There is a somewhat dated adage in business that it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. However, in focusing on this data point, many financial institutions lose sight of something even more important—connecting with account holders, creating positive experiences with your brand, and delivering value.
It’s much less expensive and more efficient to sell products and services to existing account holders with whom you have a relationship. Because you have earned their trust and loyalty, they will be more willing to try other products/services you have available. And, the more satisfied they are with your services, the more likely they are to refer new borrowers to your institution.
In this blog post, we’ll give you three simple tips that can help your institution build a lasting and fruitful relationship with your current account holders.
Tip #1: Provide excellent customer service to your customers AND your employees.
Good leaders must lead by example. How well you treat your employees will have an effect, positive or negative, on how your employees treat your customers. If you strive to live each workday treating your employees with the respect that you expect them to provide to your customers, you will see in the long run, your good example will show your employees how to handle everyday interactions with your customers.
Along with treating your employees with excellent service, you should also instill in your employees the importance and value of providing commendable service to each and every person who walks through your doors. If your borrowers see that you go above and beyond to ensure their needs are being met, they will continue to do business with you.
Tip #2: Maintain credibility by addressing complaints promptly and sincerely.
When it comes to conflict resolution, sooner is always better than later. When a borrower has a problem or complaint, don’t put the issue off. Rather, deal with the problem directly, promptly, and sincerely. Listen to your customers and strive to exceed their expectations.
No institution is perfect, so when you receive negative feedback, turn it into a positive change. Your customers will recognize and appreciate the effort, due diligence, and energy you put forth in resolving their issues.
Additionally, remember your resolution needs to be sincere; otherwise, you risk exaggerating the issue at hand. Demonstrating to your account holders that you take their issues seriously enough to attend to them there and now will go a long way in helping to build lasting loyalty and trust.
Tip #3: Create an engaging digital experience for your borrowers.
With the explosive rise in mobile apps and other smartphone technology over the past decade, User Experience (UX) design has become a critical tool in ensuring your borrowers can easily access, navigate, and enjoy your institution’s online ecosystem. UX design seeks to optimize the interactions between real human users and the products and services they use every day. This can include anything from buying snacks out of a vending machine to assembling IKEA furniture, but the term is most often applied to websites, apps, and, for financial institutions, online payment portals.
Did you know that investing in UX during a project’s concept phase reduces product development cycles by 33-50%?
UX design encompasses far more than the aesthetics of a digital banking product. It’s about creating an experience that delights the end-user of that product. If your borrower logs on to make their auto loan payment, the sign-in process is a breeze, the layout of your site is pleasing, they’re able to make their payment, and a payment confirmation immediately appears on their phone or inbox, they’re going to leave with a positive impression of your institution. This means, when you engage these borrowers to offer further products and services, they’ll be more likely to respond favorably to your brand.
The main takeaway from this blog post is to not take your current account holders for granted. They are the source of your income, and hopefully, the source of many referrals. By creating a service-oriented culture at your financial institution, you can earn the trust and loyalty of your borrowers, and keep them coming back time and time again for all of their financial needs.