COVID-19 struck in early 2020 and dramatically impacted the economy across all industries. Between business shutdowns, work from home (WFH) pivots, the surge of a digital economy and the implementation of pandemic health guidelines – which in and of itself has remained a moving target – businesses scrambled to keep their footing. One of the industries most deeply affected by the crisis was the banking world – like all other sectors, (and as an essential service) they were forced to answer the call and quickly reinvent the entire banking model. And as it turns out – many of those pivots are here to stay. In fact, research shows that nearly all in-branch roles will decline over the next decade, and by 2030, the average branch size is expected to shrink from six full-time equivalents to four.
Although the banking industry had already been undergoing significant change prior to the pandemic (in the previous decade, the branch footprint had already shrunk by about 20% in the US), a growing consumer trend had been identified and banking knew where it needed to go with the onset of COVID-19. Banks quickly pivoted to a digital-first model for sales and service, scaled up remote advice and reshaped physical distribution. They saw significant changes to their organizational structures in their work to support customers. First, they generated a shift from hierarchical structures to agile ones where individuals have autonomy, relationships are more flexible, and newly formed teams – or tribes – were trusted with resources and approval rights, creating agility and quality customer experience. Second, banks deployed talent from surplus to shortage areas, to cut costs and bolster reputations. Finally, banks focussed on training new skills to support current or newly created jobs, particularly with a digital-first model emerging as the foundation. Post pandemic, the banking world is sifting through the changes brought by the global crisis to identify which ones are temporary, which are permanent, and how to build future workforces.
There are universal lessons to be taken away from the nimble response of the banking sector. These pivots are central to the future of commerce, and certain themes have emerged as distinctive capabilities that businesses will need to focus on to remain competitive in their respective sectors. These themes (customer experience, data fluency, leadership, nonfinancial-risk management, cybersecurity and operations management) will be guiding principles for companies to successfully navigate in a post-pandemic economy.
Here’s how well-established business process outsourcing companies like Anexa can help brands to build their futures. Essentially, we are equipped to take over as many – or as few – of your processes as you deem necessary, allowing you to lead your company where it needs to go. We understand how certain activities like back-office services, marketing and database management can become repetitive in nature, thus draining your resources and diluting your focus. We’ve got a team for that. Information technology? We’ve got a team for that – all our IT is developed in-house, allowing for full customization. Customer experience? Award-winning Anexa has built a reputation as a leader in the competitive customer service market, with exceptionally skilled, bilingual (English and Spanish) agents who are trained in the most current CX trends, and can authentically represent your brand.
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