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Using a CRM in the Banking Industry

When you sit down to brainstorm marketing strategies for your bank, chances are you cycle through some of the same tactics that left your institution feeling stale in the first place. You can’t blame yourself. For years, the customer banking experience reflected what banks represented: generic sign-up incentives, stuffy gray offices, and financial stress.

Now, banking customers are savvier and favor banks that let them personalize their banking experience. The digital age has pushed the industry forward, giving marketing teams every opportunity to keep the evolution feeling fierce and fresh. 

One way to further push this personalized experience is to invest in a CRM strategy to finesse your relationship with your customers and their ever-changing needs. A CRM can pull and manage data that will inform you what your people want and when.

A great way to see to your customer’s needs is to develop an effective CRM strategy that can respond to shifting dynamics in a way that feels immediate, relevant, and personal. Keep reading to learn more about the power of a CRM and how banks like yours can take advantage. 

What Is A CRM?

CRM stands for customer relationship management, so a CRM software is a program that helps you manage your relationship with your customers. 

It’s one central place to store:

  • Contact info for your customer
  • Records of your interactions with them (i.e. phone call recordings, emails, notes about in-person visits, etc.)
  • Data about which products or services they use from you
  • Billing information
  • Sales data
  • Agent productivity data, and much more

The goal of a CRM is to help improve your relationship with current customers and help make your outreach efforts toward new customers more effectively. It helps you seamlessly segment your customers into relevant groups so your outreach efforts are specific and tailored, making their experience with your company feel very personalized. 

Many CRMs also include helpful marketing automation functions, like triggering enrollment in an educational email sequence if someone fills out a landing page form on your website. 

They also make it really simple for every member of your team to access individual customer data and get a quick understanding of the past interactions with, and future potential for, that customer.

Businesses in every sector use and benefit from CRMs to help grow their business, and banks are no exception!

Using A CRM For Your Bank

The benefits of a CRM are clear, but sometimes changing dynamics within your customer base make identifying a clear strategy to capitalize on those benefits challenging. 

In the banking industry especially, the client’s needs are always changing. A customer’s employment status, where he or she lives, or whether or not he or she is inclined to bank in-person or on mobile may cause banking needs to fluctuate. Loyalty to a specific bank is rare, and many times, customers use different banks for different services.

Your CRM strategy should help you respond to these shifting dynamics. It can identify where there are holes in communication between your bank and your customer base, and help you fill needs you may be missing. 

For example, if your bank offers excellent rates and lending terms but doesn’t do its job communicating these terms to the right prospects in your audience, the point is lost. 

Staying on the same page as your customers will keep you informed about what their needs are. When you step in to fill those needs, the customers will feel cared for. This feeling leads to higher customer retention which leads to loyalty. 

Before you get the warm fuzzies, challenge your team to a step back and look at where your cash is going. If it’s going into advertising, stop. The key to an improved customer relationship in this digital era isn’t in advertisements but in personalized communication, reliable customer service, and engaging your leads. 

The heart of a CRM is the response customers give your business. Like any successful relationship, the flow of communication goes both ways. If you give better service, you will receive loyalty. If you offer incentives, you will gain clients. And most importantly, if you smile, they will smile back. 

Curious about how a CRM system could bring your financial institution to the next level? Here are a few of our favorite benefits:

1. Customer Satisfaction and Retention

We can’t stress enough how important it is to maintain a strong relationship with your existing members when a large chunk of your customer base is local.

Pro tip: Invest in a strong referral strategy to attract more local customers!

For local customers, you can focus on outreach through email marketing and a few well-thought-out Facebook or Instagram advertising campaigns. 

A CRM system makes it easier to keep tabs on your customers’ interactions with your credit union or community bank so you can segment your email lists and make sure each person gets information about programs that are relevant to their financial goals. 

For example, people who took out a mortgage with your bank may be great candidates for refinancing in a few years’ time. In their CRM profile, you can annotate when they took out their mortgage and create an email sequence about the benefits of refinancing. Then, you can create an automation in your CRM that sends the sequence to their inbox automatically at an ideal time after their initial mortgage.

They’ll feel like they’re getting a customized experience and it’ll be a great way to stay in front of them.

