Starting with 2008, consumer confidence regarding banks has shrinked, without tremendously improving over the past two years. SavingBanking.co.uk quotes the results of a 2011 survey according to which consumer confidence in banking fell again after a certain rise in 2010, with less than 50% of the respondents considering high street banks reliable and close to 25% of the Brits stating they do not trust lenders. At the beginning of July, PwC’s UK banking lender also confirmed this ”dip in confidence” to financial publication Thisismoney.co.uk, resulting in a slowed-down growth. Earnst & Young’s global survey confirms this trend, noting UK as the European contry with the highest consumer confidence fall in banking.
In these circumstances, banks in the UK and worldwide are striving to counter this not-so-positive sentiment by putting communication at the heart of this effort. The benefits and uses of digital signage for this particular sector can be summarised as follows:
- creating a more inviting and pleasant environment. If people are still frowning at the thought of visiting a branch, digital signage can change this state of mind. Idle waiting creates discontentment even before the transaction has begun. By offering relevant information mixed with a bit of entertaining one, digital signage sets customers in the right mood before they reach the counter (DigitalSignageToday).
- educate customers, improve customer service and in-branch experience. As in most sectors, there are certain questions that are repeatedly asked by customers. Providing the answers on the screen would speed up the process and improve the workflow, diminishing the wait time for the other customers in line and providing a better customer-service and an improved in-branch experience.
- improve corporate communication. A digital signage software allows the control of a network of screens from a central location, enabling headquarters to send the same information, at the same time, to all branches. Users are also allowed to assign persons entitled to manage the system (publish content onto the screens, schedule content, create a playlist or a channel etc.) and assign a certain degree of responsibility to them. Unlike other mediums (TV, publications, radio) digital signage is one that allows its users to have full control of it, which implies a high flexibility in serving an organization’s needs.
- rebranding. Digital signage helps the bank transmit to its customers any visual and conceptual elements it wants to be associated with, all this without the noise of other brands and other competitors’ commercial messages. In this case, as stated in the beginning, rebranding would imply positioning banks as trustworthy partners in consumers’ minds and generating a more positive sentiment among them. A modern point-of-sale is also sending the message of a dynamic, forward- looking bank.
Brand image seems to be particularly significant in the banking sector alongside reputation, consumers assigning it 4.5 points out of 6, in terms of importance for a successful banking relationship, according to Ernst & Young’s global survey. The ultimate result of a positive brand image, a more pleasant in-branch atmosphere and a more efficient workflow and thus a better service digital signage contributes to, is a decreased attrition rate (customers switching from one bank to another) and consequently an increased customer loyalty which is what most banks desire.
The study actually advises banks to innovate, so then why not through digital signage?