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Collections for Customer Service

In the throes of the credit crisis five years ago, who would have guessed that Collections would turn out to be one of the most ardent keepers of the customer experience flame? But it’s true. We are now seeing a bright new Collections culture emerging at banks large and small. It is clearly a welcome development for Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:07-05:00March 22nd, 2013|Comments Off on Collections for Customer Service

Buying a Branch? Look Before You Leap

With the expansion of digital channels, a decline in branch traffic and the current industry focus on controlling costs it’s not surprising that some financial institutions are reducing their branch network. In 2012, over 700 branches were closed. Institutions with large branch networks, such as Bank of America Corp., HSBC and SunTrust Banks Inc., have all announced Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:07-05:00March 15th, 2013|Comments Off on Buying a Branch? Look Before You Leap

Revitalizing the Relationship Manager

Twenty years ago, the commercial banking relationship manager (RM) held a position of the highest prestige and power within most banks. He – and it usually was a he – found and cultivated clients, led the loan decision process and represented the customer’s interests within the bank, oftentimes challenging support staff whom the RM typically viewed as Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:07-05:00March 8th, 2013|Comments Off on Revitalizing the Relationship Manager

Retail and Small Businesses – The Missing Link

In the intensive search for new sources of profitable revenue, many financial institutions are missing one untapped source: cross-selling and upselling to existing retail consumer customers who also are small business owners. Equifax data analysis shows that up to 21% of consumer accounts may be held by small business owners or principals. These individuals often tap traditional Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:08-05:00February 20th, 2013|Comments Off on Retail and Small Businesses – The Missing Link

The ‘People Process’ in Branch Productivity

With many financial institutions (FIs) facing another year of declining average retail branch transaction activity and rising payroll costs (40.2% and 76.1%, respectively over the past two decades, per FMSI’s Annual Teller Line Study), upper management in most companies is actively seeking ways to reduce branch expenses, increase sales or both. Labor, of course, is usually the Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:08-05:00February 4th, 2013|Comments Off on The ‘People Process’ in Branch Productivity

Mobile as Sales Supplement, not Sales Substitute

Mobile banking services can be used as effective tools to help banks sell additional services and improve customer relationships, but only if they are used correctly and in coordinated efforts with other delivery and sales channels. “When it comes to buying bank products, customers will use multiple resources,” said Tom McDermott, senior vice president of cross-channel strategies Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:10-05:00December 21st, 2012|Comments Off on Mobile as Sales Supplement, not Sales Substitute

Relationships Built on Trust

First, the facts. In the June 2012 BAI Demand Pulse, we asked financial institutions which phrase best described their business culture: 1) customer service professionals, 2) focused product and service retailers, 3) generalized provider, 4) traditional and reliable bankers and 5) relationship focused. The number one response was “relationship focused; 41% picked that answer followed by “customer Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:12-05:00August 17th, 2012|Comments Off on Relationships Built on Trust

Using Experiences to Bond with Customers

If you think about the people in your life that you are closest to, chances are they’re the ones that you’ve shared the most experiences with. Those experiences (positive or even occasionally difficult) bond you to those people. Experiences also bond people and brands; people expect the brands they associate with to engage them in an experience. Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:13-05:00July 30th, 2012|Comments Off on Using Experiences to Bond with Customers

Improving the Branch Sales Process

The traditional branch sales model was based on cross-selling to customers who used the branch for transactions. In a typical scenario, a customer comes in to deposit a check or make a payment on a loan and the teller points them to a ready personal banker who might cross-sell a money market account or a home equity Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:14-05:00June 5th, 2012|Comments Off on Improving the Branch Sales Process

Profit-based Metrics for Branch Sales Productivity

As retail bankers continue to probe for revenue opportunities in a tight market, many are wrestling with a fundamental question: how can branch staff become strong partners in sales without giving up a service culture? The traditional retail sales strategy relied on the marketing team to drive traffic into the branch, where platform staff stood ready to Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:15-05:00May 25th, 2012|Comments Off on Profit-based Metrics for Branch Sales Productivity

Virtual Customers: Who’s Minding the Store?

