Financial Illiteracy and Worries Offer Opportunities – Be a Coach!

GenXer’s, GenYer’s and Even Some Boomers Need Your Help

Eighty three percent of GenX workers age 36-49 believe they’ll need to save $1 million or more to retire and almost 1/3 believe they’ll need more than $2 million. So far, however, they only have about $70,000 in retirement savings. Sixty nine percent of GenY workers, age 18-33 confess they have never received any formal financial education at all.

Help2The good news is, even with their affinity to mobile banking, roughly a third say they need help creating a budget, getting a savings plan underway and choosing and managing their credit cards. Many Boomers need help as well. What does this all mean? We believe it presents a big opportunity to differentiate your bank or credit union and grow by turning some of your staff into advisors and financial coaches.

The report, The Retirement Readiness of Three Unique Generations: Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials, was published last December by the nonprofit Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies.

Some Never Got Early Financial Education

young bob businessboyDo you remember when you got your first piggy bank, an allowance for chores or opened your very own bank account? How we’re introduced to the concept of money, saving, credit, debt and investing often has long-lasting impact on our financial well-being. I (Bob) vividly remember my dad holding my hand as we walked into our local bank. I reached up and handed the smiling teller my hard earned dollars for doing errands. Each time I made a deposit and got my receipt, I loved looking at the numbers growing bigger every month. It meant I was getting closer to buying that new shiny red bike I wanted so much. That had a lasting impression on me and thankfully fueled my savings habit.

This Situation is a Relationship Building Opportunity

financialguidance_bannerAs the statistics above seem to bear out, many of your customers or members lack the financial education, discipline, advice and tools they need to be financially fit. What’s interesting is while many GenYer’s rely on their families for financial advice, 54 % also say they hope to find what they’re looking for in their local bank branch. So think about that. Yes you need great mobile apps, tools and a wonderful online and digital experience. However, many of your customers and members desperately need someone to discuss their goals, listen to their anxieties, get them on track them with the right resources.

What’s Missing in This Picture? A Financial Partner

You may be thinking, “Barb and Bob, we’re doing well. We have a mission statement or brand slogan to improve the financial well-being of our members. Our website is chock full of financial calculators and budgeting tools. We even refer customers to a debt counseling service”. Yes, that’s all well and good. However, we often see a big gap between what customers and member’s really need and what most banks and credit unions are providing. They need a more personal, advice-oriented approach by a financial coach, in person or by-phone. This does not have to be an investment advisor or a financial planner, but rather knowledgeable, highly-trained MSR’s, FSR’s or universal bankers who sees themselves as a financial partner rather than a just salesperson.

The Test: Is Your Staff Doing Financial Coaching or Merely Transactional Product Selling?

Answer these three questions to get an indication if your bank or credit union is positioning your organization as a financial partner rather than an online experience to conduct basic transactions.

  1. Onboarding new members is not the end of the relationship. After our staff gets the basic accounts set up in the first 90 days they focus on uncovering their assigned members’ financial goals, priorities and dreams over the coming months and years.
  1. Our staff is also disciplined in building profiles and outreaching with our existing, long-term customers and members and especially noting their life stages, life events and financial goals.
  1. Our universal or branch staff are trained to confidently ask customers about their satisfaction with savings, debt, investments, goals and then provide budgeting and basic planning tools to review with them on future calls or visits.

If you answered no to these questions, see the paragraph below, How To Turn Your Staff Into Trusted Financial Partners.

We believe to thrive and grow in the future you can no longer afford to simply be in the product business. To help your customers or members achieve financial well-being, you must be in the financial education and dream fulfillment business.

Best regards,
Barb and Bob

How To Turn Your Staff Into Trusted Financial Partners

Want to know how to get your staff to start the conversation about personal finances? If you’re concerned about your customers’ or members’ financial well-being and want your staff to become a trusted financial partner, click on Contact Us and check the first box to get information about our financial coaching and advising program, Creating High Definition Customer and Member Experiences™.

Your Thoughts?

Build loyalty in your bank or credit union: www.barbara-sanfilippo.comWe 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?

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