Banks must maintain human connectivity as automation rises

By Huw Newton-Hill
Huw Newton-Hill, of training organisation Attensi, examines how banks can maintain a sense of human connectivity even as automation ramps up

Consumer needs within retail banking are evolving at pace, with McKinsey reporting that in 2022 almost every bank experienced a 50% increase in digital usage. Banks now have a window of opportunity to influence customer preferences, create a renewed culture of innovation and opportunity, increase customer loyalty, and strengthen human relationships. 

With 41% of consumers surveyed saying they wished banks provided more personalised offers and information, there is now an increased expectation for banks to immerse into the lifestyle of the consumer, creating an experience, not just a transaction.

Many individuals are still looking for high-touch personal interactions from their bank, with 35% of boomers saying they’d still like to go in branch. In contrast, there are a growing number of consumers opting for a more light-touch, technology-first approach.

Different generations are seeking different experiences, which has presented a real challenge for banking firms who are now looking at how to ensure high-quality customer service, regardless of whether a transaction is digital or face-to-face.

Balancing automation and human connectivity

As consumer demand continues to shift, banking executives are asking themselves how they can get the balance between automation and connectivity just right, with the right blend of human and digital features.

Recent data from Deloitte showed that, while 47% of customers are embracing the digital experience, these individuals still want to receive their financial advice either in branch or in a call centre. To accommodate this, banks require training that improves digital interactions and relationship development, in addition to supporting the delivery of expert financial advice. Effective training allows banks to create a consistent and powerful experience across in-person and digital environments and deliver excellent customer service.

With an increased demand for a personalised banking service, there is an opportunity for banks to harness consumer information to better understand their audience and to provide the personalised features that they are demanding. The impact: higher customer loyalty and engagement.

Although advances in technology can save time and result in more seamless transactions, they can also make employees feel less valued. To prevent employee apathy, firms must ensure that learning and development plans are visible across the whole organisation and are implemented at all levels.

Attensi’s new whitepaper, ‘Retail Banking: Winning in a complex regulated environment’, looks at the key challenges and trends facing the sector, bringing together industry-leading research and client experiences.

About the author

Huw Newton-Hill

Huw Newton-Hill is the GM of US and Sector Leader for Professional & Financial Services at Attensi, a leading global training tech provider. With an extensive background in finance and professional services, Huw is passionate about helping organisations leverage technology to transform their learning and development programmes.


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