Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Thinking like Your Customers Will Take Your Bank to the Top

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Thinking like Your Customers Will Take Your Bank to the Top

Article excerpt

Without customers, where would your bank be today? As bankers, our focus often shifts to the operation of the bank and, at times, we tend to lose sight of the people we serve.

How are you supposed to compete today in a marketplace inundated with banking options? By taking a good look at what your customers want and need. Learning how to think like a customer will guarantee you get their banking business ... and keep it.

Let's look at some of the concerns typical customers face every day and how your bank can help in each one of these situations.

Customer Concern #1--"What happens if I accidentally overdraw my checking account?"

At one time or another, many of your customer have forgotten to record a purchase and accidentally overdrawn their accounts. Are you providing a service to your customers by "turning them over" to the retailer?

Solution: Implement an overdraft privilege program. This is a win-win situation for you and your customers. They will be saved the embarrassment of having to make good on their check at the retailer, plus, they'll be relieved when they are only charged a minimal fee to process the item in-house.

Overdraft privilege is a great customer service tool and it increases your bottom line. Our John M. Floyd & Associates (JMFA) team has installed overdraft privilege programs in hundreds of banks whose customers appreciate the "safety net" it offers, while the banks enjoy an increase in their NSF income--from 50%, to 200%

Customer Concern #2--"I feet like I'm just a number to my bank."

No matter what products you offer, there are still customers who want that human connection or sense of belonging to your bank.

Solution: First, implement a call center. By always having a live voice answering your phone--and ensuring it's an employee that is trained on every aspect of your bank--your customers will value that human connection and won't feel like "just a number."

Second, initiate a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) program. A good CRM program will help you stay in regular contact with your customers in a friendly way that will keep them up-to-date on your products and services. …

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