Improving customer service to better meet unique needs of clients

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					sPOtLiGHt: BankinG & FinanCE

Improving customer service to better meet unique needs of clients
            By Martin C. Daks                      Provident Bank, have beefed up their wealth          the local level, getting to know our customers     at Vineland-based Sun National Bank, accord-
A sTUBBoRnly slow economy and record-              management division and other value-added            and understanding their needs and goals,” he       ing to Edward Malandro, executive vice presi-
low interest rates are making it tougher for       services as a way to stand out from the crowd.       said. “This way, we can determine appropriate      dent. he said the bank shook up its internal
banks to attract and retain customers. Instead           Banking is all about relationships, accord-    asset management, helping each client deter-       operations to give front-line business lenders
of competing on high-yield investments, many       ing to James D. Nesci, Provident’s chief wealth      mine their risk versus reward scenarios.”          broader operating authority.
institutions are touting safety — something        management officer. At a time when much of                 The bank also has what he calls a “low-            “we gave them a wider set of lending lim-
that may be comforting, but is hardly a way to     the heavily regulated financial services indus-      voicemail” policy that lets clients “get through   its,” malandro said, explaining that some loan
raise a person’s pulse.                            try is about as differentiated as a tub of vanilla   to us when they need us.”                          officers were hemmed in by a stratified, tightly
      some organizations, like Jersey city-based   ice cream, “we provide wealth management at                customer service also is front and center    defined bandwidth of lending limits. “The prob-
                                                                                                                                                           lem was if a commercial borrower came in with
                                                                                                                                                           a request that was outside of a particular busi-
                                                                                                                                                           ness lender’s limits, he or she would have to be
                                                                                                                                                           referred to one of our specialists.”
                                                                                                                                                                 The frequent handoffs meant there was
                                                                                                                                                           more chance for a borrower to fall through the
                                                                                                                                                           cracks and suffer a needless delay.




                                           90th anniversary
                                                                                                                                                                 The new initiative streamlined the process,
                                                                                                                                                           giving some business lenders more authority at
                                                                                                                                                           both lower and upper limits.
                                                                                                                                                                 “Also, while we can service a wide range
                                                                                                                                                           of borrowers, we’ve now got a renewed focus
                                                                                                                                                           on companies that have lending needs of up
                                                                                                                                                           to $1 million,” malandro said. “we’re seeing


               We Continue To Make Funds                                                                                                                     “While we can service a wide

               Available For Your Business!                                                                                                                 range of borrowers, we’ve now
                                                                                                                                                            got a renewed focus on compa-
                                                                                                                                                            nies that have lending needs of
                                                                                                                                                             up to $1 million. We’re seeing
                                                                                                                                                             some signs that the economy
                                                                                                                                                             may be starting a comeback.”
                                                                                                                                                                              Edward Malandro,
                                                                                                                                                                 executive vice president, Sun National Bank



                                                                                                                                                           some signs that the economy may be starting
                                       
				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: At a time when much of the heavily regulated financial services industry is about as differentiated as a tub of vanilla ice cream, "we provide wealth management at the local level, getting to know our customers and understanding their needs and goals," he said. Customer service also is front and center at Vineland-based Sun National Bank, according to Edward Malandr, executive vice president He said the bank shook up its internal operations to give front-line business lenders broader operating authority.
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