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How to Effectively Increase Account Openings and Usage

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When today's consumers want to open a checking or savings account, they have plenty of alternatives. They can choose from local, national, or even online services. Because financial institutions make bank account openings easy and attractive, customers often spread their savings, spending, and borrowing between two or more financial companies. Read on to find out how you can overcome the challenge of attracting new customers and keeping your current ones engaged.


How to Get Customers to Open and Use a New Bank Account

To grow, your organization needs to compete in a crowded and evolving market. Still, this challenge can also offer you an opportunity to grow. In this environment, how well you can get customers to open a new bank account and then remain engaged with it can offer you a competitive advantage over many of your rivals.

Show You Understand What Customers Want

According to a Microsoft banking industry survey, customers want five things out of the companies that hold their funds:

  • Ease of use: For example, online services should have clear and intuitive interfaces that make it easy for customers to find and access services. Local branches should offer convenient locations and hours. When people stop in, make sure they’re greeted by friendly and helpful employees.
  • Flexible options: Today's customers want a seamless experience between their in-person, online, and mobile banking. According to the Microsoft survey, 65 percent of people use more than one channel to access their accounts. For instance, they may use the mobile app during lunch, open up the laptop version at home, and then stop by when they have specific questions or unusual transactions.
  • Responsive service: Even though online services are hot, customers still want somebody to greet them in person or pick up the phone when they have questions or issues. Just about a third of customers who switched reported dissatisfaction with customer service. No matter how many excellent services you offer, one bad experience with customer service can lose a loyal customer.
  • Assurance that they're understood: Customers do respond to offers. They will even read your blog, emails, and postcards. At the same time, they will only give you their attention if they find your message relevant. For instance, you'll do better if you target offers for home equity loans to homeowners. To attract young renters, it's probably better to promote the importance of checking or savings accounts and the great rates and services you can offer them.
  • Value: Microsoft found that over a quarter of those surveyed responded to a new financial service within the past year, and it didn't matter if it came from their current financial provider or not. They took the offer because they believed it was a good value. It seems clear that you should just concern yourself with convincing prospects that you can offer them a better experience.

Maybe you already offer all the right things and still aren't attracting enough new business. Customers may also have begun to spread their assets among a variety of financial institutions because they don't realize they could have found the features they sought closer to home. As John D. Rockefeller said, it's not enough to do the right things; it's also important to let people know about them. Learn about your prospects. Then target your marketing toward demonstrating how you understand their needs and how you can satisfy them better than your competitors.


Keep Bank Account Holders Engaged

Consumers appear relatively willing to consider working with new financial institutions that offer them value. In today's competitive environment, the real challenge may be to keep customers engaged enough to keep using their bank accounts. After all, they will certainly keep seeing offers for the next new thing.

With that in mind, the following suggestions have helped both local and large financial institutions increase their share of their customers' activity.

Reduce Depositing Friction

To increase deposits, it helps to make them as automatic and convenient as possible. For example:

  • Let customers know how easy it is for them to make automatic payroll deposits and electronic transfers. These days, many banks offer apps that allow their customers to deposit checks by simply snapping a picture of the paper document.
  • Push the importance of savings in your outreach, offer attractive rates, and let customers know they can set up automatic transfers from checking to savings and investment accounts. Offer specialized services for customers with certain goals, such as saving for emergencies, education, a home, or retirement.
  • Provide valuable services that will keep people logging into their accounts. For instance, many financial institutions have begun to provide online credit monitoring to help customers protect themselves against identity fraud and learn to improve their credit scores.
  • Use account aggregation to make things easier on your customers. With account aggregation, you can pull customer information from different accounts like bank accounts, credit card accounts, investment accounts, and other consumer or business accounts, and compile them into a single place. This allows your bank to become their “hub” for all things related to their financial position.

Build Brand Awareness and Trust

Naturally, you will need to use your marketing and advertising platform to engage customers by letting them know that you can provide them with the services they want. The more you can tailor communication to each individual customer, the more successful you'll be. Once they use their savings or checking account, it won't be much of a leap to get them to trust you for loans and investment products.

Since you know how much people rely on their computers and phones, keeping them actively engaged with blogs, newsletters, a mobile app, and social sites can help you keep customers interested in their accounts. Of course, while you want to make sure customers know you can provide them with plenty of high-tech tools, you should also keep them aware that you will never abandon offering them the personal touch when they want to connect in person.

Connect with Your Community

Beyond the basics of giving customers what they want, also strive to position yourself as a company that customers want to associate with. For instance, one banker told the story of teaching financial literacy classes to community members. He inspired a student to begin her own photography business, and you can bet she would think of that banker when she needed to open a commercial account or request a loan.

Besides, plenty of studies have found that the vast majority of consumers, particularly younger adults, prefer to patronize companies that embrace good social values. In many cases, people are a lot better about voting with their pocketbooks than at the ballot box. Beyond that, these inspiring stories can give you plenty of topics to help engage with your neighbors in your social sites, blogs, and other outreach materials. In many ways, your efforts to strengthen your communities will also pay you back by strengthening your business.


Combine High-Tech Financial Services with Old-Fashioned Service

Modern customers have high expectations. They want you to deliver online access to their accounts at almost any time and from everywhere. At the same time, building relationships often requires the personal touch of having friendly employees greet them at the door to discuss issues and handle problems.

Your customers may rely upon online services 95 percent of the time. Still, it's the way your bank delivers personal services for the remaining five percent that will truly differentiate you from your competition. Go the extra mile to help customers with things like an unexpected charge on their account or the death of a family account holder. Other customers may have questions about more complex transactions or simply don’t know how to access what they need online. Exceptional service during these times can earn you lifetime customers. On the other hand, a poor customer experience will negate all your other good work.

Of course you should promote your reliable and convenient banking tech. But also be sure to let people know you have somebody there for them when they need the human touch.


Where Financial Institutions Get Technology and Personal Service

Your customers want a bank that provides them with valuable tech and personal service. At FPS GOLD, our banking customers have the same needs. We've delivered cutting-edge banking software and highly rated customer service for over 55 years. Contact us today to learn how we can offer your financial institution that same competitive edge.