Many banks and credit unions will adopt CRM and the initiative will either fail or hobble along without their expected return on investment. A big reason is they will put more thought into implementing the technology than they do on a plan to get their staff to buy in and use the software as a personal tool to generate business and serve the customer. Success depends immensely on your company’s ability to change your employees’ mindset on how they do their work and to consistently use the software to build trust relationships. With all due respect to even the best CRM vendors, some may not be in a position to make this happen.
CRM software is a powerful tool that enhances bank and credit union staff’s ability to better serve their customers or members and to obtain more profitable business. This business might never surface if your staff is not using the software to manage the relationship. CRM is merely an enabler. Entering customer or member conversations and creating member profiles must become second nature to staff. If the information isn’t current, it’s of no use to anyone. Banking relationship management must become part of your culture. What’s your plan to make this happen?
Many CRM companies readily admit they are ill-equipped to ensure their clients’ staff input information learned about the customer or their situation after each interaction, to create these critical profiles and to view the customer or member as more than a quick sale. CRM companies show you how to use the features of their software. They don’t teach relationship management skills because that requires a whole different mindset and they’re not in the “attitude and behavior change business”.
Another needed behavior change (but not necessarily a difficult one) we see when helping our clients to implement a member or customer relationship management culture is getting staff to throttle back on always trying to immediately close a sale. Organic growth comes from first getting to know the customer and building a banking customer relationship built on trust. This approach always leads to more business in the long run than if staff is always in a “close a sale” mode. See our post Your Front Line Staff is Leaving Money on the Table When Cross Selling.
To get the huge ROI possible from a CRM system and avoid failure, we recommend that your management team reach a consensus that half of the plan for your CRM initiative must address “the people factor”. This includes getting employee buy-in to consistently use the software and changing their mindset to one of developing relationships first, knowing sales will follow.
See how well your bank or credit union is handling “the people factor” of a CRM initiative. Take our evaluation.
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