While branches are still the most expensive delivery channel for your bank, it is still the most effective channel for engaging and educating your customers on how to leverage multiple channels for convenience and timely information.
A recent study I read stated that the average cost per unique visitor per branch per year was around $75.00. At that cost, branch staff need to be actively and proactively educating clients on the most effective ways for them to achieve their financial and convenience goals.
Proactively engaging clients by phone and setting face to face meetings to assess and educate clients is the only way to fully capture the value of the cost associated with the branch.
A traditional reactive or passive approach will only lead to your branches becoming a high-cost, ineffective channel.
Here are 6 ways that you can increase the engagement and educational focus of your branches:
- Engage clients in a 3D Relationship Conversation ™ when they open an account or need help with something through your branch or call center. The profile information you capture is incredibly valuable. This is a very simple, yet time-saving approach to learn about your clients’ current banking and future needs. With this approach you engage the client in 3 categories of questions, 3 deep. The entire process takes less than five minutes. By using this approach, your bankers discover what your clients really want and need. To learn more about 3D relationship building, contact us for additional details.
- Leverage the profile information to obtain more of your existing clients’ business and continue to follow up and connect with them over time to deepen the relationship. The old saying, that people do business with people they Know, Like and Trust, or KLT, is true. The initial engagement and consistent follow up increases KLT. Trust is much harder to earn in today’s culture, but the 3D Relationship Building approach ensures your bankers know to build trust over time and maintain it. Even when mistakes happen and trust is easily lost, your bankers can use these issues to build trust as they use 3D relationship techniques to engage and repair client relationships. This type of Trust gives your bankers an edge in the battle for the client’s and wallet share when deposits really count.
- Leverage the profile information to ask for the portions of your client’s business that is elsewhere. As the relationship deepens and trust grows, clients are willing to bring added business to you. Over a period of 24 months, I have seen these client relationships expand on average between 10% and 20% depending on how deeply the bank incorporates the 3D Relationship approach into their culture.
- Use Office visits to educate your clients on the most effective way of transacting with you. For example, if they come in to make a transfer between accounts, take the time to have them complete the transaction themselves through the Online or Mobile channel. Use these opportunities to demonstrate how easy it is to do business with your bank. If they have ever wanted information when you are not open, can they access that information through your call center or through your online channel? Education, including how to best secure their banking interactions, is one of the most important roles that your branch staff fulfills. Without education, these channels will not deliver the cost savings or improved experience they promise.
- Hold in-branch classes and workshops on various educational topics, product introductions, optimizing your security, planning for retirement, or a small business educational series. There are all kinds of topics you can become known for being the local expert. They can be fun events that include giveaways or special discounts. Make your branch a learning destination and your branch teams experts in helping your clients learn to use the alternative options you have to bank with you.
- Feature your people. Customers make personal and professional connections with your bankers. By including them in your advertising as your expert on a given topic, they become even more valuable to your clients and the community they serve. Feature the people that make things happen and solve problems for your clients to expand their personal connections and the hometown feel of your bank.
Your clients don’t want to bank with a branch. They want to bank with people that they know and trust.
Make sure your branch staff are experts at solving problems. The best way to earn trust quickly is to fix a problem quickly and turn it into a positive experience for the client.
The more you can equip your team to engage your clients and be center stage in the branch every day, the more your clients will trust and engage with your bank.
Whether your bank is big or small, the same community feeling can be achieved with the right client focused engagement approach to everything that your bankers do.
Would you like a professional assessment of your relationship building strategy?
Schedule your free 3D Consultation today (a $395 value).
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