Would any of our bank members not benefit from new customers? I don’t think so. Each of your institutions are always on the lookout for new customers. A recent conversation with one of our bank members got me thinking about my own banking relationship with a local community bank and about lost opportunities that we all may miss with our current customer base.
Let me ask you some questions… Does your community bank offer bank to bank money transfer solutions to your customers? Where is that money going? How much money each month is leaving your bank and going to brokerage accounts at companies such as Fidelity, Vanguard or other financial companies managing retirement accounts for your customers?
As I travel the state visiting community banks, I try to make it a point to notice the signage outside, material inside, and to listen to you as you tell me about the services you offer in each of your communities. Community banks are offering customers much more than traditional banking products. I see material and signage for insurance, trust, wealth management, investments and more.
Here is a few questions to ask yourself. Do you actively cross sell to your current customers? How many of your banks look at your customers and actively offer them products that complement the current products and services they buy from you?
As you are all well aware, you may not see your best customers as often as you'd like, so you need to work extra hard to keep yourself on their radar screens. How often do your bank employees contact customers by phone, email, and handwritten note, not trying to sell them anything, but letting them know you are available and ready to offer solutions?
Have any of our community banks asked customers what products or services would help their customer be more successful? Be the Buyer. We can all fall into the trap of not seeing the forest from the trees. What is the best way to find out what your customers need? Ask them, survey them, and hold a focus group.
What customer segments have you identified? How can you help these segments with things you already offer?
Take a serious look at your current customers and your upselling program. If you are not focused more on your existing customers than acquiring new customers, you are missing a huge opportunity.
We follow this same philosophy at the ICBSD. While new members are great and we welcome all community banks to join the ICBSD, we are focused on the needs of our current members every day. Whether it is getting banks involved with advocacy or more banks attending events we mine the data and put a little extra time into expanding the relationships we already have.
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