Sunday, August 29, 2010

Getting More out of New Account Openings

The new account interview is so very important to driving new and future sales. Your customer’s or member’s first account opening with your institution embeds their first impression of your organization. The type of service they receive on this first transaction will either be memorable in a positive or a negative way. If it is negative, trust me they will be telling their friends about the experience. You may ask, how do I know if I did a great job? You will know. The next time they are in the bank, they will ask for you by name. This will give you another chance to lock in a lifetime relationship with this customer.

Although the customer may have initially contacted you due to some great marketing about your “Free Checking” or other product line, never assume that this is the best product for the customer. You need to ask the customer about how they plan on using the account, the balances they plan on having and the number of transactions they will perform each month. It may be that they will have sufficient balances for an interest bearing account. If this is the case, explaining the advantages is very appropriate. Never assume that because they came into the institution for one particular account, that this is exactly what the customer needs. This is the point of the interview. The same holds true for CD discussions. Ask questions about what their short term and long term needs are for the money. Based upon their answers, you can make a good recommendation. The bottom line is you need to ask questions so you can properly help them open the correct account(s) from the start. This will help them get the most from your institution.

Ask questions about their other banking relationships. Most customers have 5 or more banking relationships. If you want to become their primary bank, you need to know how you can help them with their other needs. Don’t be afraid to ask where they have their other accounts. Don’t criticize their decision to use other banks. Tell them that many of your best customers have relationships with other banks as well. Do explain how easy it is for you to set-up account linkages so they can easily move money to your institution.See more tips your customer service agents should take to make sure you get the most out of every new account interaction by reading the full article -

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Bad Data Costs Your Bank Money

Banks and Credit Unions of all sizes can cut a large chunk of operational and marketing expense by simply paying more attention to the quality of customer data. As absurd as this may sound, it is absolutely true. Routine and marketing mailings to bad addresses, as well as service and marketing calls to bad phone numbers are costs that add up very quickly and waste your valuable operations and marketing dollars.

Consider this example:

Marketing or operational mailing pieces per month = 20,000
Cost per mailing piece (production and postage) = $1.25
Total monthly cost = $25,000
Total annual cost = $300,000

Month 1 bad/outdated addresses = 1,000 (5% of mailing)
Cost of month 1 bad/outdated addresses = $1,250

Add 1% growth of bad/outdated addresses per month = 16% annually

Even if half of the bad addresses at some point in the year update their addresses, that is still 8% annually or $2,000 per mailing and $24,000 per year.

If your bank/credit union is like most institutions, you could probably put that money to use somewhere else where you would see a return on it.

So, do you have a strategy in place to deal with the degrading quality of your customer data? Do you have a process to regularly audit and review customer data with those who know the data best, the customers themselves?

Quest Analytics works with clients on these very scenarios. As a result, we now offer our IQDataQuality(TM) solution. It puts a proven process in place to ensure your customer information is validated at routine intervals by your front line. Our solution works directly with all teller applications and core systems.

Click here for more information on IQDataQuality: