Magazine article ABA Bank Marketing

Myth or Reality: The 90-Day Window of Opportunity

Magazine article ABA Bank Marketing

Myth or Reality: The 90-Day Window of Opportunity

Article excerpt

I FIND THAT MOST INDUSTRY WHITE PAPERS focus on the importance of cross-selling in the first 90 days of a new customer relationship. It's a theory likely borne of the belief that cross-sell effectiveness declines after that point in the relationship.

According to one study, almost 81 percent of a bank's opportunity to cross-sell happens in the first 120 days. Couple this with statistics that show attrition as high as 50 percent in the first 90 days and a belief that customers are less likely to leave with the more services they have--and you can see why so many banks feel that the onboarding process should be focused on cross-selling more products to new customers.

On this basis, bank marketers are being encouraged to use this window of opportunity to "lock in" new customers in relationships by selling them more products and services. However, can banks really lock in customers? As customers, we do business with banks we want to do business with, not financial institutions we feel obligated to do business with.

Why do customers leave?

And will new customers really stay with a bank simply because they have purchased more products or services? Research shows customers with two or more services are 33 percent less likely to leave a bank. The key phrase here is "less likely to leave." I'm convinced new customers will leave a bank during the onboarding process no matter how many products they have for following reasons:

* The indifferent attitude of employees.

* Being placed in wrong products.

* Fulfillment errors.

* Dissatisfaction with customer service.

* Being negatively surprised by fees.

* Being bombarded with irrelevant offers.

The major reason why new customers leave in the first 90 days is not because they do not have more of a bank's products. Rather, it's because--too often--they have found their name spelled incorrectly on their checks, they have not received their check card, they have been charged a fee they weren't aware of, or they've encountered a rude teller. …

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