Data & Analytics

02:47 PM
Tammy Bangs, Jack Henry & Associates
Tammy Bangs, Jack Henry & Associates

Feel Good Banking -- How to Get the Most Out of Your CRM System

A well-implemented customer relationship management (CRM) solution can be exactly what community banks need to escape the mega bank stigma and re-create the relationship-building intangibles that have set them apart for decades

Feel good banking. Those words don’t look right together, do they? Today’s bankers are painted with the broad strokes of Lehman Brothers and other mega bank failures, making it a tough time to carry the label “banker” no matter the size of your institution. Add in a vast decline in branch foot traffic, excessive regulatory burdens and banking exams that make root canals sound like a summer picnic, and you are left with bankers lacking the energy and resources needed for exceptional customer management.

However, feel good banking created by a well-implemented customer relationship management (CRM) solution can be exactly what community banks need to escape the mega bank stigma and re-create the relationship-building intangibles that have set them apart for decades. Whether you are integrating a new CRM solution or are simply looking to recharge your current program, here is what you need to get the most out of your CRM program.

Adoption and Accountability

The biggest deterrent to a successful CRM program is lack of buy-in at the executive level, which results in inconsistencies in the way bank employees leverage the technology. CRM technology is not a panacea; it is a tool to help you successfully build customer relationships. However, simply purchasing CRM software does not solve any problems. To get the most out the program, every employee from the top down needs to be committed to it.

The best way to ensure employee participation is by setting universal goals for your CRM program. Both top management and the bankers implementing the program must understand these aspects:

-- What is driving adoption?

-- How does your bank’s culture support CRM?

-- What processes are going to change?

-- How will your bank measure success?

There are a number of tactics that can be used to make CRM usage a top priority for bank staff. Leverage coaching, annual reviews, or a points system to give out monetary rewards or other incentives to those employees that consistently use the CRM system. Even if you are unable to reward employees, it is crucial to make the adoption process a measurable, accountable activity.

Intelligent Marketing

Our DVRs know what programs we watch and record them for us. Search engines predict what we’re going to ask by only typing two characters. Facebook knows what we ‘like’ before we do. Shouldn’t banks know what services and account preferences would be most useful to customers? A CRM system that integrates targeted marketing allows bankers to eliminate the shotgun approach to promotional campaigns and begin selling the right thing to the right customer.

Along with the ability to target specific products to the right customer, make sure your CRM program also lets you segment demographic information and manage service-related interactions. This intelligent marketing will position your banker as a trusted advisor, and provide the customer with a better level of service than your competitors.

Profit Stratification

We all want to believe we can give equal service to everyone, but with limited resources, customer segmenting is actually very important. In many cases, the top 10 percent of your customers account for almost all of your earnings, making it essential to quickly recognize who those customers are. A CRM tool that gets profit information in the hands of your bankers helps you better manage relationships by understanding who is profitable, how they are profitable, and how to replicate this in other circumstances. It will help your bank maximize resources by driving down attrition rates and driving up profit and wallet share.

Relationship Management

Statistically, banks are seeing a year-over-year decline in branch foot traffic of approximately 10 percent. A well-adopted CRM program will help your bankers build strong relationships during the few face-to-face interactions they actually get with a customer. By empowering bankers to resolve service and sales issues at the point of contact, your customers will avoid the ”fast food” bank lobby environment down the street and keep coming back for the concierge-like service they receive at your bank.

To make sure you are properly managing long-lasting customer relationships, you should adopt processes that will help quantify and recognize the efforts of your bankers. Studies show that recognition is an even greater motivator than compensation. If bank employees feel good about using the CRM program, they will provide a feel good banking experience to your customers.

Tammy Bangs is an account specialist at Jack Henry & Associates

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User Rank: Apprentice
1/28/2014 | 2:58:08 AM
re: Feel Good Banking -- How to Get the Most Out of Your CRM System
Bank marketers also need to remember that personalized services or offerings is one of the main needs on which CRM is based. Leaving that out would be rather unfortunate. Read a post along similar lines the other day. Was worth sharing
User Rank: Author
9/9/2013 | 2:48:31 PM
re: Feel Good Banking -- How to Get the Most Out of Your CRM System
A good CRM program is essential for any community bank, as their customer service and personal touch is key creating new customers and building the relationship with existing ones. As you mention, getting the business from the top on down to buy into CRM is key
User Rank: Apprentice
9/9/2013 | 11:06:58 AM
re: Feel Good Banking -- How to Get the Most Out of Your CRM System
This is a great article, highlighting the need for community banks to build quality customer relationships, as this is exactly what can give them the edge they need in the extremely competitive market of financial services. However, dealing with huge amounts of data can impair that endeavour, leaving community bankers unprepared for face-to-face interactions with their customers. Implementing the right CRM can solve that problem, but - as mentioned in the article - it is crucial to involve all employees in the implementation process. A dedicated Project Team should collect data about what the staff lack to deliver excellent customer service and use that knowledge to make the right choices about a CRM upgrade. Also, the 10 ways to boost revenue using your CRM ebook recently published by Maximizer will definitely be of interest to community bankers (a complimentary copy can be downloaded at

Mike Richardson, managing director EMEA, Maximizer Software
User Rank: Apprentice
8/17/2013 | 5:21:57 AM
re: Feel Good Banking -- How to Get the Most Out of Your CRM System
I've been using Simple as a banking solution for the last 4 months and their customer service is stellar. It makes you want to do finances, and that's a rare thing!

I'm not sure what CRM they're using to manage interactions, but it's highly apparent they're using a solid customer-centric strategy and tool that allows them to provide great service, quickly and effectively.

If you're looking for a good example of how CRM can make a difference in the views your patrons have toward you, Simple is THE banking solution to look at and they make use of their CRM from top to bottom.

Brad Hodson
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