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  • Karl Keller

Proactively Connect With Your Customers During a Crisis

Community banks are missing out on a great opportunity to connect with their customers to build rapport and serve them during this crisis. People are worried about their families, jobs and finances which is causing stress and anxiety.

If your banking division operates in a reactive, “Wait till they call us” environment, then your institution is at risk of losing part or even the entire relationship to a competitor who is willing to call and assist.

Here’s my recent personal experience.

Yesterday afternoon one of my banks, not my primary bank, called to ask how I was doing and to introduce herself. Her tone was caring and very sincere.

She didn’t try to sell me anything, she just was checking-in to see how I was dealing with this crisis. As a result, she also learned additional information about me and my family, including the names and ages of my two grandchildren.

During the brief 2-minute conversation she informed me that branches in my community were still open, but with modified hours. She educated me on where to find the closest branch for convenience.

She informed me of an email she was about to send with her contact information. As result, she tactfully validated my email address they had on file.

I was impressed as she made me feel important while respecting my time and adding value. She cared enough to call me and when I see her calling me the next time, I’ll answer her call.

If a national bank with millions of customers can take the time to call, then community banks can do the same. Especially when the technology to automate much of the process is very affordable and delivers an immediate ROI.

Community banks pride themselves on providing great personal service but seem satisfied delivering it only when the customer walks through the branch or calls them asking for help.

Community banks are challenged each year with numerous projects but the projects that matter most, are ones having a direct impact on customer relationships. Proactively connecting with your customers, in-person or on the phone, is vital to building rapport while gaining confidence and trust. It is time to act by picking up the phone and beginning a customer contact program.

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