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 much more willing to 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 solid CRM strategy. A great CRM can work to finesse your relationship with your customers and their ever-changing needs. The CRM can pull and manage data that will inform you what your people want and when.

A great way to see your customer’s needs through is to find a solid CRM strategy that can respond to shifting dynamics in a way that feels immediate, relevant, and personal.

Using a CRM

Customer Relationship Management sounds straightforward enough, but sometimes changing dynamics within your customer base make identifying a clear strategy 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.

A solid CRM strategy responds to these shifting dynamics. It can identify where there are holes in communication between your bank and your customer base, and fill needs that may be currently missed. For example, if your bank offers excellent rates and lending terms but doesn’t do its job communicating these terms to your audience, the point is lost. There is a lot of information on the Internet, so above all, people want to trust you.

Staying on the same page as your customers will keep you informed about what their needs are. When you step in to feel 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, in but personalized communication, reliable customer service, and engaging leads.

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

  • Customer Satisfaction and Retention
  • An Efficient Inbound Marketing Strategy
  • Increased Productivity

Customer Satisfaction and Retention

Especially for local businesses, the marketing strategy we can’t stress enough is to keep and maintain a relationship with your existing members. (This is why it’s essential to have a referral strategy.)

Customer outreach can be done 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’ communications with your credit union or community bank.

An Efficient Inbound Marketing Strategy

Have you ever heard someone say: “It’s like the blind are leading the blind”? Without a CRM (or analytics software or another way to gather data) this is the best way to describe your current inbound marketing strategy. A CRM system gives you the power to see which strategies are working and which aren’t.

In addition to seeing where your leads are coming from, CRM software allows credit unions and community bank owners to sort customers based on specific factors such as age, interests, gender, etc. (How else are you going to reach millennials?) 

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.

Increased 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.

Three top banking CRM vendors to research: 

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.

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.


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 a myriad of 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 service 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 are 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. Or if you are one of the Baby Boomers, maybe you become nostalgic for the days when your kids were young.

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 hook and retain your audience.

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 

Figuring out how to design a solid marketing strategy takes time. Instead of getting overwhelmed by the grand scheme of things, set actionable goals one task at a time. A strong CRM implementation can help answer these goals by streamlining your marketing process, making your life easier and more organized. The customer experience drastically improves when the customer feels listened to and responded to.

If your marketing department is still feeling a little weary about implementing brand-new tech into your marketing strategy, don’t worry. Banking is an industry where successful marketing ideas Don’t run dry? everyone needs a bank. 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 go in vain.

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