The coronavirus pandemic and economic fallout has flipped the banking industry on its head. Even more disorienting is the fact that the situation has escalated so rapidly. Seemingly overnight, daily life has ground to a standstill as people self-isolate and adapt to this new normal.
Although we’re obviously not bankers, our organization has partnered with banks to meet their talent needs for over 20 years. We’ve helped Fortune 500 and community banks alike navigate the dot-com bubble, the 2008 crisis, and now the coronavirus crisis. These experiences have left us with a few thoughts to share on what comes next for banks and how they can best weather the storm.
An important piece to keep in mind amid all the chaos is that all the changes in the banking world aren’t going anywhere. Banks that rapidly adapt to these new changes will not only outperform their competitors during the crisis but will flourish when it passes.
Here are a few thoughts on how banks can adapt to this crisis and position themselves for long-term success.
Online Banking is Not Going Anywhere
Digital services and tools were already taking center stage in banking, but the pandemic and lockdowns rapidly accelerated this transition. It goes without saying that these digital services will be vital for ordinary bank operations in the coming months.
However, as mentioned previously, it’s important to note that this change is not going anywhere. As more and more customers are forced to use digital solutions, this will have lasting effects on customer behavior.
In short, it’s not enough for banks to offer digital banking anymore. They need to make sure they’re offering a truly superior digital experience for their customers now and for years to come.
Purpose is More Important Than Ever
Here at Qualigence, we’ve always strongly believed in the idea that every business should have a purpose beyond making money. When organizations have a clear sense of purpose at the core of their operations, it directly translates into uniquely strong services, products, culture, and ultimately leads to greater profits.
This is true for banks just like any other company. In a time of historic uncertainty and fear, people need support from their banks more than ever. The banks that go above and beyond to show their customers that they truly care will build tremendous loyalty during this time. The actions of banks during this crisis could easily influence how customers view them for months or years after the pandemic passes.
A few options for banks to consider are suspending late fees, options for customers to temporarily skip payments, complimentary financial fitness guidance, and help hotlines. The key is to try to go above the standard to show customers you care.
All banks will likely adjust their service during this time. Now is your chance to step up and show that you’re truly driven by purpose, not just reacting to industry trends.
A Forward-Thinking Talent Strategy is Crucial
As you can imagine, both of the above elements may require banks to adjust to their talent strategy. We can’t rapidly respond to digital disruption without tech professionals on board, and we can’t serve our customers well if we’re short-staffed.
As we get further into the bear market, many banks will be hesitant to make hires and layoffs may be inevitable. While this is totally understandable, we all have to make sure we’re not hamstringing our long-term goals.
The increased demand for digital, purpose-driven banking solutions will remain incredibly relevant after this crisis passes. Furthermore, customers won’t wait for banks to recruit during the recovery. In short, banks need to make sure they’re planning for tomorrow’s needs.
Through the 2008 crisis, we watched as organizations went overboard with layoffs only to find themselves struggling to keep up during the recovery. While some cuts are inevitable and good for the business, we must always balance short-term needs with long-term plans.
Coronavirus Caught Us All Off-Guard. Now is the Time to Adapt
Very few organizations fully anticipated the full impact the coronavirus would have on our lives and the economy. We’re all scrambling to keep up and adjust. The unfortunate reality is that things won’t be returning to “normal” for several months yet, so now is the time to pivot and pivot quick.
If you’re looking for more resources on how to navigate this situation, check out our crisis survival kit. We put together discounts, free training courses, leadership webinars, and more. These resources allow banking leaders, HR pros and recruiters alike to deliver their best through this difficult time.