April 16, 2020

Three Immediate Actions for Financial Institutions in Response to COVID-19

We are living in a time of unprecedented collaboration as the effects of COVID-19 bring together community leaders, elected officials, healthcare workers, educational agencies, and financial institutions to combat the outbreak and do their part to support the community.

“The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is already having a profound effect on people’s lives and on the global economy. Retail banks have a central role to play in not just supporting customers and employees, but society as well.” Source: Oliver Wyman Article

Financial institutions have emerged alongside healthcare and basic needs as a key critical resource during this unsettling time. Banks and credit unions have an essential role in maintaining the economy during the pandemic and positioning communities to recover from the effects following the prolonged period of social-distancing and isolation, including implementing government stimulus and support policies.

 

While FIs are now in the midst of contingency plans that reduce the spread of the virus, the efforts instituted now will be leveraged into success for banks, credit unions, even communities to thrive - not just survive - in the face of crisis. There are three actions that financial institutions need to take immediately in response to the COVID-19 public health crisis: set up a sustainable structure for your team, proactively serve account holders, become a pillar of support for customers and the community.

 

Action 1: CREATE A SUSTAINABLE STRUCTURE FOR YOUR TEAM

The COVID-19 crisis is an ever-evolving situation but one thing is certain: public health measures will be stretched across months to contain the spread of this virus. As banks and credit unions spring into action by restricting travel, reducing in-person communication, emphasizing critical staff sanitization, and instituting remote work stations, extra steps can be taken to create a connected, positive team member experience including equipping your employees with consistent internal and external messaging so everyone is on the same page and sharing the same information and resources.

 

Action 2: PROACTIVELY SERVE ACCOUNT HOLDERS

This health crisis is changing the way people are connecting with the businesses that provide their go-to services. To continue serving your account holders, a plan is needed to connect people to essential banking services. Core branch and ATM operations can continue with the recommended health precautions, but positive and health-oriented communication needs to guide use of digital services. These measures need to keep in mind the preferences of older populations who are both at a higher health risk and wary of digital services. Trustworthy guidance that supports these customers as they navigate an unprecedented time can strengthen relationships as you offer easy-to-use digital services supplemented with tutorials and customer support.

 

Banks can seize this opportunity to accelerate digitization of services to respond to changes in ways customers are having to bank and access financial services. A failure to adapt to these digital needs could result in diminished reputation and account holder relationships. Ensuring access to critical services and communicating these financial products and services to customers when they need them most will deepen these relationships, emerging stronger after weathering this storm. Proactively and consistently engaging with account holders is critical as FIs guide families and businesses to financial solutions that will range from grants, loans, payroll subsidies, and more.

 

Action 3: BE A PILLAR OF SUPPORT FOR CUSTOMERS AND THE COMMUNITY

As our customers, employees, families, nation, and world dynamically respond to the extraordinary events associated with the coronavirus pandemic, banks and credit unions can become a trusted information and support hub for its members or banking consumers. DeepTarget can enable pervasive communications across digital banking during this immediate time of need, to rapidly support your communications using pre-designed campaigns including Coronavirus awareness information and testing sites, community regulations, food distribution programs, government issued financial aid, scam awareness, crisis time quick loan promos and more.

This is a time for Financial Institutions to emerge as a pillar of support for their customers and communities as banks and credit unions use their reach to guide the public through this health crisis. Thinking beyond products and services to community-wide communications and big-picture support will demonstrate your FIs integrity and reputation among account holders as a true resource of support and information in their time of need.

While impossible to predict, a crisis can be positively managed. When proactive measures are taken to reach and connect with consumers, FIs can go far beyond minimizing losses by growing trust and deepening relationships with account holders.

 

DeepTarget can help. DeepTarget offers the FREE Critical Community Outreach Quick Start Package and its companion app, DeepTarget Community (also FREE) to enable banks and credit unions to comprehensively share highly beneficial and practical information across digital channels to their account holders. This is not about cross-selling or product promotions, but about using a trusted relationship to provide valuable resources and useful information to people in this time of uncertainty.

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