Financial institutions have succeeded in automating transactional activities to meet customer expectations. What now? Research shows it may be time to focus on optimizing a different side of customer experience: branch banking.

A new Celent report, “Delivering Excellent Customer Service: When and How Consumers Prefer Face-to-Face Engagement and What It Means for Banks,” offers insights from banking customers on how and when they like to interact with banks and where banks should be focusing their energy in the coming years. It reveals that U.S. customers appreciate automation for transactional activities but prefer a human touch for other situations.

When it comes to quick questions, the call center beats text messaging, chatbots or social media. But for longer conversations on financial advice, new account or loan applications, and other key life transitions, customers across all age groups still prefer in-person interaction. So rather than seeing branch banking as a relic, financial institutions should invest in making their branch experiences more seamless and powerful.

Download the full report for an in-depth look at what customers expect and why your next digital transformation should focus on your physical locations.