When I think digital transformation, the first thing I think about is being faster, seamless, and easier. Those are my first natural thoughts. As a consumer, when you are trying to book an airline flight or go to a restaurant, you start thinking about the digital tools to research your options and make selections. It should be seamless integration and not asking someone to repeat things. So as the end result, if you get all of those things right, then growth, retention of customers, ease of doing business, all of these things start to naturally happen. We need to stay focused and work through our core processes, making sure they are moving seamlessly, integrating faster. I may overuse the terms better, faster, cheaper but at the end of the day, those are the things we have got to be doing as an organization, whether it’s our new account opening process or account maintenance, consumer loans, or commercial loans.
As a community bank, we are about 4 billion in assets with 29 offices here in the middle Tennessee marketplace. We are very proud of our branch network, our personal bankers, and our loan officers. We recognize that digital capabilities are just another capability. We need to be both physical and digital in the marketplace. We believe this can put us on par with competing with many of the large banks that have digital capabilities. The differentiator for us can be matching the human touch with digital capabilities. So, together it’s going to act as a lever that we can pull and continue to reach our customers. We continue to provide them with a community-centric environment that we aspire to have for our customers and prospective customers.
Drive-through Offices: The Hero of our Pandemic Story
While we never stopped coming to the office even during the pandemic, there was a period in 2020 when we did close our lobby offices, by appointment only, for customers, and continued with drive-through service. Through some of those experiences, we saw a direct increase in the use of our mobile banking, online banking, and use of ATMs. Even I would say in the past, we really never thought about our drive-throughs as something separate. Now, drive-throughs have become a unique asset, even of the branch environment. We were literally opening the new account through the drive-through in some cases. So, the new capabilities will continue to meet those increasing requirements and flexibility. From the employee’s experience, they have been looking for more and more digital tools, capabilities, and ways to make their job easier, and more efficient. We are giving them time to focus on the customer experience vs trying to focus on all the procedures. Let digital technology take care of those procedures and integration details. We are in a great marketplace with a growing environment. Lots of people are moving to middle Tennessee, that would be looking for a new bank. We are here with our physical as well as our digital presence.
The Future is Video Banking
In my view, video banking is going to be something of the next level of focus. We need to incorporate more of that personal interaction, along with the digital capabilities through the platform.