Citicorp Posts Bounties for Referrals from Top-Drawer Customers
Moyer, Liz, American Banker
Citicorp is offering rewards to big-ticket customers who refer their friends and associates for new business.
Although corporate America has long relied on client referrals to generate a pool of business prospects, Citicorp's program could be the first use of the tactic by a major U.S. bank.
The word-of-mouth strategy helps solidify relationships with current customers, said consultants.
"They are showing that this is not just a commodity business, it is a relationship," said Peter Harleman, area managing director at Landor Associates, a consulting firm in New York. "They are saying, 'We want more good customers like you.'"
It also helps Citicorp find prospects that fall into a desired category, said consultants who track direct mail strategies.
Citicorp is asking for referrals from its approximately 15,000 CitiGold account customers. CitiGold, the bank's high-end retail package, requires a minimum balance of $100,000 in combined deposit and securities accounts or $250,000 if linked to a Citibank mortgage balance.
Customers who make referrals through the direct mail campaign will get rewards for each person who qualifies and opens a CitiGold account.
The offer expires Dec. 31.
Rewards include 10,000 miles toward American Airlines' frequent-flier program, $150 gift certificates for selected department and specialty stores, or certificates for dining at restaurants nationwide. …