We know community banks. To develop our community bank benchmarks, we survey nearly 3 million bank customers every six months to find out what community banks are doing well and where they’re faltering.
- We know, for example, that it’s not enough to just be active in the community if you aren’t making sure consumers know what you’re doing to be active – through social media, in-bank marketing efforts, and local visibility.
- We know that at any point in time, 50-70% of bank customers are ready to switch banks – and we know the top ways banks can keep their customers loyal.
- And we know that for most community banks, it can be more lucrative to focus on attracting women as bank customers, who are more adept at using bank technology and have a greater lifetime value than their male counterparts.
Community Bank Opportunity
Whether you’re the community bank manager or marketing officer, one of the things you’re charged with is growth. We know that explosive growth is possible when there are more than 3 million bank customers are up for grab in the northeast. Whether actively looking or just waiting for the right offer to show up, millions of bank customers in the northeast are not loyal enough to the bank they’re with to prevent them from switching. The same is true for about a third of business customers.
How can you keep your existing customers loyal and attract new customers looking for something better?
While it varies from state to state and region to region, there are some key areas that we find can benefit every community bank when done well.
Show Up in Your Community
You can’t just sponsor the local baseball team and call it a day. To really show up in your community, you need to actually be a part of it. When you’re serving your neighbors and know them and what they need, you can do a better job of making them feel like you’re there for them. You need to demonstrate that showing up – through sharing posts on social media, through being present during community functions, and more.
Level the Technology Playing Field
Community banks have access to the same technology consumers want that big banks have. You can offer online banking and photo deposits and mobile banking. No customer even questions that capability. But you have to follow through and make sure every single employee knows how to use every single technology you offer. It’s as much about your own employee buy-in to the tech as it is about the tech itself.
Focus on the Experience
Bank customers can walk into any bank and get an unemotional, transactional experience. Set yourself apart. Make sure when they walk into your bank, they feel like they’re at home. Be a part of their community. Give them a reason to walk through the door (fresh popcorn, suckers for kids, welcoming smiles from the staff, community events hosted on site). When you give them a reason to feel good about being in your bank, you give them a reason to keep banking with you.
There Are a Million Ways to Grow Your Bank – But You Have to Know What Customers Want
Increasing your customer base, decreasing costs, improving loyalty, cross-selling and upselling products are all standard ways to grow your community bank. But knowing what really resonates with your customers and potential customers is essential for making sure you’re putting your efforts in the right place. Your customized banking benchmarks can provide all the insight you need to understand your bank and your competitors better so that you can adjust your efforts to be more effective. Contact us today for more information.