While mobile and other digital channels continue to grow in importance for transactions, branches remain the preferred channel for customers to have important conversations with their banks, according to a Celent survey for Samsung released today. When consumers need to talk about a lengthy topic, 77 percent prefer visiting a branch and 17 percent calling a contact center, and just 6 percent prefer video or text-based chat.
For investment advice, 63 percent prefer a branch, while 52 percent would choose a branch to set up financial goals and 51 percent would opt for a branch to set up a new deposit or credit card account. To learn about mortgage, auto or student loan options, 45 percent would prefer a branch and 41 percent would prefer the online channel. Branches and contact centers were roughly tied in preference for error resolution. When reporting fraud or a stolen card, 53 percent of customers preferred calling a contact center.
These figures underscore the importance of investing in a positive branch or contact center experience, Celent said. A poor branch experience (with long waits or less knowledgeable staff) was listed by 47 percent as a reason for switching banks, the second-most-common reason after high fees, followed by closure of a local branch by 39 percent. Only 36 percent said a poor mobile or digital experience would drive a switch.