2. An Efficient Inbound Marketing Strategy

Have you ever heard someone say: “It’s like the blind are leading the blind?” Without a way to gather data, this is the best way to describe an inbound marketing strategy that doesn’t rely on a CRM. 

A CRM helps you understand where your leads are coming from (social media ads, Google ads, email marketing, your website, etc.) so you can see which of your strategies are working best, and which need to be adjusted. 

They also allow credit unions and community bank owners to sort customers based on specific factors such as age, interests, income level, financial goals, etc. 

Using this information, you can create customized marketing materials for each customer who walks through your door, whether that means coming up with a witty social media post, crafting a blog, sending out a newsletter, or adding a variety of keywords to the backend of your website.

Using data to make sure you’re showing up wherever your potential customers spend their time online ensures that you’re the first bank that comes to mind for customers when they have a financial need.

3. Increased Team Productivity

Financial institutions that use a CRM system also see higher staff productivity and increased sales. (How’s that bottom line looking now?)

Having easy access to customer data up-front helps tellers work quickly and efficiently, while also providing better customer service.

It also helps sales team members find the best leads in your system for products you offer, like home equity lines of credit or cash-back credit cards. They can see a customer’s full profile at a glance and tailor their communication with that person around the product that would be the best fit for him or her.

3 Banking CRM Vendors Banks Should Consider

Now that you understand the benefits of a CRM, it’s time to start shopping around. We went ahead and did some of the legwork for you to find some great options with features that community banks and credit unions will find most beneficial. Our top three recommendations are: 

1. Microsoft Dynamics 365

Dynamics 365 CRM for banks features an elaborate customer view profile that includes account and interaction history, profitability, banking preferences, and other individualized tracking. The goal is to create a clear customer picture by pulling from as much specific data as possible. 

The system also helps project a sales forecast by identifying patterns in repeat sales. The forecast can help identify an ideal time for a promotion or product launch. 

2. Pega CRM

Pega is ranked as one of the best CRMs for banks because of its elegant analytics system. It processes customer data and generates forward-thinking next steps to take with each customer. 

The platform is also customizable with basic coding, so marketing teams can tackle some support on their own. Pega automatically generates the code that will make your CRM customizable to how you want it. 

Pega also offers Better Business software that can make the client onboarding more in-depth and efficient.

3. SugarCRM

SugarCRM is most lauded for its customization capabilities and has both on-premise and cloud accessibilities. The secure system is especially beneficial to banks, as they know your client (KYC) master data management (MDM), and advanced analytics systems help drive choices by context. It is also friendly to myriad devices for client-facing employees to utilize.

In this age, it’s critical to take advantage of where customers are doing their finances: online. Utilizing digital marketing from chatbots to digital financial services to features that are friendly to mobile devices will warrant a faster and more approachable customer-service strategy. Your younger audience will thank you for the easy-to-access mobile offerings.

Throw It Back To Traditional Banking

When you hear the term “traditional bank,” maybe you’re taken back to your childhood. You may remember running down the street to brick-and-mortar locations with your parents, seeing a friendly teller with a hot pot of coffee and a bowl full of lollipops. 

The truth is, in the digital age of the financial industry, the model isn’t that different.

Digital experiences can be just as personal if you know how to work them.

Clever blog posts, personal copywriting, and strategic Vimeo videos can make your audience feel heard and understood, which increases their loyalty to your institution. 

Let’s face it: Big data shows that many people are suspicious of big banking, mega insurance companies, and federal credit unions. Ease their concerns with a content marketing strategy that makes your folks feel at home.

Leverage Your Marketing With Attention to Detail 

Designing an effective marketing strategy takes time. Instead of getting overwhelmed by focusing on the big picture, set smaller, actionable goals one task at a time. 

Your customer’s experience drastically improves when they feel listened to, and a CRM can make it significantly easier for you to achieve that level of service. 

A great place to start your marketing is by selecting and implementing a CRM. It’ll help you reach your customer service goals by streamlining your marketing, which makes the entire process easier and more organized. 

Finding digital growth is about harnessing what makes your business uniquely resonate with people. With a few personalized strategies, leveraged by an effective CRM, your marketing efforts won’t be in vain.
If your marketing team is feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of taking on a new CRM software, let our team help. We’ve guided many community banks and credit unions to their growth goals by creating and implementing effective CRM strategies. Get in touch with our team to learn more.

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