to replace doubt with certainty and make sure they have a good understanding of how a product will impact their finances. Being able to share knowledge through available educational content or demonstrate the impact of a financial decision via a financial calculator can help consumers get past all remaining sales obstacles and be ready to move forward with their decision.
Building Branch Knowledge
It's difficult enough to have subject matter experts in each branch for all of the products that a bank or credit union offers. Making them experts on all matters of personal finance would add to that challenge. But leveraging a strong library of educational content on personal finance that can be shared and reviewed by branch associates based on their relation to specific products can help them build credibility with new customers and give them information they can share when questions are raised.
Knowing which financial calculators can provide a good example of how a product might work for a new customer, such as a car, mortgage or home equity loan can allow them to use those tools to answer key questions as well.
Handouts to Take Home
From a marketing perspective, packets of information can be printed and prepared at the branch for inclusion into product materials so that prospective customers can have financial education content readily available to answer key questions that arise.