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Be More Than Just a Bank. Here's How.

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For your financial institution to see great success, it needs to be more than just a place where people can store their money. Many financial institutions make the mistake of limiting the support and options they provide because they’re only worried about themselves and how they can cut costs to make more money. However, if institutions would focus more on their customers and their needs, they’d quickly realize that it’s worth every penny to provide them with everything they need. By going above and beyond for your customers, you’ll create greater value, which in return will generate more revenue than ever before. The following guide walks you through different techniques you can use to make your financial institution more desirable to potential clients for maximum success.

1. Provide Money Management Advice

Unfortunately, many people don’t know how to properly manage their money. One reason for this is simply because they’ve never had anyone to show them how to do it. As a result, these people are often living paycheck to paycheck because they never established a budget or didn’t have the discipline to live by one. Being a financial institution, you should be the pros at money management. As such, you should provide services for clients who need help in these areas. Give them the opportunity to sit down with a money management adviser to go over their financial history and help them learn what their strengths and weaknesses are. Help them see where they are wasting money, and help them set goals to build savings. Teaching clients where to cut back and how to properly invest can ensure a fruitful future for your clients—and loyal clients for you.

2. Have the Right Resources

Making sure your employees have the resources they need will ensure they do their jobs effectively and efficiently. Today many banks aren’t providing their employees with what they need to get the job done which results in a lack of customer service, dissatisfied customers, and low morale for the employees.

Make an effort to listen to what your employees have to say. Your employees interact with customers daily and know them better than anyone else. By taking the time to actively listen, you’ll be able to fill the gaps—resulting in happier employees and customers.

You can also make things easier on your employees by creating content like a knowledge base, which allows your customers to find answers on their own. This way your customers don’t have to go through the hassle of going to the bank or calling in for answers. Instead they can simply visit the bank’s website, view your knowledge base, and search for the answer to their simple question. If you’re not sure what a knowledge base looks like, here is a great reference.

3. Be Consistent with Your Updates

Many banks today are outdated, and worse, they're ok with that. They either think things haven’t changed, so they don’t need to change, or they think the old traditional ways of doing business are the only and best ways. As a result, these institutions haven’t implemented new features that are available to them.. But that way of thinking will only put you out of business. If this is your mindset, then it’s only a matter of time before you realize you aren’t getting any new customers because your institution doesn’t offer current products and services.. Your institution needs to be running on a system that is regularly being modified with new tools and features. Because in the end, all that matters is having a robust and powerful system that gives you the power to customize so you can meet the needs of your customers. Now, with all that being said, it’s vital to be  aware of what’s going on in the industry. And by simply being aware of what’s going on, you’ll know what changes need to happen and when they need to happen. Knowledge is the key.

4. Create a Mobile App

Everyone has different financial needs, but for the most part, the majority of financial tasks can be taken care of from the palm of your hand. Having a mobile app in today’s world is crucial to your institution’s success. It saves your clients multiple trips to the bank and a lot of time. With a mobile app, your clients can perform their daily financial tasks in a matter of minutes or even seconds. Things like depositing a check, transferring money, or repaying a friend for dinner can all be done quickly and easily.

Mobile bank apps also give your customers customization options like higher security, automations, personalized reports, and more. For extra security, customers now have the option to use biometrics or two-factor authentication. Biometrics requires you to scan a fingerprint or take a photo of your face to access an account, while two-factor authentication makes you verify a code that expires over a short period of time.

With automation, you can relieve the stress of paying bills on time by giving your customers the ability to set up online payment options. Online payment options allow your customers to schedule payments before or when they are due. This way it’s automatic, and they don’t have to worry about missing a payment.

By giving your customers features like these, you’re giving them the control to do what they think is best for their financial situation. So if your bank doesn’t offer a mobile app, you need to look into it. Technology is continually progressing, and if you don’t update your services on a regular basis, your customers will eventually leave you for other banks that provide the products and services they need. Don’t be that bank.

5. Test, Review, and Update

Last, one thing we should always be reminded of is that no two people are the same. Every individual has unique needs, and it’s up to you to figure out what those needs are and how you are going to meet those needs. With so many variables, it’s extremely difficult to know what will work and what won’t. It’s important to do as much research as you can beforehand, but you won’t know if an idea will work until you actually test it. Testing things will give you the data you need to make better decisions and adjustments if needed. As a result, you’ll be able to tailor your institution to exactly what your customers are looking for.

In conclusion, in order to run a successful financial institution, it’s important to think outside the box. You need to be sure that your institution stands out from the many other options that are available to clients. Be sure to have great customer service, make changes as needed, and provide your customers with the most up-to-date resources they can possibly get.