Silos are Damaging Your Relationship Management Efforts
Why should you just have a retail relationship when you have so much to offer, including valuable advice? You want a full banking relationship, right? It’s likely you’ve expanded your services to include mortgage, investment, insurance, business banking and more. You hope to position yourself as a trusted financial partner and generate more revenue.
Sounds great. However, if you’re like many bankers, you haven’t come close to maximizing your retail banking relationships. Here are two common obstacles:
- Poor Business Line Collaboration – The Retail, Commercial, Mortgage, Investment/Trust and other business lines focus on their areas and don’t talk to one another. It’s the proverbial silo. It’s also possible they don’t trust another area or one another or in some cases, believe they are superior to the rest.
- Poor Product Integration – Your products and services are poorly positioned in your marketing efforts or by staff as a total solution to improve a person’s financial well-being. Employees are mostly focused on reaching monthly goals for their specific area and have little training, motivation or accountability to include other partners.
The ideal customer or member relationship is integrated with all business lines. Unfortunately, we often hear bankers say: “We don’t really talk to those people all that much. That department is headed up by a different executive”. How can we become the consummate financial services provider if our people are not trained to work as a team that provides a total solution? How can we say we’re interested in the financial well-being of our customers or members if we’re not collaborating with the other departments, sharing what we know and strategizing how to fill their overall financial needs? Staff shouldn’t be focusing solely on any one product line but rather on how the entire organization’s solutions can make a difference in the lives of their customers or members. If this sounds like your organization and you want to build deeper customer or member relationships, you need to get people out of their silos!.
Sony Squandered Customer Loyalty and Revenue Because of Their Silos
Here’s a sad example of how silos can stunt growth and even damage a company. It relates to any industry including banking. Sony has always been known for sleek consumer electronics. They pioneered portable music with the Walkman tape player (remember those?). They also had a huge music division with top recording artists and all the assets to compete head-on with Apple’s strategy of integrating consumer devices, software and music. But they failed because each division tried to protect its own interests. Sony was never able to get its act together to produce a turn-key service like Apple’s iPod, iTunes and the iTunes Store. Today Sony does sell MP3 players but they missed a huge opportunity in 2001 to dominate the market because their divisions could not work together. Apple “ate Sony’s lunch”.
Granted your bank or credit union is a lot more nimble than a huge company like Sony. But if your business lines don’t work together as a team, if they aren’t using CRM software to share client information, the right hand won’t know what the left hand is doing and you’ll lose opportunities, sales or your entire market. All it takes is one of your competitors impressing your customers or members with a comprehensive approach to improving their financial well-being while your people are still myopically focused on individual transactional sales!
Train Staff and Set Banking Relationship Management Goals and Accountability
Here’s what we’re doing to prevent this from happening with one of our clients, a progressive community bank. The CEO wants his staff collaborating and connecting with their customers and other internal business partners.To make that happen, we conducted classes comprised of people from different business lines, trained them how to pre-call plan together and then practiced working together on joint calls.We then helped them set goals for pre-call planning and joint calls. To sustain results, at the three- and six-month mark we follow up by phone to hear their success stories and coach where needed.To communicate that the bank is dead serious about this vision, the CEO and other senior execs participate in the coaching calls. This CEO understands that to capture the full client relationship, you must view it holistically.
What You Can Do to Break Down Silos and Build the Customer Relationship
Ask yourself these questions:
- Do our employees consult and collaborate with one another and anticipate a cross section of client needs before making a call?
- Do we have goals for joint pre-call planning and relationship building calls?
- Is everyone entering customer notes in a contact management program such as Synapsys, Business Contact Manager for Outlook, or another program?
- Before they make a client call, do our employees check for all notes entered for that client by other employees? (Note: some contact management software’s information is only accessible to the one person who enters it – not good. Information in software like Synapsys is accessible to all authorized employees.)
- Are our employees well informed of how to recognize a cue tied to a need for our other services and trained on how to then engage the customer or member in conversation about their need?
- Have we conducted training with all business lines on how to collaborate on generating business from customers or members?
- Do we ask our business bankers, financial planners, mortgage reps etc, to regularly attend branch meetings, deliver product knowledge presentations, take them on sales calls and include them on a branch appointment?
Not satisfied with your answers to these questions? Forward this post to senior management in your organization and get the dialogue going. Take advantage of our complimentary 30-45 minute coaching call. Call us at 858-674-1500 or indicate “Complimentary Coaching Call” in the box on our contact form.
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