The most common branch interactions of small business decision makers are transactional, creating an advisory interaction opportunity that may be missed. The convenience of online delivery, or lack of appropriate specialist staff in the branch, may mean the branch channel is bypassed for higher-level interactions.
Mercator Advisory Group’s latest research note, Small Business, Branches, and PFM: Missed Opportunities, examines the branch activities among small businesses in the United States, and contrasts these interactions with their expressed interests in advice and information.
“Our survey results suggest automated and consultative advisory opportunities with these businesses, but probably not in today’s branches of banks or credit unions. Although electronic channels show great potential for delivering information and advice to an eager small business audience, the branch channel must become much more than a place to conduct paper-based payments,” comments Ken Paterson, Vice President of Research Operations at Mercator Advisory Group and author of the research note.
Highlights of the research note include:
- Common branch activities of small businesses
- Use of online and mobile banking services
- Interest in advisory and business information services provided online
- Interest in online banking features and capabilities
- Challenges to fulfillment of added value advisory and information services
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