As your financial brand marketing, sales and leadership teams work to keep communication lines open with internal and external audiences, one very quick and practical recommendation I’ve been making to banks and credit unions is deploying remote or virtual meetings with teams and account holders via a video platform.
This will be even more important if you are in a community that has been locked down or will get locked down in the weeks, months and perhaps even years to come.
I’ve been recommending this type of remote communication strategy for the past two-to-three years for financial brand digital sales teams as it bridges the divide between the digital experience and the human experience with face-to-face video.
Remote video platforms like Zoom help to further increase empathetic communication.
That’s because 93% of communication is nonverbal — 55% of communication consists of body language while 38% of communication is in vocal tonality.
Having face-to-face communication — even if remotely — is more important than ever during times of chaos, confusion, and crisis.
New Normal: Living, Working, Banking Remotely
Quarantines and isolations will be extended much further into the summer months (May through August), I have come to expect as I follow the recovery trends we’re seeing out of China. I would also not be surprised if we are living in a “new normal” of sporadic isolation, suppression and lockdowns for another 12-18 months, based on the Imperial College’s COVID-19 Response Team Report.
Plan for the worst and hope for the best. That means, get prepared for remote operations for at least a year.
- How would a long-term scenario of remote operation force your financial brand to quickly transform the way you communicate — both internally and externally — if branches remain closed for an extended period of time?
- How would your marketing and sales strategies have to quickly evolve to meet the changing trends in consumer behavior?
- What are new products that can be created to solve the biggest pain points for consumers and small business?
Thinking now about how you might be able to apply video communication creates additional value and further deepen relationships with:
- Internal teams working from home.
- Consumer account holders not able to visit a branch location.
- Small business owners shut down and struggling to survive.
- Your community at large.
Given the confidential nature of some discussions, security of the platform you choose is important. This is something for Marketing to partner with IT or Security on.
Add ‘Request a Video Meeting’ as a Secondary Call to Action
Branch locations could be closed until the summer months, and perhaps even longer on and off over the next 12-18 months. So adopt video and add “Request a Video Meeting” calls-to-action on key website pages, including:
- COVID-19 Primary Landing Page.
- COVID-19 Financial Recovery Product Pages.
- Branch location pages (even more important if your branches are closed).
- Contact pages (even more important if your branches are closed).
- All product pages underneath your primary calls to action of “Apply Now” or “Open Account.”
- Social media accounts.
Also, consider adding a new location on Google Places with a link to a “Request a Video Meeting” landing page.
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How to Invite Account Holders to Schedule a Remote Video Meeting
Once you have the tool in place, how do you begin? Before you start hosting meetings, begins one-on-one.
1. Send an email out to account holders (segment consumer and business) letting them know you are there to help and also, just as important, to listen to their questions and concerns.
2. Wrap the email in an empathetic tone framed around your financial brand’s position and commitment to confidently provide clarity during this time of confusion, chaos, and crisis.
3. Primary email call to action: “We’re here to guide you through the coming weeks and months. Schedule a Remote Video Meeting With an Expert Banker.”
4. Link the email call to action to a landing page reinforcing an empathetic tone with a meeting request form. Platforms like Calendly, HubSpot Sales, and Timetrade can connect with calendars and video platforms like Zoom to streamline the booking process even further. Meeting request leads will then filter to applicable internal leaders (branch managers/loan officers/call center reps) for them to schedule and conduct the 1-on-1 video meeting.
Conduct Remote Video Coaching With Account Holders
Financial coaching — delivered remotely via video — will calm the nerves of account holders as your financial coach reduces their fears and anxieties during this time of chaos, confusion and crisis.
Start with a pilot financial coaching program as you invite a select number of account holders to register. In return, they will first receive a strategic blueprint with recommendations for their unique situation delivered via a remote video meeting.
Through an initial objective diagnostic, your financial coach will look for opportunities to bring in additional deposits and loans while providing recommendations that the account holder might have never considered before.
It is important for the coach to hard sell. Instead, the financial coach provides guidance and advice to position your financial brand as the trusted expert by sharing practical ways the account holder can stop losing and start saving even more money through your recommendations.
Next, the financial coach will follow up the initial diagnostic meeting to provide additional guidance and accountability. This could be through personalized 1-on-1 sessions or peer group coaching, conducted on a monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly cycle.
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Facilitate Daily Huddle Meetings With Key Team Members
Your institution can use a video platform to conduct daily standup or huddle meetings (15-30 minutes max) with key team members.
The goal of these daily huddle meetings is to:
- Get out of digital communication loops like email and chat to maintain the human connection as you limit the negative impact of long-term isolation when working remotely.
- Keep everyone on the same page to move forward in a unified direction.
- Celebrate wins and progress to keep morale high.
The best way to kick off these meetings is to commit to what I call “Go BIG.” (Begin in Gratitude). Ask team members one simple question:
- What was the best thing about your day yesterday?
- What are you excited about most today?
- What are you looking forward to tomorrow?
In all of these applications, an important point is that it’s not about the technology. It’s about using technology to bring people together to accomplish something good.