Good morning. As community banks head back to the office after a year or more of predominantly remote work, some may be tempted to ease up on Zoom, Slack, video banking and other communication channels adopted during the pandemic.
That’s a mistake, Devin Redmond, CEO and cofounder of Santa Barbara, Calif.-based compliance consultancy Theta Lake, told Bankbook. For starters, the past year forced workers of all ages to adopt new technologies — a major achievement they should not reverse course on. It’s also important to recognize that digital communication platforms will continue to be useful in many contexts, for remote and on-prem workers alike.
While smaller banks might be inclined to cut out the costs associated with some of these tools, Redmond suggested that banks of all sizes can find new efficiencies by doing a better job of using them. Video chats, for example, may give small banks the flexibility to centralize customer-contact operations or reduce branch hours without sacrificing service.
According to Redmond, bank leadership should focus on ensuring clear policies are in place as to when and how the channels should be utilized. Such policies will also enable a more responsive organization, whether to demographic changes in its market, or “when the next thing happens.”