Guilford Savings Bank (GSB) has applied an innovative concept to its digital presence, unveiling a new website experience that creates a unique functionality.
Sitting on a living room couch or on a train using a portable device can suddenly feel like sitting next to a banker for individuals who need to open an account, apply for a loan, or expand their banking relationship but lack the time or flexibility in their schedule to visit a branch.
Among the many features of the new GSB website that will launch Jan. 5 is the My Favorites tool, a revolutionary feature that applies the manner in which consumers are used to shopping online and brings it into the banking realm. Using the My Favorites tool, visitors can add bank products to a list of favorites to be browsed later at their leisure, instantly share them with a spouse or a friend, or send them directly to a banker for help remotely or in-person.
While switching banks may have once seemed like an overwhelming task as customers struggled to keep track of the products and services offered using traditionally static banking websites, GSB’s fully interactive product selector tool helps new and existing customers find exactly what they need, add it to their list, and chat with a banker as they navigate their options and open or expand their relationship.
Through this interactive experience, one of GSB’s bankers can see what the customer sees no matter where they are, follow along with their shopping process, answer their questions in real time, and help customers open their products.
The need will no longer exist for customers to interpret lists of account features while feelings of uncertainty make the selection seem overwhelming. With the click of a button, a banker will be there to help make sure the options are clear.
“The My Favorites tool allows people to use our Bank in a way people have never thought of using banks before. We don’t know of another U.S. bank that does this,” explained Michael Storiale, AVP and Digital Banking Manager for GSB. “Banking has always been viewed as a service-based industry, and yet so much of what we offer are truly products for our customers. Online shopping websites have embraced the idea of adding a favorites list and live sales reps to the online experience, so we thought, why can’t banking be the same?”
Timothy Geelan, President and CEO explains the need for the transformation. “Guilford Savings Bank has been providing trusted personal service for 140 years and while we’re on the leading edge of technology when it comes to the future of banking, that doesn’t mean our personal touch can’t remain. With the new web experience, new and existing customers can feel confident in selecting what products interest them and easily open them all within the same channel, making that experience more seamless and personal when compared to other institutions.”
A self-service center feature of the website enhances the digital experience, placing all of the actions available online in one easy-to-use location, answering the question “What can I do right now?” Complimenting this feature, the new “How Do I?” section answers common customer questions for those individuals who prefer to find answers on their own.
“The new site is vastly different from traditional static banking websites,” Storiale said. “It allows our customers to interact with us more consistently in a way that makes us part of their lives, in whichever manner works best for them.”
The site also enables the Bank to better interact with visitors and personalize their experience, Storiale said. Advertisements, suggested events and experiences are uniquely tailored to guests based on their behavior on the site, the device they’re using and their interests.
“The analytics and personalization possibilities are game changers for us,” Storiale explained. “Our bankers are trained to build meaningful relationships by helping customers with products that meet their needs. As we grow digitally, we had to translate that experience into the digital world – we want our customers who prefer not to come to a branch to experience the same high-touch service GSB is known for.”
In addition, the Bank has increased its focus on the community with a new “Giving Back” section that includes a calendar listing of events in which the Bank will be participating and its philosophy for helping the community. The Bank has also expanded its focus on local businesses through new “Featured Business” and “Recently Financed” sections that highlight strong partnerships and current projects.
To reflect the increased use of portable devices, the entire website is responsive, allowing for easy usage on any device - horizontally or vertically, from smartphone to large monitors.
Through all the groundbreaking upgrades and enhancements to its online presence, GSB has remained committed to personal service by incorporating changes that make it easier than ever to contact a banker. Along with adding live online chat, the Bank has extended live customer support in its Access Banking Center until 8 p.m. Monday – Friday.
“The new site focuses on the customer experience on a human level while leveraging technology to make it easier,” explained Kyle Eagleson, EVP and Chief Operating Officer. “We spent a lot of time focusing on how to bring our in-branch experience online for our customers who prefer to do banking digitally. When a digital experience needs to transition to an in-person one, we’ve made it simple for guests to connect with a banker, show us the products that interest them and seamlessly continue the interaction that began online.”
The new site is in addition to the cutting-edge online banking and mobile banking solutions that Guilford Savings Bank’s customers have come to love.
GSB plans to roll out a second phase of the website including a training center comprised of 30-second videos that serve to educate customers on how to do everything from picking the right account to depositing a check via a mobile device. The site will also include a new, interactive CommuniTeam section that will enable guests to explore GSB’s volunteer and philanthropic endeavors.