Branch networks are shrinking, and banks need to get better at handling this disruptive process with empathy. People need more from banking institutions than just efficient transactions. We all know that 31% of customers who switched banks did so when a branch closed. In light of these facts,

What is the right way for banking institutions to balance their digital presence with their physical branches?  

This is a tricky question and one that could be answered in many different ways. To start, let’s look at the customer experience before and after a branch closure. Before the closure, it’s all about convenience—the ability to receive personalized service quickly and conveniently. After the closure, however, customers no longer have easy access to such services. Digital banking solutions must provide an experience that adequately replaces this convenience factor; otherwise, customer attrition will increase.  

Banking institutions should also reframe their sales thinking when it comes to digital and branch banking solutions—it’s not just about which option can provide customers with the most efficient transaction processes; it’s also about which option provides them with the best overall experience. That means taking into account factors like convenience as well as personalization and customization options that can help make customers feel valued by their bank.  

Finally, when it comes to balancing digital and branch banking solutions, communication is key. Banks should ensure they are communicating openly and honestly with customers throughout any transition process from physical branches to digital ones so that customers don’t feel abandoned or ignored during a difficult time for them. Additionally, banks should look for ways to reduce customer stress by providing helpful information about how digital solutions can benefit them even if they aren’t able to visit a physical branch in person anymore.  

Closing a physical branch isn’t easy for anyone involved—especially for customers who are used to convenient access to personalized service from their local bank branches. However, by focusing on providing excellent customer experiences through both digital and physical channels, banking institutions can minimize customer attrition during times of disruption by keeping their customers happy while transitioning away from traditional brick-and-mortar locations. Communication is key here—openly discussing strategies and potential solutions will go a long way toward helping keep your current customers loyal during any transition period.