We Were Disengaged and Ready to Leave Our Bank
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 10 year “marriage” to the bank was not being nurtured in any way and, with all the business we gave them, we felt unappreciated. But one day our banking relationship was forever transformed by a single employee. She used her relationship building skills to transform us from disengaged customers into loyal customer advocates.
Service Was Good But We Felt Disconnected
We weren’t unhappy with the service because there were no serious service snafus. However, we weren’t getting any “warm and fuzzies” and 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 six products and were not dissatisfied with service or rates. However, we’d decided to find a community bank or credit union that would appreciate us and make us feel like they’d have our best interests at heart.
How One Employee Solidified Our Customer Relationship and Got Additional Business
I told this story in my presentation at the CUNA OpSS Council Conference last month and got such a positive reaction we are repeating it in this post.
Just as we began shopping other financial institutions, a lady named Emma called from our bank announcing she would be our personal banker (or a relationship manager in a credit union). Our 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 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. 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 even greater customer loyalty over time – not in one phone call. Building trust is critical. An IBM study on advocacy in retail banking (refer to our complimentary white paper) found that customers who are advocates of their bank or credit union are five times more likely to be responsive to offers and communications, are more profitable and over 17 times as likely to trust their bank or credit union.
- She recorded our conversations in her CRM software profile of us, kept in touch and anticipated future needs.
Point of story – It wasn’t Emma’s sales training that wowed us as much as 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 sale and not on building the relationship, your bank or credit union may be 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 existing customers or members?
- How many “satisfied” customers or members are we at risk of losing because nobody is building a solid relationship with them?
- Are we better at cross-selling and order-taking than we are at relationship building?
- Is it time we think about implementing a structured and disciplined relationship building process to connect with existing customers or members who don’t visit our branches?
Rate Your Organization on Customer Relationship Management Basics
If you’re not happy with your answers to the above questions, rate your bank or credit union on 12 key areas to build customer and member relationships and trust, create customer loyalty and increase referrals and business. Just click here.
Thanks for reading our post,
— Barb and Bob
How To Increase Revenue and Profitability Through Relationship Building and Creating Advocates – Complimentary White Paper
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?