Are You a D.U.M.B. Banker

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Not dumb as in the sense of flunking your SATs, but dumb as in Don’t Understand My Business (DUMB). In the world of banking, there are a number of questions to ask, data to analyze and customers to please. But that’s just the surface level of banking. What about the deep-seeded roots upon which this industry was founded? We’re talking about truly connecting with your clients and presenting them with solutions that go beyond financials – it’s their business, their time, their life.

Many bankers neglect taking the first step in creating profitable partnerships: getting to know their customers. Essentially by not understanding their client’s business, bankers are unable to set fixed metrics and accurately measure success. They resort to asking loosely defined questions such as “How are sales?” or “What are your goals for the next fiscal year?” As a result, they end up subjecting themselves to the overwhelming risks of uncertainty. In order to prevent yourself from becoming a DUMB banker, stop and ask yourself:

  • What are the individual needs of each of my specific customers?
  • What’s the overall health of their business?
  • Do seasonal changes affect their income and expenses?
  • How can we help them as efficiently as possible?
  • Which programs and technologies can deliver the best results for their needs?

As customer service is the pinnacle at which a majority of banks define their success, it is paramount that all bankers fully understand the context of which their clients need support. So how does one go about completing due diligence for this facet of their bank?

Well, aside from sitting down with your customers and hearing them out whole-heartedly. There is an array of new technologies to implement and streamline the process for aggregating and analyzing financial data. New SaaS (software-as-a-service) programs provide bankers with enhanced analytics that empower them to become trusted advisors. These tools allow bankers to quickly identify red flags, streamline the approval process by making better loan decisions up-front, and give customers the flexibility to bank in a way that suits their needs.

Customers are taking control of their banking relationship and banks need to embrace this trend by providing more options and superior service, in order to keep their business.

According to the Ernst & Young 2012 Global Consumer Banking Survey, “This complexity shows that improving personalization is about more than just making better use of customer data. It means developing technology to give customers greater control over when and how they interact with their bank. “

SaaS programs support this effort by providing the ability to complete an in-depth risk assessment analysis. Bankers and business owners now have access to compare the business’s health to industry averages and monitor credit lines to strengthen risk management. This data creates greater transparency and insight into business trends, resulting in tailored advice which puts the control back into the borrower’s hands.

The use of groundbreaking technology is vital to every bank’s customer service suite. In addition to analytics and risk assessment, these programs also save time and money which gives bankers the opportunity to explore new avenues to increase customer satisfaction. Below are some other ways to better serve your clients:

  • Clearly define any and all costs upfront in a visual format
  • Map the customer experience from start to finish to locate and remove any pitfalls
  • Monitor direct competitors for new ideas, launches, offerings, etc.
  • Present rewards for long-term loyalty
  • Give customers the ability to personalize their products and services

It is our hope that through these efforts, technology can help maintain strong relationships as bankers across the globe equip themselves to truly understand their customer’s business.