Let’s face it — most consumers think going to the bank or credit union real pain in the you-know-where. Although financial products and services are important to consumers and definitely have emotional impact, they are not typically seen as “sexy” items which people wish to purchase.

Your bank or credit union should take an honest look at the way in which consumers perceive it and answer the question, honestly – “is visiting us a pain?” If consumers, already halfway dreading going to the bank or credit union actually do have a negative experience there, it’s bad for your brand and your bottom line.

Examine the consumer visit from their point of view. Start with the basics. Is your facility easy to see from the road? Is it attractive (for example, landscaping, paint, etc.)? Once inside, how quickly are your consumers greeted? Do you have a queue system and, if so, does it ask consumers to take it upon themselves to sign in or does your staff take the initiative and handle that for them?

Digging deeper, you should next examine subsequent steps in a typical consumer interaction. How long is the average wait time? Do you provide some type of beverage (water, coffee, etc.)? Once a consumer is seated with a representative, is that person skilled and trained to ask questions or are they simply an order-taker with no real drive?

After examining some of these basics (and the above examples are just a few of the many things you should examine), apply the question again — “is visiting us a pain?” If some of the answers to the questions above included responses like “our landscaping is dead,” “the average wait time is 30 minutes,” and “our staff are poorly trained in asking questions,” it’s likely visiting you is a pain for consumers. Now it’s up to you to fix that.

Ways to address this challenge include taking a look at your brand, training, employee culture and accessible member data. It is critical that your bank or credit union examine the consumer interaction experience from the consumer perspective to ensure visiting you isn’t a pain. Because if it is, consumers are more than happy to take their business someplace more pleasant.

A deep-dive marketing audit is also a terrific way to ascertain how easy it is to do business with your financial institution. For more information on marketing audits, please follow this link.