It is no secret that customer are interacting less frequently with bank branches. More and more, customers transact at the ATM and online.
A recent Banking Strategies article argues that despite this shift, customers will still need to go into the branch in some cases. These customers “are typically prompted by lifestyle changes,” and the interaction can provide a major opportunity to strengthen and build the customer relationship. Banking Strategies highlights the importance of understanding customer needs, having the right staff in place, and training staff appropriately to take advantage of these opportunities.
It is important to be well-positioned to take advantage of these opportunities. However, banks also need to be able to create these opportunities. Interacting with customers only when they come into a branch for a more complicated transaction will not be sufficient to build engagement across a large number of customers.
After putting in place the right staff with the right training, banks should also have these employees proactively reach out to high opportunity customers. The key is to know who to target. With limited resources, branch staff can’t effectively reach out to all customers.
Determining who to target is not easy, though. Is it best to focus on those with the largest relationships, those with the most room to grow, or customers who have (or don’t have) a particular type of product?
When implementing this type of program, try targeting a variety of different types of customers. Then measure the impact on key metrics such as retention, cross sell, balance, revenue, and customer satisfaction relative to similar customers that weren’t targeted.
It will be vitally important for banks not just to take advantage of customer engagement opportunities but also to create them. Branch staff will need to be more focused on relationship banking to effectively interact with customers that use the branch. But fewer branch transactions will also provide branch staff with the opportunity to proactively reach out to customers. Determine which customers have the most opportunity and take advantage of relationship bankers in the branch to engage those customers.