Our client asked us to help them redefine the role of their physical branches, in order to inform their customer strategy and allocate investment in the right places.
From our initial discussions, we discovered little consensus about the role of the branch and where its future lay. So we began by holding focus interviews and discussions, and reviewing the existing network to get a picture of the key challenges, strengths and concerns.
We found a network polarised between branches that were struggling to fulfil basic banking tasks and ‘high-concept’ branches which had received heavy investment to deliver a very different banking experience. We also found little acknowledgement of the role of the branch in the context of the wider digital customer experience.
We designed and facilitated visioning and innovation workshops with stakeholders from across the business to define the role of the branch within the whole customer experience. To trigger new thinking, we used internal and external insights into future trends in both banking and retail. This helped us co-create the strategy for the footprint and format of the branch network.
With the strategy in place, we defined the capabilities and investment needed to deliver the strategy, and plotted the transformation map of how to get there.
As just one touchpoint on the customer journey, the branch needed to fit seamlessly into that journey and offer the right services at the right time for the customer.
Those services needed to cover the basics – for example, withdrawing funds – and the ‘aspirational’ – for example, a full financial health-check.
It’s the combination of a physical outlet and digital capability which drives sales, achieved through a ‘buy not sell’ approach.
A clear customer value proposition and strategy has enabled our client to see, for the first time, how branches can contribute to the customer experience in a consistent and integrated way.
With commitment and alignment from senior stakeholders across the business, there is now a real sense of energy about the future.