Is Your Onboarding the Beginning of the End of the Relationship? – Relationship Management in Action

Customer Loyalty, Member Loyalty, Onboarding, Reboarding, High Definition Banking

Member or Customer Loyalty – You May Have Less Than You Think

I’m sure you’ll agree that creating a welcoming onboarding experience for a new customer or member should be the beginning of a long-term relationship. Well, guess what? In most banks and credit unions, onboarding is the beginning of the end of the relationship.

We consistently find little to no follow-up and many people staff “onboarded” become disengaged strangers who feel neglected. Take a guess how much business you’ll get from that crowd!

The result is consumers don’t view their financial institutions as a trusted financial partner. Member and customer loyalty is fleeting because financial institutions are not doing enough to build trust relationships.

Sobering Study Findingsscary numbers

A survey of 1,000 adults by Personetics and GfK in April 2015 found that less than one-third of U.S. consumers feel their bank knows them and their financial needs well. Not surprisingly, only 27% view their bank as a trusted financial partner. Forty percent of respondents see their bank as merely a necessary utility, no different than their power or phone company. Ouch—that hurts!

With stats like that, it’s no wonder so many banks and credit unions have huge numbers of folks who opened up accounts years ago but don’t visit a branch or juststop in to complete a transaction. It’s unlikely those folks view you as a trusted financial partner. Like the “necessary utility” example above, you’re likely to be viewed as Just Another Errand™. (See how transactional business is becoming a losing proposition in our post, Declining Branch Traffic – Armageddon or Opportunity?)

Although credit union members were not surveyed, we know from experience those numbers would not be too far off from this study’s findings. Both banks and credit unions just aren’t doing enough to build trust relationships. (For more on the study see, The Financial Brand).

Reboarding for Relationship Building

So what’s the answer? Maybe it’s time you get proactive and focus on re-engaging those long-term, existing customers or members who no longer visit your branches by reboarding them.

Instead of just focusing on selling products, let’s educate, advise and make outreach calls to this disconnected group and turn them into loyal advocates who will buy from you today and keep coming back when they have future needs.

Here’s a way to start reboarding, building relationships and increasing revenue from this neglected group.

Challenge the Assumption – “I Know My Customer or Member!”

I bet your staff will say, “I know all my customers. If they need anything, they’ll come to me.” Oh, really? Just because they wave hello, engage in small talk, and bring in holiday cookies doesn’t mean your staff really knows those folks. The key is for your staff to always be asking, “What don’t I know about this customer or member?”

Call your staff’s bluff. Give your FSR or personal banker the partial list of questions below from our sample customer profile. Ask them to write down as much as they can about the members they believe they know so well and turn in those answers. We’re willing to bet there will be lots of sketchy or incomplete answers.

  • What are this person’s top two financial goals, priorities and dreams for the next 2-5 years?
  • What financial anxieties or concerns are they experiencing?
  • How do they imagine their lifestyle in retirement and what exactly do they want to do when they retire?
  • How prepared are they to retire?
  • What major life events (marriage, job change, starting a family, etc.) are coming up for them?
  • How happy are they with their current level of savings and financial situation?
  • How happy are they with their current level of debt?
  • How do they prefer to do their banking and what is their comfort level with digital and online banking?
  • What are their children’s names and ages?
  • What hobbies and interests do they have?
  • Where else do they do their banking?
  • What is their experience with financial planning or advisors?

If your FSR’s can’t answer these questions (and there are many more), it’s likely those customers or members don’t view you as a financial partner and could very well be giving some of their business to your competitors. So think reboarding!

To reboard customers or members, your staff must stop asking, “What can I sell this person?” and instead ask, “What questions can I ask to uncover their anxieties, pains, goals and dreams?” Be sure they record those answers in a customer or member profile (preferably in CRM software) to prepare for the next in-person contact or call with that person.

The good news is, with relationship management training (versus just transactional sales training) your staff can proactively reach out, re-engage and effectively reboard their customer or member.

Download a more complete profile plus valuable white papers:

Take Action Now!

  • If organic growth, member or customer loyalty and retention is important to your credit union or bank, be sure to add reboarding, outreach and relationship building to your strategic objectives.
  • Update and improve your training and job expectations to move beyond basic, transactional selling focused on specific products to a more engaging, advice-oriented approach focused on the financial health and well-being of your customers or members.
  • Make sure each MSR/FSR is consistently updating the customer profile with insights gained by asking the questions above.

Thanks for reading this month’s post, we welcome your comments below.

Barb and Bob

Your Thoughts?

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?

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™.

To ask about Barb speaking at one of your events click the box marked “Motivational Speaking.”

“Wow, we’ve had speakers before at our Annual Employee Training Day, but Barb’s Dream Big! program was amazing! She got us energized about serving and delighting our customers and building deeper relationships with them. Even better, she showed us how we can take personal responsibility for our own life and job satisfaction and act on our future dreams. Barb is highly engaging, provides take home value and best of all–inspired us to Dream Big!” — 1st Summit Bank, PA

“You did an exceptional job at capturing what was going on in our organization. Our folks were glued to every word and your uplifting and entertaining style made the day breeze by. I am excited that we now have more guidance and a road map to follow that will make Leaders a Five Star credit union.” — Leaders Credit Union

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