In a lot of ways, the headlong rush into new and innovative technologies is great. People are able to learn, communicate and share ideas at a pace impossible just a few years ago. Consumers are also able to interact with their finances digitally in ways that would’ve surprised forecasters even a decade ago.
Banks and credit unions now offer the majority of their products and services that were once branch-bound are now in vibrant digital mediums. Consumers can visit with their financial institution, open and close accounts, take out loans, make payments and a host of other options – all from the comfort of their smart phone or tablet. Fewer people actually visit physical branches now than ever before.
Yes, technology is great. But it’s not everything. And if your bank or credit union hangs its entire hat on technology – you are setting yourself up to fail.
Because technology does not necessarily mean culture. Technology can exist as a part of your culture, but it is not the entirety of your culture.
For example, having all the greatest and latest digital technology for your consumers is terrific. But, much like a robot, it doesn’t have much of a soul. People will still look to the heart of your bank or credit union to check out its culture. And it is culture that drives brand. And it is brand, in turn, that drives loyalty, market and wallet share.
This speaks volumes towards the importance of educating your staff on the brand. Certainly, they have to know the ins and outs of how your digital products work. But if they don’t have a grasp of the overall bank or credit union brand — the DNA of who you are, you serve and what you want to be — you are setting yourself up as a soulless entity, one with which consumers will have a hard time relating. Ensure that your staff fully understands and lives the brand on a daily basis. This approach encourages both brand compliance and consumer loyalty through enhanced engagement.
Like a lot of things, technology makes a terrific servant but a terrible master. Ensure that your bank or credit union uses technology as a tool and does not rely on it as a false culture.