Delivering Excellent Customer Service: When and How Consumers Prefer In-Person Engagement and What it Means for Banks

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16 May 2018

This report looks at when, how, and why US consumers prefer face-to-face interaction with their bank and important characteristics of those interactions. The report draws from two consecutive surveys of US adults conducted in February 2018.

Key research questions

  • How do consumers prefer to engage with their banks?
  • How do engagement preferences differ by age and income?
  • What are the implications for banks?


In chasing digital, many banks are underestimating the strategic importance of the branch network for delivering the kind of engagement that cements customer relationships.

Chatbots aren't going to revolutionize banking. In two consecutive surveys of US banked adults in 2018, Celent finds in-person conversations in a branch preferred by most consumers over all other mechanisms to discuss substantive financial matters.