Patriots vs. Rams. Superman vs. Lex Luthor. Oil vs. Water. There are many pairs that come to mind when you think of the word “adversaries.”

Brick and mortar vs online? We don’t believe you should think of brick and mortar locations and your institution’s digital presence as adversaries. In order to win in today’s era of customer engagement, online and offline locations need to work in tandem – seamlessly.

So, how does one pave the smoothest road between your customer’s offline must-do’s and online activity? Below are some ways to do this, and in the process, delight your customers.

Prioritize Building Relationships over Building Deposits

Ask yourself – and be really honest – how does your institution build relationships? The answer to this question is critical. Here’s why: research from the Digital Banking Report finds financial institutions with a high customer experience rating receive 1.9x the level of recommendations, have customers 2x more willing to take on new products within the bank and 1.9x greater wallet share.

Moving forward, think relationships = revenue. Authenticity is key.

Proactive Communication

Proactive communication isn’t just about your institution reaching out with an offer, it also includes helping customers proactively solve their problems via strong self-service channels. Gartner research estimates that next year (2020) 85% of customer interactions will be automated.

While your institution can’t control how much your customers interact with automated technology, you can control the quality of this interaction. This means that future investments into automated and self-service technologies are worth the spend.

Customization, Customization, Customization

Banking customers today are picky and they’re not as loyal as institutions hope. With this in mind, institutions can’t count on a customer with a checking account coming back to the institution when they need a mortgage loan. With this in mind, institutions need to present proactive offers to customers before the need arises.

To do this, institutions should do a deep dive into the customer journey and in technology that can provide a single view of each customer and data into what these customers are really shopping for.

83% of customers with banking CX leaders (USAA, Regions, and Chase hold the top three spots) say their bank actively provides them with relevant advice and recommendations.  This is compared to the 64% average of customers who bank with non CX leaders.

Strong Omnichannel Presence = Reinforcement of Brand Trust

It really isn’t just about digital and brick and mortar. There are many channels in which customers can now interact with the financial brands they love. Institutions also shouldn’t be afraid to embrace new ways to connect with their customers. Look at the success of the Capital One Cafes – a reimagining of the traditional bank branch as a coffee shop.

What better way to reinforce brand trust than to truly be there for customers whenever they need it, on whatever device they need it? Strengthening the customer experience at all touchpoints: branch, online, social, self-serve is not only a “nice to have” it’s now a customer expectation.

>>Click here to download Vericast’s “Entanglement ≠ Engagement. Seeking a New Way to Measure Success” Article.