It's Not Just What You Say ... It's hOw You SaY iT by ProQuest


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									        It’s Not Just What You Say …

                                                                By Ken Greenberg

Your communitY bank sends all kinds of communications to its customers.
         find out how to get the most out of everY single one.

                                         ICBA IndependentBanker 41
                    Forty percent of America’s consumers                  the marketing materials their         much higher ratings in building
                    recently indicated they were considering              banks sent them were irrelevant       strong customer relationships,
                   a possible change to their current banking             to the products they use or the       consumer surveys routinely show
                  relationship. That’s according to a survey              financial decisions they make.        that all banks could do a much
                 conducted last fall by the marketing research               No doubt, the close relation-      better job marketing their prod-
          firm Nielsen Claritas, and it is an eye-opener for              ships community banks build           ucts and services. This often has
          community bankers.                                              with their customers are the envy     to do less with the nature of those
             Even before the current financial markets crisis             of all other financial institutions   products and services than with
          and related economic challenges erupted, many                   in the marketplace today. The         the effectiveness of communica-
          banking consumers apparently did not feel a strong              current troubles of the Wall Street   tions about them and other bank
          connection with their financial institutions, accord-           financial institutions have only      communication—and that often
          ing to a 2006 survey by IBM. That survey found                  underscored this. But, while com-     is a function of a lack of good old-
          that 74 percent of U.S. banking customers believed              munity banks consistently score       fashioned writing skills.

                              Missed Opportunities
                                          One area in which banks can often miss                                legal requirement into a chance
                                         opportunities is routine customer commu-                               to up-sell!
                                         nications. Typically, too little attention is paid                        Even when a customer receives
                                        to the brand marketing potential of such                                good news, such as a loan
                                       functional communications as CD maturity                                 approval, the positive feeling
                                      notices and compliance disclosures, or new                                is often obscured by the use of
                              customer welcome kits and mortgage loan applica-                                  complicated terms and condi-
                              tions. A new mindset is needed: That even the most                                tions, jargon and legalese. Too
                              “mundane” notices to customers are opportunities to                               often, the tone of voice conveys
                              strengthen both your community bank’s brand and                                   no sense of a relationship at all—
                              its relationships with those customers.                                           and thus misses out on one of the
                                 Too many bank customers receive poorly worded                                  most important criteria of effec-
                              or con
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