We are all in the business of relationships. They are the most important thing we have as humans. This has been proven time and again. Our society’s most recent example being the meteoric rise of social media. According to the website howmanyarethere.net there are more than 200 well known social networking websites fed by our need to connect and reconnect with each other.
You know that day to day consumer banking operations are shifting to mobile and internet based devices, which many of our members are doing an excellent job of offering in the market. In 2000 59.5% of retail payments were made using a check. Today that number is less than 4%, according to the Federal Reserve, NACHA and the National Retail Federation. This along with less and less use of cash shows us that banking is quickly becoming an activity, something on your “to do list” it is no longer visiting a physical location.
Does this mean relationships no longer matter to your bank? Should your bank train your customer service staff to engage in website development?
Let me share an experience I recently had with one of our member banks. I was working on the banks online banking web portal and hit a dead-end. I called the bank and the customer service representative immediately offered to walk me through the process. She did this by having me allow her to view my computer screen. This allowed her to tell me exactly what fields to fill in and boxes to check. What could have been a long frustrating support call was resolved in seconds because the bank had invested in both great customer service personnel and great technology tools.
As you look at how to leverage your relationships always be looking to take your service to the next level. What if I didn’t have to call your bank, what if I could have clicked on an online support tab that connected me directly to a representative? My relationship with your bank is not harmed by not visiting your location but strengthened when your technology is easy to use and your support is seamless.
I look forward to continuing to strengthen my relationships with you our members and welcome your stories regarding how you’re leveraging relationships to make sure your bank continues to thrive in our ever changing world.
McCurry, a native of MN and resident of Mitchell, SD, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications / Marketing from the Minnesota State University, Mankato. Prior to joining the ICBSD as President and CEO, he directed the marketing, sales and government relations efforts at Santel