How Financial Institutions Can Turn Weaknesses to Strengths

Banking is a lot like improv — it's all about relationships. When you're on stage, it's the audience you're trying to engage. For frontline banking staff, engagement with customers and prospects is critical. But with the right information available and the right support, bank and credit union employees can ace their 'performance.'

Customer: “Hey waiter, there’s a bank in my soup!”

Waiter: “Thanks for checking – looks like we aren’t giving the chefs enough credit.”

And, scene!

Setting the stage

A little over six years ago, I embarked on a journey of taking improv classes and performing. Yes, before you ask, it is similar to “Whose Line is it Anyway?”

When you’re on-stage and wondering where to take the scene next, we were always taught to focus on the relationship. The audience stays engaged and when the scene focuses on connection and emotion.

Same goes for banking!

Relationships. Are. Everything.

It is significantly more cost-effective to retain and grow relationships with current customers than it is to acquire new ones.

Two of the most popular ways to strengthen customer relationships are: 1. having an exceptional customer experience, and 2. offering the products people are looking for. Luckily, you don’t have to go it alone. A good relationship increases your share-of-wallet, and a good banking CRM software solution makes nurturing the relationship easier.

Before every live show, every group I’ve performed with would pat each others’ backs and say, “I’ve got your back.”

In this case, CRMNEXT has your back.

“Can I get a suggestion from the audience?” (Another great improv tool.)

One of my favorite suggestion prompts during a show is asking the audience for the name of a story that’s never been written.

Humor. We use it a lot in improv.

It is often derived from acute observations or commentary on the world around us. Sometimes they hit a little too close to home.

Okay, back to that audience suggestion. If the audience was made up of your customers, would anyone suggest “That time my bank answered all of my questions on the first call without having to transfer me anywhere”?

This title is a bit lengthy….and specific. And — let’s be honest — sometimes the customer experience can be a bit lengthy and specific. With the right customer relationship software system, you can be in on the joke and they’ll be laughing with you, not at you.

“Now audience, can I get a suggestion?”

“CRMNEXT has your back!”

With our Customer 360-degree view and one-click Action Centers, we ensure that the customer information your team needs is right at their fingertips. Whether it be case status, portfolio, communications, or up-sell opportunities, we can bring it all together in near real-time to help resolve issues faster, and more often on the first contact. You’ll also be able to monitor trends and be more proactive with resolving issues, instead of reactive.

Avoiding the Dreaded ‘No, But…’

Another key teaching that all improvisers (and many non-improvisers) are familiar with is “yes, and” and “no, but”.

If you give your scene partner the incredible gift of details about the world you are building, relationship context, and/or a way to move the plot forward, you’ve created a “yes, and”. If you leave your partner hanging with no information on how to move the scene forward, you have created the dreaded, “no, but”. These two words stop a scene dead in its tracks and zap energy from the room.

Your CRM System As Your Frontline

Your CRM application can be your “Yes, and”. But, unfortunately the wrong one can be a “No, but”.

A “Yes, and” CRM application allows you to validate what your scene partner is saying. It also lets you include your own perspective for a collaborative environment. Our 360° view customer view and one-click Action Centers give you the “yes, and” you need to keep your customer relationship strong. CRMNEXT can empower you to say “yes, and…” to your customers more often while also taking some of that “no, but” stress and pressure off of your frontline employees.

The ‘Mic Drop’

Everyone one wants to do it. It’s the killer ending to a great stage performance. Improvisers work toward a mic drop ending all the time.

Upsells and increasing your share-of-wallet is your mic drop.

You have to be confident in your banking CRM solution and it has to help with upsells and increasing your share-of-wallet. We know there’s a whole host of headaches that can come with those.

Tracking all communications, and possibly conflicting offers sent to a customer, can leave your frontline employees resembling a deer in headlights if someone shows up at a branch with questions. At a time when your team member could be building some solid rapport with the customer, they’re forced to hop between a bunch of windows and applications to try and find the information they’re looking for.

Imagine this scenario — you have a 5-year customer with a great running balance of over $200,000. They just married and got a new credit card. When they come into the branch, you answer any questions they have regarding the new credit card and send them on their way.

Your opportunity to grow the relationship and increase share-of-wallet literally just walked out the door!

Now, let’s rewind and take a look at the scenario, adding CRMNEXT to the mix. As you look up this customer’s information to help answer their questions, our CRM solution has been preparing for this moment. On the same screen, CRMNEXT suggests next-best products for this customer (perhaps a home or auto loan due to their recent life change) and tells you if they have been preapproved. All of this happens automatically based on criteria your financial institution sets.

Your team member now has the goods to ask the right questions at the right time. Are they planning on purchasing a vehicle soon? Your team can now inform them that they have been pre-approved for a loan. As it happens, their next stop was going to be the car dealership where they planned to finance through the dealer. The low interest rate you just offered them makes them decide to finance through you instead!

That’s just one example of how you can empower your frontline to “yes, and…” upsells. And CRMNEXT helps you do it.

Mic Drop.

There you have it — CRMNEXT gives you and your institution a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

You may applaud now.

Additional Resources:
The Show Must Go On – Banklorette
Our Brand Promise to You
Silver State Schools Credit Union Case Study

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