Thursday, September 22, 2016 /#BankSocial/ – It was a great second day of sessions where Anthony Burnett, Customer Experience Director from LEVEL5, LLC. and Shelly Loftin, CMO from Bear State Financial discussed an omni channel approach to branching and what a challenge it is to say the least.

When Bear State Bank, first started it’s journey of building their omni channel approach they were in much less than favorable conditions. They were under their old bank name under major scrutiny by The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), they had a fragmented brand and culture with significant branding issues. So they had to change and focus very quickly, but Shelly knew that a single, solid, cohesive brand was the first vital step in creating a seamless and well focused omni-channel customer experience.

It’s hard, requiring a lot of patience and focus in order to build a great UX, and sometimes it requires to just work through it all – the great and the worse. Change is inevitable, and in banking it can be scary in regards to risk and cost, yet without embracing and moving forward that change will crush you. Building an omni-channel approach, integrating branches, digital and employees sounds great on paper, executing on it is a whole different story. Shelly Loftin shared that this is a scenario that Bear State Financial is thriving towards – learning  the things they didn’t know as well as what they already knew along the way. She also shared that it’s a slow grind through muck and mistakes in order to continue to build and evolve a great experience for customers/prospects who come on board. But it is important to note that at Bear State Financial, this thought process is at the for-front of their efforts and priorities, she understands that it won’t just happen.

The truth is that the branch is indeed evolving. Anthony Burnett, from LEVEL5 shared some facts about branch usage, here’s one – did you know that 7/10 customers prefer to talk to or see somebody at a branch if they have a problem that needs resolving? In light, the overall theme of Bear State Bank’s story is that getting it right is not just a function of having all the answers – it is having the right people focused on finding the right direction for their organization in order to survive and thrive in the modern, and especially vital, omni-channel brand landscape. What’s most important to remember is that it all doesn’t happen over night.

Thank you Shelly and Anthony for such an insightful #CaseStudySummit story!

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