“The right behaviors, not clever slogans, are what truly differentiate your bank from the competition.”
I couldn’t agree more with the key principles of the Gallup article, Think Your Bank Is Different? You’re Wrong. It’s an excellent wake-up call for community banks that have taken steps to be service oriented but aren’t seeing the results they expected to see. And it’s time to ask why.
Inevitably, the answer will be: right idea – wrong execution.
Gallup is right. Building a customer-focused brand isn’t just about fun slogans and T-shirt Fridays. It is truly about the behaviors of every bank employee in managing the daily work stream that impacts the customer.
Where the article is a bit vague is in offering a strategy for how to identify those behaviors. The matrix they share seems to suggest a top-down approach to getting everyone behaving in accordance with a customer-focused brand.
Wait a minute. We are talking about focusing on the customers here, right?
While there’s no question it’s vital that bank leadership have an active role in modeling this culture, if it is to be truly customer-centric, it has to start with the customer. Who better to tell you what matters most to the customer than the customers themselves? They’re the ones who are most impacted by the behavior of the people in your bank, and they can tell you what works and what doesn’t.
Many banks will say that they have surveys and mystery shopping that give them the data they need to understand the behaviors that are important to customers. Data is helpful, but if you aren’t gathering significant anecdotal feedback, too, you won’t have the full picture of what really matters to the customer.
Another sometimes overlooked treasure trove of insights is what the front-line staff knows. They’re dealing with the customer every day. They see firsthand what is broken in the work stream and what the customers are most frustrated by.
Finally, don’t overlook the importance of prioritizing the interactions and behaviors that matter the most to your current and desired customer base.
Not all customer touch points are created equal. Not only does it save the bank a tremendous amount of money and time, but you will yield greater results once you identify the behaviors your customers really care about the most.
Shoot with a rifle, not a shot gun. The minute you try to be all things to everyone is the moment you stop defining your brand.