You’ve heard it before, but have you done anything about it? Your front line staff, that is. Whether you’re a sole proprietor or a major corporation, your front line people are an incredible part of your marketing. Let’s consider the tellers at banks and credit unions to understand why.
Most financial institution customers “see” their bank in one of only six ways:
- From people they see in-person
- From electronic interactions (e.g. telephone, web)
- Through word-of-mouth (e.g. friends, co-workers, social media)
- Visually, from driving by or walking inside
- Through advertising, communications, and other marketing
- Publicly at events and community interactions
Of these six, the greatest impact on your organization is going to come from people, through both in-person and real-time electronic communications. These are interactions ripe with possibilities to connect with customers on a variety of levels: practically, emotionally, relationally. Bank tellers are often the lowest paid and under-appreciated members of any financial institution because they expected to do one thing – transact business. (Ok, you’ve heard this before, too!) The exciting part of this problem is the difference you can make with your marketing by making some simple changes! Keep up the incentives, the training, the teller meetings, and add marketing ideas like these to the mix:
- Rather than immediately cross-sell, set-up your systems to say “happy birthday!” to the customer/spouse/children/grandchildren. In other words, connect to them as a person with a life, rather than a number with revenue possibilities (that will come when their ready!)
- Give your drive-through tellers dog biscuits for customers with pets; relate to them practically!
- Put people with a personality on the front lines; they’ve got to say more than “Thank you. Have a great day!” If you need to send them through Dale Carnegie, do it!
- Show every customer one side of a recipe-size card; on one side it’s a graph that shows how much they can save by avoiding certain transaction fees; on the second side it’s a chart that shows how quickly a loan can be paid-off with incremental payment; how do you save/make money?
All of these ideas have one purpose in common: they view the customer as a person, a friend, a neighbor. Revenue will come when they have a need, and when they have a need they will think of your organization because you’ve connected with them.
It may seem counter intuitive to give your customers ways that will earn your organization less revenue. However, think of it as the ‘golden rule’ method of doing business: show customers how you would save and make money – don’t keep the secrets to yourself! This puts your relationship with the customer first. Their revenue potential will follow.
So, your front line staff are much more than people answering questions and solving problems! From a marketing perspective, they should be the best personality and best relationship your customers can get!
Good Marketing To You!Joe