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Are US Banks Trustworthy? What sources of information to we use to determine how much we trust our Banks? Edelman, leading independent global PR firm, just released its annual Edelman Trust Barometer. The 11th Annual Study surveys 5,000+ people in the 25 – 64 age group, all whom are college educated and in the top quartile of household income. In other words, a pretty good description of a dream customer for most Banks and Credit Unions. Finding #1 – Financial services worldwide scored at the bottom of the list for consumer trust, with only 50% of respondents agreeing that Banks / Financial Services firms will do what is right. Finding #2 – However, US Banks saw their Trust scores plummet by nearly 2/3, with just 25% agreeing that US Banks will do what is right. Finding #3 – nearly 50% use the web (search engine and online news sources) as their primary source for news on companies. 40% use the web as their secondary source of information. 5% identified social media as their primary source and 7% as their secondary source for information on a company. Unfortunately, most Banks still rely to a very large extent on print and direct mail, missing terrific opportunities to connect [Read More...]
Every banker understands that cross-sale is vitally important to engage with a customer so as to be able to deliver greatest value while improving the bank’s ability to retain that customer. However, some banks have engaged in attempting to sell everything and anything to every customer regardless of their needs and desires. Take for example, the story recounted in the ’I am over-banked and I need help‘ story recounted by Plastyc Inc., a provider of prepaid debit, credit card accounts, and a virtual checkbook. A customer called to inquire about maximum amount that can be stored on a pre-paid card because “in spite of having been with my main bank for so long, they want me to maintain a minimum balance of $5,000 in my checking account and opt for the overdraft protection service, and then agree to pay a fee when transferring money from my savings account, all of this to get “free checking” where they would not charge me a monthly fee.” This customer was moving his account from a bank that mindlessly tried to cross-sell him and wound up loosing what appears to have been a great customer and potentially very profitable customer. Cross-sale is a double-edged sword — if done [Read More...]
The following is a thought-provoking blog entitled ‘Why Great Brands don’t care what you think‘ from Theo Fanning, Creative Director of Traction, an interactive agency based in San Francisco. —————————– With the advent of social media, crowd-sourcing and consumer participation, brands are finding themselves deluged with comments, complaints, suggestions and requests. Many are struggling to navigate and decipher this new wealth of consumer generated content. So how do successful companies take advantage of this new source of information without drinking from a fire hose of data? Most just ignore it. Powerful brands have been around for decades; well before the onslaught of today’s latest darling: social media. They became successful because of the quality of their offering and craftsmanship of their branding. They saw a need, created a product and made sure that their target audience learned about it in a compelling way. Brands shaped the way people thought: how they consumed and why they bought. Now there is a growing trend to change the game: allow the audience to shape the product, define their experience and customize the brand to their needs. While this may seem like a good strategy, most smart brands will avoid it like the plague. [Read More...]
Customer Communication in the Banking world has advanced little in the past 10 years. The wide-spread use of SMS and social media has been largely ignored by the Baking world. Varolii Corporation & American Banker in their Retail Banking / Lending Survey dated Nov 16, 2010 interviewed more than 450 Executives from Retail Banking and Consumer Lending organizations. These executives represented both small and large organizations, with asset sizes ranging from $175 million (median average) to $7.9 billion (mean average). The study results are presented in the below video, but I would like to focus on just two findings. One, the respondents were asked about the Greatest Challenges facing their organizations, and the top the responses where: 1. Regulatory Pressures 2. Credit Standards, Delinquencies and Defaults 3. Developing a competitive online & mobile strategy The first two are very understandable and, frankly, should be a priority for every bank. However, I view these as “infrastructural” considerations that are required as a function of running a bank. Although undeniably the environment is different today, Regulatory Compliance and Credit Standards are an everyday consideration. I was, however, encourages that most bankers identified the need to define a competitive online & mobile strategy as one of their top challenges. With very few exceptions, Community and smaller [Read More...]