Are retail banks overlooking a major segment of their customer base? It seems improbable, especially given the intense hunt for growth in a tight market. Yet, that is exactly what’s happening at many regional banking companies. The customers in question are those who have drifted away from the branch and now do most of their banking at Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:17-05:00February 21st, 2012|Comments Off on Virtual Customers: Who’s Minding the Store?

Managing the Conversation with Unhappy Customers

Are you setting up your sales and service people for failure by sending them unarmed into hostile territory? Are you leaving them to their own devices in dealing with unhappy customers? According to a recent study by Gfk Research Institute, “Trust in bankers hit a low of 37 percent in 2009, when the global economy shrank and banks Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:28-05:00November 18th, 2011|Comments Off on Managing the Conversation with Unhappy Customers

Avoiding a Sales Productivity Crisis

With its recent announcement of 30,000 job cuts, Bank of America Corp. has fired the opening shot in an industry-wide move toward deep cost reduction in retail banking. Going into 2012, many other revenue-starved banks likely will slash branch staff as well, given the almost 40% profit decline in retail banking. But aggressive contraction re-introduces an age-old Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:29-05:00October 6th, 2011|Comments Off on Avoiding a Sales Productivity Crisis

Combining Sales and Service on the Frontlines

As banks struggle in today’s environment of reduced fee income and weak loan demand, financial institutions need to figure out a way to sell more products to their existing customers. Shifting branch staff away from their transaction functions to more of a sales role is commonly seen as one tactic for accomplishing that. Been there, done that, Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:29-05:00September 20th, 2011|Comments Off on Combining Sales and Service on the Frontlines

Keys to Cross-Selling Success

One result of the recent and continuing rash of government regulations is a renewed desire on the part of banks and credit unions to drive new sources of revenue and profitability. Yet, where can these be found in today’s sluggish economy? Inevitably, banks are looking at their existing customer base with a renewed interest in cross-selling to Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:29-05:00September 13th, 2011|Comments Off on Keys to Cross-Selling Success

Predictive Selling for Cross Sell

Cross-sale? What cross-sell? Most banks offer on average over 100 products and services but 56% of customers only have one product, according to our company’s research. Why? Financial products are generally complex to sell and front-line employees can only master between six to eight products. So how do banks sell more products to their current customer base Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:30-05:00August 17th, 2011|Comments Off on Predictive Selling for Cross Sell

Simpler is Better in Sales

As the banking industry’s ability to generate fee income comes under pressure from recent regulatory actions, financial institutions will inevitably need to place more focus on front-line sales effectiveness, particularly in the branches. Easier said than done, since banks have often struggled with branch sales. To provide an overview of these issues, we turned to Jay Freeman, an Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:30-05:00August 5th, 2011|Comments Off on Simpler is Better in Sales

Raise More Capital and Innovate

I am no fan of needless regulation. The industry has enough to deal with right now with Dodd-Frank, a new (and leaderless) Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, derivative regulations and the like. But I question the wisdom of the well-heeled lobbyists in Washington, allegedly representing the interests of the banking industry (read: top 20 banks), aggressively pushing against Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:31-05:00July 1st, 2011|Comments Off on Raise More Capital and Innovate

The Future of Branches: Reinvention

Many industry analysts and practitioners clearly believe the future of retail banking requires a dramatic reduction in the absolute numbers of bank branches across the U.S. In a recent column, banking investor and analyst Tom Brown went as far as to say that “sprawling branch networks are about to become high-cost millstones.” There’s a problem with this Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:31-05:00June 24th, 2011|Comments Off on The Future of Branches: Reinvention

Customer Experience Metrics Matter

Delivering the right customer experience at the right time means understanding the wants, needs and expectations of your customers and designing an experience that meets those needs. While it may seem intuitive that an improved customer experience equals happier and  more loyal customers, managers want quantitative proof. Fortunately, such proof is available in metrics such as increased Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:32-05:00April 8th, 2011|Comments Off on Customer Experience Metrics Matter