Last week I (Barb) was honored to make a presentation at the annual Symitar (a core processing company) users conference. It was on maximizing the ROI of CRM software by developing a banking relationship management culture. I also facilitated a CRM users roundtable and served as one of three people on a marketing panel. What a valuable experience!
Between all the discussion on the panels and people who came to talk to us at our exhibit booth after my sessions, we were intrigued by three powerful themes we kept hearing from attendees determined to develop deeper member relationships in their credit union. To our readers in banks, please read on. Although this was a credit union conference, the three insights we’ll share in today’s post are valuable for developing customer relationships as well.
1. Many credit unions are making member relationship management a strategic objective – We’re passionate about member and customer relationship management but we were pleasantly surprised to see that more credit unions are making it a strategic priority to evolve their cross selling culture to building a deeper level of relationship with members. We call it building a member or customer relationship management culture. In fact, three people we talked with said they came to the conference specifically to gather information to decide what action steps they would submit for their strategic planning sessions. They got quite a few ideas from users of the Synapsys CRM component at my roundtable. A good amount of the discussion was on how to get employees to use the software more effectively to build deeper relationships (think better ROI). In my breakout, I presented a nine step process on how to build a member relationship culture. (If you would like to learn what the nine step process is, Contact Us to let us know.)
2. Even credit unions with a CRM system are missing out on future sales opportunities by only focusing on filling immediate needs – There are three statements from a credible study by IBM Business Services that correlate most highly with customers and members being an advocate of their bank or credit union. One is “The bank (or credit union) has an understanding of my financial goals”. When we asked our audience to fill in the last word of the sentence, the vast majority confidently shouted out “needs”. The survey statement used the word “goals”. Here’s the point.
Most staff has been trained well to find an existing customer’s or member’s financial need and fill it. However, most have not been trained to find out the customer’s or member’s financial goals to help with a future need. The attitude is “let’s sell what the customer needs today”. That in itself is not bad because it’s a win-win for your credit union and the member today. The problem for both banks and credit unions is it’s a short-sighted approach because staff is not asking the right questions to build a customer or member profile and a relationship (see the third insight). It’s the relationship that usually leads to untold unexpected future business. When a future need arises, people will buy from those with whom they have a trusted relationship with. (To find out the other two statements that highly correlate to customer or member advocacy and how to turn your members or customers into advocates, read our white paper The Banking Relationship Management Experience – A Strategy for Becoming a Trusted Financial Partner and Increasing Revenue and Profitability.
3. Staff is not recording member conversations nor building profiles – A significant feature of any CRM software is the ability to build customer and member profiles so that a relationship manager (or anyone in the organization for that matter) can anticipate future needs and life events. A number of people told us that if staff does discover something valuable about a member, this information is not being recorded and is lost to the ozone. We found a good number of credit unions (and banks) are looking for ways to get their people to enter that information. The problem usually is most banks or credit unions don’t have a process in place to fully implement a banking relationship management culture. CRM software is only as good as the data that staff keys into it. You need to focus on The People Factor™ in addition to technology.
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