Customer Loyalty To Our Bank Was Fading Fast
Imagine you’re a long-term, high-potential customer with your bank or credit union. You have several products with them, never visit a branch, only use automated and online services and don’t know anyone at the branch. Would you feel you have a relationship with them?
That was us. Our 10-year “marriage” to our bank was not being nurtured in any way and, with all the business we gave them, we were disengaged and felt unappreciated. Plus, we rarely visited a branch and didn’t have a contact we knew. Although we felt some loyalty, it was weak and we were ready to leave.
However, one day our banking relationship was forever transformed by a single employee making a “warm” phone call. She used her customer relationship building skills to eventually transform us from disengaged customers into loyal customer advocates and generate revenue organically. So do you think it was an increase in her customer service that miraculously turned around the relationship? Not quite.
Service Was Good, but We Felt Disconnected
We weren’t unhappy with the service because there were no serious service snafus. Plus we mostly used online banking and the call center. However, we weren’t getting any “warm fuzzies” and didn’t exactly feel valued. I guess you could say they wouldn’t be recruiting us for an “I love my bank” commercial!
Think about this: we had six products, including loans, and were not dissatisfied with service or rates. However, we decided to find a community bank or credit union that would appreciate us and make us feel like they had our best interests at heart. We vowed not to give any additional business to our bank.
How One Employee Solidified Our Customer Relationship and Got Additional Business
Just as we began shopping other financial institutions, a lady named Emma called from our bank announcing she would be our personal banker and relationship manager! Our first thought was, “Now she’s going to try and sell us something.”
In that phone call and over the next 18 months, her relationship building skills led not only to our staying with the bank, but also our opening a business line of credit, refinancing our mortgage and getting a large HELOC. She was growing the bank’s business organically. Here’s what Emma did to win us over:
- In her warm introductory call, she did not pitch any products. Instead she thanked us for being loyal customers, explained her role as our relationship manager, reviewed our accounts, learned about our business and interests and mentioned she would be in touch periodically.
- She recorded our conversations and financial goals in our customer profile in her CRM software, kept in touch and anticipated our future needs.
- Emma builttrust and began developing our customer loyalty over time – not in one phone call. In fact, we didn’t meet Emma in person until a year later. We value convenience, so phone and email communications work great for us. Building trust is the foundation for customers becoming advocates and it pays dividends.
Is Your Bank Still Doing Conventional Sales Training?
Emma, in essence, was “reboarding” us and re-engaging us with her outreach phone call. Point of story: it wasn’t Emma’s sales skills that wowed us. It was her customer relationship management skills that turned us from disengaged customers into loyal advocates and generated a lot more business for her bank. If your staff is focused primarily on making a short-term sale and not on building the relationship, your bank may be at risk for losing valuable, high potential customers. Ask yourself these questions:
- Is onboarding a new customer the end of the relationship in our bank, rather than the beginning of a partnership? Do we place too much focus on new customers?
- Are we missing opportunities to build deeper relationships and trust, grow organically and retain our existing, “satisfied” customers with warm outreach calls?
- Are we more focused on monthly, product cross-selling or order-taking than building customer loyalty?
- Is it time we think about implementing a structured and personalized relationship building program that includes outreach and reboarding to connect with existing, disengaged customers who don’t visit our branches?
- Do our customers view us as an “errand” or “transaction” rather than a trusted financial partner?
- Is it possible our call nights and product email campaigns are repelling customers?
Note: Automatically generated product emails will not do the job. Reboarding is about warm calls to reconnect with and discover what’s important to your long-term customers and assigning them to your retail staff for future follow up.
Turn your personal bankers and FSRs into Relationship Managers, provide reboarding training, utilize customer profiles and assign them a book of business! A structured relationship building process is the key to organic growth and customer loyalty.
Get Started: Rate Your Bank or Credit Union on Relationship Management Basics
If you’re not happy with your answers to the above questions, rate your bank on 12 key areas to build customer relationships and trust, create customer loyalty and increase referrals and business. How well is your organization doing on building customer relationships? To see where your organization stands rate your relationship culture.
Thanks for reading!
Barb and Bob
We are interested in your feedback. In the comments section below, please tell us whether you agree or disagree with the ideas in this post. Also, what challenges or questions do you have that we can answer in this post?
Speaking, Consulting and Training Services
If you are considering a consulting and training partner in 2017 to increase sales revenue, we’re happy to have an exploratory call. Visit www.HighDefinitionBanking.com. In addition, Barb is available to speak at your all-staff training day, sales meeting or leadership retreat. Visit her speaking site at www.HighDefPeople.com with demo video.