If you've surrounded yourself by a rock-star sales team at your bank or credit union, odds are, you're meeting your lead acquisition goals to the hilt. But once those converted customers or members enter your doors, how are you ensuring they stay put? They have lots of options, after all.
Here are four things you should keep in mind with your financial institution's customer-retention strategy.
Remove Customer Service Barriers
While customer switching banks isn't all that common (it can be a lot of work to move your finances—but some people feel they have their reasons), 20 percent of consumers switch banks due to dissatisfaction with service, according to a study from Bank Clarity. Don't let your most valued customers be a part of this statistic. Remove barriers to receiving amazing customer service, such as extended hours, live chat or a text line. And this is critical—don't confuse troubleshooting with upsell opportunities. Set a policy in place with your call center so that it's easy to identify when a customer is open to a sales pitch or not. When a customer is at his or her most frustrated or confused by your online banking platform or mobile app or fee table, a sales pitch could turn them off to staying with your organization.
Expand Your Offerings
There are so many options when it comes to selecting a bank or credit union as your home base. They start to blend together after a while, so having truly unique (or marketplace-unique) offerings can go a long way. Identify some of the primary financial problems in your target market. Do you serve a lot of young accountholders? Offer on-demand financial education. How about a lot of low-income members? Offer budgeting tools—whether you build an app yourself or work with a third-party provider. From data breaches to filing taxes to approaching student debt, your consumers have real, identifiable financial roadblocks—answer them in your roster of services.
Reward More Than Spending
Often bank and credit union rewards programs are 100 percent based on a given customer or member spending money to earn points or credits. While this can be a good base way to encourage usage of your products, often the payout (i.e., the resulting redeemable rewards) don't match the effort of racking up transactions on your credit or debit cards. Supplement this by rewarding more than simply spending. Show your loyalty to your customers so they'll return the favor. Offer up rewards points on a given customer's birthday. Or tie a reward into a customer or member graduating from high school or college. These sorts of small wins can make your brand much more desirable to those seeking value-added benefits in their banking choices.
Survey the Exiters
This one is a must-do—don't neglect the unique opportunity of finding out what is and isn't working in your customer-retention strategy directly from the source. When the occasion is appropriate, ask your exiting customers or members why they're leaving your financial institution. And make it very easy for them to respond. Work it into your customer-service reps' talking points when someone requests to close his or her accounts, and ensure any digital survey request uses simple, suggestive, multiple-choice questions (with an optional open-ended field). Aggregate this data, and you'll have undeniable evidence of what you should and shouldn't be doing.