Walking through downtown you will see a wide range of couples, and it’s easy to spot which relationships are working. Believe it or not, the same goes with banking. Through our research, there are certain banks that have their A+ relationship game down and know exactly how to treat a lady, or um customer.
For all of you with a frustrated client on the phone, a lengthy list of indifferent contacts, or a begrudged borrower waiting on the benches – do we have the solution for you! It’s the five banking love languages, and it could make the world of a difference for increasing your customer satisfaction rating and deepening your client relationships.
1. Words of affirmation – Prospects look to their loan officer as a knight in shining armor. You’re there to save the day, and when that doesn’t quite go their way, well, things can get complicated. It’s important to show them detailed data on their business, give them specific information on the loan process and provide them with a path towards obtaining financial success. Many bankers are in the habit of simply responding, but they’ve got to do more than that. They’ve got to come to the table with ideas and inspire their clients. Maintain their trust and confidence by looking from their perspective and by giving them as much affirmation as possible.
One bank we’ve seen do an incredible job of this is Hills Bank. Most of their customers knows their banker on a first name basis because they have truly mastered the art of relationship banking. One of the ways they capture their client’s attention is by providing education programs and curriculum that gets down to the nitty gritty to improve each business.
2. Quality time – When a banker goes out of their way to make clients feel comfortable with a cup of coffee, cookies and all the latest promotions – that’s nice, but not necessarily what they need. It’s important to spend their valuable time promptly discussing matters that directly affect them and their business. Stop the lip service! The number one complaint about bankers is that they don’t understand their clients’ business. Take the time to stop by unannounced without trying to sell them anything – listen and learn about their business. A good banker should go through their current financial state, make projections using advanced systems and help make financial decisions that will benefit them in the long run.
3. Gifts – While bribery is not necessarily the best course for building a healthy relationship with customers, showing appreciation in even the smallest of steps can go a long way. Whether it’s a birthday card, an anniversary with the company or a rewards programs, be sure to show gratitude for their longstanding support and it will come back to you tenfold. Share when you read a story about them in the paper or saw their kid win a baseball game, show that you care and this will go a long way. Another great way to give back to your clients is to invest in their business. If they own a bakery, swing by a few times to buy a bagel, say hello and support them.
4. Acts of service – Many banks pride themselves on their involvement with the community, but these days it’s more about being creative than simply writing a check to your local nonprofit. There are hundreds of organizations in each area that need support and the best way to be stand out for your support is to make it a part of your company culture. Provide educational seminars that help business owners operate their business. Broadcast your work on all frequencies and even invite your customers to become a part of it.
5. Physical touch – Everything has gone so digital these days with drive up ATMs, mobile remote deposit capture, and online banking – it’s a rarity to even see a friendly banker’s face. Your clients need to see you more than during your annual renewal. That’s why making a point to meet in person can make a lasting impression and help build a trusting relationship for years to come.
There are hundreds of languages throughout the world, but only one everyone can understand and that’s love, banking love, that is.