I’m going to give you readers a break today by not ranting on and on about the second housing bubble inflating before our very eyes.
But don’t worry, I’ll return to it soon.
In the meantime, my spouse received a piece of marketing mail the other day that immediately caught my attention in a negative way.
Of course, the copywriter for this mailing is probably cheering that his trick worked on me – and undoubtedly lots of other members of the target audience.
Word of mouth advertising, where customers tell others about your bank or credit union, is an important marketing factor.
“Word of mouth” is simply defined as people telling other people about their experiences. An oral testimonial. A recommendation that’s positive or negative.
I came across a couple of statistics released by the White House Office of Consumer Affairs. The study says if a customer has a problem that gets resolved, that person will tell four to six others about the experience. On the flip side, the study says a dissatisfied customer tells between nine and 15 people about the bad experience, and 13% of those dissatisfied customers tell more than 20 people.
Or maybe it’s EVP of Checking Products.
While many banks, and likely some credit unions, look to hire a senior level person to head up mobile banking initiatives and another for social media management, one really critical position remains unfilled.
One of the hottest job openings in banking today is the compliance officer.
The fundamental banking account for consumers is the checking account. When you ask an individual where he or she banks, the name of the bank or credit union you hear is the one where the person has a primary checking account.
So it’s logical that you want to gain new checking customers or encourage current non-checking customers to open a checking account.
Choosing to ignore social media will no longer be an option for banks and credit unions thanks to “suggestions” from the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC).
Among these new suggestions, banks and credit unions must have a social media plan, and train their staffs to handle the plan, even if their institution doesn’t engage in social media. (Check all the links below.)
It’s best to get tips from an expert, so I’m going to quote, with permission, from a blog post of an ACTON Marketing business partner company, Social Assurance. The company offers social media services to financial institutions.
What marketing techniques can you adopt or adapt from the ING Direct $25 Savings Offer envelope package that arrived in consumers’ mailboxes in late November?
A few posts ago, I said I was surprised when I found an ING Direct envelope package in my home mailbox. After Capital One bought the online financial operation, industry watchers assumed the name, along with its quality customer service and innovative ideas, would hit the scrap heap.
But it seems, Capital One is trying to capitalize on the brand’s goodwill with this (I’ll assume its first) marketing offer under the ING Direct name.
Whatever media you use to promote your marketing campaigns, use as many response options as possible.
Consumers have preferences, or biases, for how they want to respond to your promotional offers. If your campaign includes one of their preferences as a choice, a convenience, you improve your chances of generating response.
Here’s one example of how the elimination of a response channel severely depressed consumer action for a historically successful program.
Could this story happen in one of your lobbies?
A few days ago, I was reminded of a story my then-boss told his staff in the days when I worked as a marketing copywriter at a large insurance company.
Our boss wanted us to be leaders, not followers. He said we didn’t need to run everything past him for a decision. We should feel empowered to take action on our own. He had a few stories as examples, but the one I remember had to do with a bank customer. Maybe you’ve heard it.
Researcher to consumer: Why do you keep your checking account with Bank of America?
Consumer: While I hate their customer service and high checking account fees, I like the fact that the bank has branches and ATMs everywhere and that I can do my banking via my iPhone. It’s just so convenient.
Personally, I believe the consumer isn’t telling the truth. He’s not actually lying. He’s simply providing the fastest, easiest answer without giving it much thought. It’s an acceptable answer for the researcher.
“We deeply care about you, Mr. Resident. That’s why we sent you this important message. About nothing.”
No, that’s not what the postcard says. It’s my interpretation of the “personalized” message one of my colleagues found in his mailbox, sent by a local bank.
Front and back of this 5x7 postcard.
I was wrong…or at least forgetful.
Vernon Hill had slipped my mind!
In last Thursday’s blog about differentiation, I made the bold statement that I found it very difficult to name one bank that has done a great job of differentiating itself in any meaningful way.
After posting my blog and leaving the house, my memory lapse ended. I made a mental note to correct myself in my next blog – this one.
The old, old marketing wisdom, which grew out of direct mail marketing, says you should give your prospect as many ways as possible to respond to your offer.
At the time that nugget of knowledge was born, there were three basic methods to offer your responders: mail, phone, and feet. Today, you can add Internet and email to the response methods.
My idea for this post came about after talking with a client about a project. The creative for the offer was an envelope package, so it was easy to include a response coupon and a Business Reply Envelope.
If actor Sean Connery just announced that he’d won his 32nd academy award, would you or anybody else really care?
Most likely it would be a yawner – a “who cares” response.
That’s how I felt Monday morning upon encountering the newspaper ad from a small community bank with a few branches scattered around the greater Sacramento area.
The purpose of the ad is to announce that the bank received an “Exceptional Performance Award” from some obscure company in Florida – Bauer Financial, Inc. But here’s the kicker, in smaller type we learn that the award was “For continuously earning a five-star SUPERIOR rating for 74 consecutive quarters.”
If you don’t believe consumers are passionate when it comes to new banking fees and restrictions, read the story below. It’s a reminder that you should check and update your branch and corporate security procedures.
In mid-October, a Lincoln, Nebraska, woman called the customer service phone line for the regional bank where she had her checking account. She discovered a fee on her statement and asked about it. When told it was a new fee the bank instituted, the woman became angry. As the report stated, she “said her bank was ripping her off.” She told the service rep she was on her way to the bank with a bomb and she would blow up the office.
Millions of California residents receiving unemployment checks in the mail were recently informed that their checks are being replaced by a debit card – yes, a debit card.
Not being unemployed, I learned about this new debit card in a story appearing in last week’s issue of the Sacramento News & Review.
After I read the contents page of the July Consumer Reports magazine, I flipped directly to page 16 for the article, “What’s wrong with customer service?” I wanted to see if it said anything about financial institutions.
Nothing. The inevitable comparison chart with 21 categories of businesses came no closer to banking than a category for brokerage firms.
Retail stores put merchandise in special display areas to encourage impulse buying. That doesn’t apply to financial institutions. But like retail shoppers, bank and credit union prospects don’t always know what they want when they walk in.
Let’s use a checking account as the most likely example. Your current direct mail materials, outdoor signage, and newspaper ads all promote your free checking. A prospect walks in with the intention of opening a free checking account.
As we know, every business has outstanding customer service…they tell us so. But how does your staff react when a customer has a problem?
The first step, of course, is to correct the problem. There’s one side of the problem, however, that might leave a lasting impression long after you’ve fixed the dilemma.
Here’s an example of how a large corporation handled a huge customer, image, and confidence problem. McDonald’s Corp., the world’s biggest restaurant chain, discovered the collectible “Shrek” movie character glassware it was selling were tainted with the potentially dangerous chemical cadmium.
Five big banks make the list of the ten worst providers of customer service. And one of them makes the #2 spot. Believe it or not, this can have a negative impact on the banks’ stock price.
Does it do any good to advertise your company’s great customer service? Are you wasting resources because consumers simply don’t believe you?
Apparently, in most cases, it’s true. Praising the great service you offer sounds hollow to the average person.
A local radio station runs a brief syndicated segment called, “Something You Should Know,” with Mike Carruthers. He interviews authorities in various fields. On a recent morning Carruthers talked with Michael Maslansky, author of a new marketing book, on the topic, “Why Consumers Don’t Trust Businesses.”