VIEWS: 10 PAGES: 6 CATEGORY: Business & Economics POSTED ON: 6/13/2010
Forty percent of America's consumers recently indicated they were considering a possible change to their current banking relationship. That's according to a survey conducted last fall by the marketing research firm Nielsen Claritas, and it is an eye-opener for community bankers. While community banks consistently score much higher ratings in building strong customer relationships, consumer surveys routinely show that all banks could do a much better job marketing their products and services. One area in which banks can often miss opportunities is routine customer communications. More and more community banks are recognizing the contribution that effective customer communications can make toward building and maintaining longer, better and more profitable customer relationships. A customer communications audit process can help your community bank achieve greater brand visibility and recognition, better informed and more loyal customers, and more customers who will choose a greater number of products and services. All this can be achieved through better communications.
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. www.icba.org 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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