How A Phone Call Saved Our Banking Customer Relationship

We were disengaged and ready to leave our bank

This is a true story that may help you prevent loss of customers or members AND increase the amount of business from them.

Imagine you’re a long-term, high-potential customer or member 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 relationship with the bank was ailing and we were on the verge of leaving them. But one day we got a call from a gal at the bank who used her relationship management skills to transform us from disengaged customers into loyal advocates.

Service was good but we felt disconnected

We were not unhappy with the service because there were no serious service snafus. However, we weren’t getting any “warm and fuzzies” and we didn’t 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 seven products 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 have our best interests at heart.

How they kept us as customers 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 banking relationship manager. My first thought was, “Well you better have something really great to tell me because we’re pretty indifferent at this point”. In that call and over the next 18 months her relationship management 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. Here’s what Emma did to win us over:

  • In her 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 built trust and began developing a profitable relationship with us over time – not in one phone call. Building trust is critical. An IBM study on advocacy in retail banking (see our white paper below) found that customers who are advocates of their bank are five times as likely to be responsive to offers and communications, are more profitable and over 17 times as likely to trust their bank.
  • She recorded our conversations in her CRM profile, kept in touch and anticipated future needs.

What’s your intuition telling you about your bank or credit union?

Point of story – Emma’s phone call and relationship management training turned us from disengaged customers to loyal advocates and generated a lot more business for her bank.

Is your bank or credit union at risk for losing valuable, high potential customers or members? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are we missing opportunities to build deeper relationships and trust with our long-term customers and members?
  • How many “satisfied” customers or members are we losing because nobody is building a solid relationship with them?
  • Are we better at cross selling and order-taking than we are at relationship making?
  • Is it time we think about implementing a structured and disciplined, banking relationship management process to connect with existing customers or members who don’t visit our branches?

Agree or disagree? Do let us know what you think by scrolling down and commenting below.


Rate Your Organization on Banking Relationship Management Basics

boxes-clipboardIf you’d like a preview of the 12 areas we’ll be covering that impact building banking customer relationships or member relationships or you would like to rate your bank or credit union on 12 key areas to build customer and member relationships and trust, create loyal advocates and increase referrals and business. Just click here.

Read How To Increase Revenue and Profitability Through Relationship Building and Creating Advocates: Get Our Complimentary White Paper


The Banking Relationship Management Experience – A Strategy for Becoming a Trusted Financial Partner and Increasing Revenue and Profitability

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