Ask An Expert

Sean Keathley discusses how to create connections through branch conversions

After a COVID slowdown in banking mergers and acquisitions, we’re now in the midst of a predicted a resurgence of M&A activity in 2021. But it's once the deal is done, that the real work begins. In this Ask an Expert, Sean Keathley discusses converting branches to the new post-merger brand. With the exterior of the branch as your beacon and the interior as your experience, branch conversion is a rich opportunity to drive acquisition, deepen customer connections, and solidify and grow relationships. Learn the principles and practices in branch conversion that help banks master all the complexity.

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Outside View

Customer viewing products in Target brand merger with Ulta

From collaborations to in-store pop-ups, how brands like Target and Macy’s are calling consumers home for the holidays

A renewed focus on driving positive customer experiences post-COVID has many of the top retail brands creating new in-store experiences and expanding omnichannel options for shoppers, just ahead of the crucial holiday shopping season. Complicating matters further this fall, the supply chain crunch is expected to put even more pressure on retail brands. An astonishing “64% of retail executives surveyed by Deloitte voiced concern over packages arriving for the holidays” according to Business Insider’s article on the holiday shopping season. Expecting even more in-store traffic, retail brands are ready to deliver and delight.

Target’s CMO Cara Sylvester says creating meaningful customer experiences is part of the brand’s DNA: “Our story is evolving to reflect what our guests expect from Target in this new world, including a deeper connection to what matters most to them.” This mission includes smaller store formats and shop-in-shops, like those coming from partnerships with Apple and Ulta Beauty. “If it’s a great experience in which people find what they want and get good service, they’ll likely go back even if they continue shopping online for certain items,” according to Steve Sandove, senior advisor at Mastercard, spotlighted by PYMTs.

Also getting in on smaller formats, Macy’s subsidiary Bloomingdale’s is leveraging its curated Bloomie’s store in Fairfax, Virginia to “deliver everything [shoppers] love about Bloomingdale’s in a highly edited, convenient, and unexpected way,” according to Bloomingdale’s CEO Tony Spring. This 20,000-square-foot curated store also serves as a trend spotter for larger stores and sets the stage for more customer-centric experiences. Not to be outdone in the new format game, Walmart-owned online outdoor retailer Moosejaw is opening its new 6,000 foot store in Bentonville, Arkansas, where its parent company, is headquartered.

Expanding options for consumers is critical as the economy rebounds and foot traffic at retail locations remains relevant, especially among younger generations – this holiday season and beyond. New formats empower all brands to test and learn and provide consumer experiences at the point of need. For more information on ways financial brands can make the most of retail banking formats and leverage location for more connection and growth, stay tuned to Believe in Banking as it tracks the big trends impacting financial services or contact us at info@adrenalineagency.com.

Photo Credit: Target, July 21, 2021

From collaborations to in-store pop-ups, how brands like Target and Macy’s are calling consumers home for the holidays

A renewed focus on driving positive customer experiences post-COVID has many of the top retail brands creating new in-store experiences and expanding omnichannel options for shoppers, just ahead of the crucial holiday shopping season. Complicating matters further this fall, the supply chain crunch is expected to put even more pressure on retail brands. An astonishing “64% of retail executives surveyed by Deloitte voiced concern over packages arriving for the holidays” according to Business Insider’s article on the holiday shopping season. Expecting even more in-store traffic, retail brands are ready to deliver and delight.

Target’s CMO Cara Sylvester says creating meaningful customer experiences is part of the brand’s DNA: “Our story is evolving to reflect what our guests expect from Target in this new world, including a deeper connection to what matters most to them.” This mission includes smaller store formats and shop-in-shops, like those coming from partnerships with Apple and Ulta Beauty. “If it’s a great experience in which people find what they want and get good service, they’ll likely go back even if they continue shopping online for certain items,” according to Steve Sandove, senior advisor at Mastercard, spotlighted by PYMTs.

Also getting in on smaller formats, Macy’s subsidiary Bloomingdale’s is leveraging its curated Bloomie’s store in Fairfax, Virginia to “deliver everything [shoppers] love about Bloomingdale’s in a highly edited, convenient, and unexpected way,” according to Bloomingdale’s CEO Tony Spring. This 20,000-square-foot curated store also serves as a trend spotter for larger stores and sets the stage for more customer-centric experiences. Not to be outdone in the new format game, Walmart-owned online outdoor retailer Moosejaw is opening its new 6,000 foot store in Bentonville, Arkansas, where its parent company, is headquartered.

Expanding options for consumers is critical as the economy rebounds and foot traffic at retail locations remains relevant, especially among younger generations – this holiday season and beyond. New formats empower all brands to test and learn and provide consumer experiences at the point of need. For more information on ways financial brands can make the most of retail banking formats and leverage location for more connection and growth, stay tuned to Believe in Banking as it tracks the big trends impacting financial services or contact us at info@adrenalineagency.com.

Photo Credit: Target, July 21, 2021

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This quote reads "Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself."

Data You Can Use

0 %*
*Percentage of consumers who say they want more personal interaction regarding their finances post-pandemic
Data

The Story: Though new digital tools can personalize a customer’s experience by using marketing automation to offer products and services at the point of need, a new survey finds that customers prefer a personal interaction over a “personalized” one. Even digital natives like Gen Z still want to interact with real people about their real financial needs.

The Takeaway: As banks and credit unions create communications that show off their digital tools like mobile apps and online banking, they should be sure to also leverage personal human interaction between customers and bankers for training and support. Further, new tools like ITM that are a hybrid of both provide innovative ways to bridge digital and physical channels and prioritize customer connection.

Source: EPAM Continuum, Consumer Banking Report 2021, October, 2021

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Canadian Credit Unions

Canadian Credit Unions Raising the Bar for Customer Experience in Financial Services

For the 17th consecutive year, Canada’s credit unions sweep the customer service category in the Ipsos Financial Services Awards

Known widely for “putting customer service at the heart of every decision,” Canada’s credit unions have once again dominated the nation’s Ipsos Financial Services Awards competition in Customer Service Excellence. The awards recognize credit unions’ continual “high levels of service provided to their member bases,” serving 5.9 million – or one in five Canadians – for their everyday banking needs. “This recognition is truly a reflection of the member-focused service credit unions provide,” according to Martha Durdin, president and CEO of the Canadian Credit Union Association.

But how are credit unions beating the big banks with their big budgets? According to Savvy New Canadians: “Credit unions use a not-for-profit model and are owned by their customers (members) while banks are profit-driven organizations tasked with maximizing returns.” This operating model prioritizes member needs over profits and emphasizes personal interactions over efficiency. And new data in The Financial Brand supports that focus: “[B]anks and credit unions [may be] overly concerned with providing ‘personalized services’ when, in reality, 34% are looking for more of a personal interaction regarding their finances after the pandemic.”

Especially critical during difficult times, human-centered experiences let members know they matter. CCUA’s Durdin says, “Credit unions have especially demonstrated this through their response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Even in times of uncertainty and stress, placing their members and communities first has always been a constant priority.” That attention results in member experiences that are customer-centric and human-based. For the latest data, news and trends on CX in financial services, stay tuned to Believe in Banking. To build powerful, customized member-based CX strategies, contact Adrenaline’s banking and credit union experts at info@adrenalineagency.com.

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Do you need short-term help reopening your branches? Find out about post-COVID branch readiness solutions that can help, or email covidready@adrenalineagency.com.

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