I’ll be honest – there are certain places I avoid shopping simply to avoid the hassle.

What do I mean by hassle? Lots of things. Parking, crowds, selection, etc. The number one hassle that I dread when shopping is the inevitable hit-up from the checkout person.

You know the routine. “Do you have our credit card?” “Do you have our points reward card?” “Would you like to sign up for our credit card reward card?” “Would you like to make a donation to ABC charity?” And then, once you wade through the bevy of questions, you have to wait ten minutes for the foot-long receipt and 4-5 extra coupons for things you will never actually buy.

All this amounts to a huge hassle as a consumer. It got me to thinking – what are banks and credit unions doing to hassle their consumers and what are ways they can stop doing that? While answers will be unique to individual financial institutions, there are some commonalities you’ll want to watch examine.

  • Limited hours and locations. Consumers expect 24/7 access to their accounts. And while you don’t necessarily have to provide that with your brick-and-mortar locations, you certainly do with easy to use and reliable digital access services. Cut back on the hassle of having to physically visit a branch by ensuring that consumers can access you digitally. Examples of this include a “branch in their pocket” represented by a robust app or other mobile platform.
  • Adequate staffing during peak hours. You know the drill here. A little bit of observation will tell you when the crowds tend to hit your brick-and-mortar locations. Make sure you have adequate staffing on hand at those times to handle the consumer need. It’s like the checkout line at your local grocery store – nothing is more irritating than having one line open with a line that goes to the back of the store.
  • Employees living the brand. Your brand can promise all kinds of spectacular things, from friendliness and speed to reliability and efficiency. But that’s just words on paper. Where the brand really comes to life is within your employees. And if your employees are not genuinely living the brand, you’ve broken a brand promise and have a significant brand gap. Brand training can help ensure your staff lives the brand so members can truly love the brand.

It’s a fast-paced world in which we live and consumers increasingly look towards financial institutions that provide the least amount of hassle. Take a look at your consumers’ hassle pain points now to help make sure you are in the running for their business.