Centering Human Interaction, Banks Deliver More Mature Customer Experiences

Going beyond omnichannel into a more mature ‘Total Experience’ journey

Though people prefer personalization – driven by data and digital – they expect to connect with brands on a more human level. That’s what the latest loyalty data tells us in banking and beyond. While coordinating channels into an omnichannel experience is best practice, consumers say humanity matters most. “In this automated age, consumers still want to talk to a real person,” according to the PwC Customer Loyalty Survey 2022. “Respondents said human interaction is important or very important for their loyalty to financial services (55%)…” In fact, across sectors, at least one-third say that human interaction is imperative.

As banks balance the demands for institutional efficiency and customer experience, insights like these can help inform banking’s decision-making about what to prioritize in their omnichannel approaches. “Retail banking strategy must evolve past simply closing down more branches to save money and pushing people into mobile apps,” says The Financial Brand in an article on better-synchronizing branches and digital. Such strategies value the role of innovation but go further than assumptions about what technology can do. In short, “Banks must use humans for what they’re good at and leave the rote work to digital devices.”

Going even further, Karl Dahlgren, managing director of research at BAI, describes the limitations of digital experiences in their Banking Outlook for 2022. “Despite the progress made on digital channels during the pandemic, only 9% of bankers said their digital customer experience was excellent.” He describes primacy – the customer relationship with their primary financial institution – as a far more powerful influencer on experience. He says, “Instead of just transacting business, banks need to develop relationships with customers.” And they do that through effective omnichannel experiences that deliver a balance of digital and physical.

“Omnichannel is the way of the present, but I believe we’re advancing past it, into a more mature ‘Total Experience’ journey,” says Ben Hopper, Managing Director, Retail Strategy & Analytics for Adrenaline. This approach blends digital with physical channels taking the best aspects from each to create the optimal customer experience. “If omnichannel is a bowl of fruit – with the customer channels being the fruit – a more advanced approach puts the fruit in a blender and creates a smoothie.” It’s an enhanced experience leveraging the ease and data of digital platforms and the strength and humanity of the retail channel.

To see the latest data on delivering customer experience in banking, stay tuned to Believe in Banking’s continuing coverage of top trends and topics. For the banking industry’s best practices, visit Adrenaline’s Insights. And if you’re a banking leader looking for retail banking strategies customized for your institution, contact our banking and credit union experts via email at