Response to the COVID-19 pandemic created a customer service crisis in banking: Branches were closed, call centers were jammed, and websites were overwhelmed with traffic. That meant that FIs could not easily meet the enormous volume of customer service requests. The failure of the customer service status quo and the specific demands precipitated by the crisis, though, led some FIs to quickly innovate through their digital channels. These innovations offer lessons for quickly engaging customers, retaining those recently introduced to digital, and instilling digital-first habits likely to last beyond the pandemic.

Key questions discussed in this report:

  • Has digital channel adoption increased or stagnated during COVID-19?
  • How have FIs educated customers about COVID-19 digital help and resources?
  • What long-term digital lessons can banks take from the crisis?
  • What additional digital changes should FIs prioritize to better serve customers?
  • What must banks do now to turn digital skeptics into devotees?

Screenshots in this report were collected in June and July 2020. Consumer data in this report is from a random-sample survey of 10,762 respondents conducted online in June 2020 and a random-sample survey of 11,448 respondents conducted in April and May 2019. Data is weighted to reflect a representative sample of the adult U.S. population. For questions answered by all respondents, in 2019 the margin of error is 0.92% at the 95% confidence interval, and in 2020, the margin of error is 0.94% at the 95% confidence interval.