customer loyalty

  • 3 things every bank can learn from IKEA

    IKEA FamilyThink IKEA is just about low-cost furniture for dorms? Think again. It's a company well-founded in purpose, offering nesting and affordable design for all. IKEA can teach every banker how to grow loyalty and profit from the inside out. Read on for our 3 favorite ways:

  • 3 ways you can take your customer service from good to incredible

    Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 3.12.00 PMHere you are: Sensational Mr. or Ms. Business Person. But the sad truth is, if your company is selling a product or service, it's probably viewed by customers as a commodity they can get anywhere.

  • A dear john letter to my (former) favorite brand

    Dear Brand You Broke My HeartI’ve been a loyal Mercedes Benz driver for nearly 20 years and four different E Class sedans. The last one let me down so hard I won’t go back. The reason: they cut corners and it broke my heart.

    Here’s a warning to brands everywhere about the dangers of subbing cheaper materials and snubbing your loyal fans.

  • Banish the skeletons in your brand closet

    brush up your brandBranders often overlook or ignore things that can have a big impact on the impressions they make on their customers. Case in point: the coat closet.

    Some organizations inadvertantly leave others with a bad taste in their mouths over their closets—or lack thereof. Here's why:

  • BRANDCHANTMENT: a remedy for ailing retailers

    magic wand brandchantment mbpThere’s a lot of talk about how retailing—and other traditional business—is dead. And there’s much hand-wringing and complaining about how those big online giants are unfairly hurting brick-and-mortar businesses. 

    While some of this pressure on physical locations is unavoidable, many retailers are driving their customers right into the arms of their online competitors.

  • Branders: stop shouting and start listening

    megaphone branders must stop shoutingThe strongest brands on earth have a two-sided relationship with their fans. Like any real life relationship, there’s give and take. Speaking and listening.

    If you’re only focused on advertising, posting, tweeting and shouting, you’re going to miss what people say—and think—about your brand.

  • Choosy brands choose Groucho—right?

    Groucho knows brand strategy inside and outGroucho Marx is famously quoted as resigning from the Delaney Club quipping "I wouldn't belong to any club that would have me as a member."

    Whether or not the story is actually true, it leads us to wonder why some brands are so eager to accept just anyone.

  • Do you have a credo? How having a heart matters.

    Martha heart painting croppedWhile many organizations say they have heart, rare are those who have created a culture that truly inspires passion. The word ‘credo’ (I believe) comes from ‘cor do’ (I give my heart).

    Do employees, customers and community give their heart to your brand? Here are some things to seriously consider:

  • Don't "nice" your institution out of profitability

    nice piggy bank no fees A bank president recently told me he lets safe deposit box rent renewal notices slide because he hates to bug people over something so small, and he wants to be nice.

    It made me wonder whether he’s nice or just afraid to risk irritating a customer over a relatively small fee.

  • Don't take the person out of personal service

    Where are u personal service is missingI don’t know whether it’s today’s consumer online habits or a lack of training. But I do know I don’t like it. “What’s the name?” the receptionist blankly asked me at my doctor’s office this week. Ick. There seems to be an epidemic of taking the person out of personal service.

  • Don't talk out of both sides of your mouth: an 11 point audit for your internal brand

    Zipped lips hurt brandsKeeping your brand aligned means paying attention to the messaging and stories you tell inside your organization, not just what you say in public.

    Why? Because without an intentional internal brand, your public-facing messages will never be truly authentic.

  • How a hound dog and a handshake bred enduring loyalty

    hound dog loyalty bankingMy 93-year-old father-in-law Ralph is a WWII veteran and serial entrepreneur. Over the years, he’s owned a night club, a dry cleaning shop, a demolition business—and more. He’s an excellent negotiator and he knows how to lead and inspire a team.

    And he knows first-hand the value of a strong banking relationship.

  • I make a mistake, I pay. You make a mistake, I pay?!

    tarnished pennies brandI talk about banking with a lot of people. So last month, someone told me about accidentally hitting “submit” on an ACH twice. Fortunately, a banker called right away to inquire about whether it was a duplicate and got it reversed. There was a $30+ charge for that fix, but it saved some money and hassle in the long run.

    Now, compare that to an accident the bank made on this same company’s credit card accounts.

  • Is your brand as appreciated as an extra button?

    ButtonWhy should you be an “extra button” brand? The extra button brand is the one who gets a customer by when he’s in a pinch. It's the brand that helps a customer save face. It's the brand that has your back.

    Deliver that kind of service, and you’re the life saver that builds unquestionable loyalty.

  • Make your customers look good to their customers and win at customer loyalty

    block and tackle for your brandMany community financial institutions say they’re customer-centric, yet have a brand promise too focused on the bank. What if your brand difference is about helping your customers win with their customers?

    That would merit some roaring fans. Here's how:

  • Stone Soup: the ancient lesson for today’s brands in COVID-19 crisis

    STONE soup lesson for brands MB PilandYou may remember this story from childhood. Stone Soup is a European folk tale where a hungry stranger from out of town convinces the locals that his soup recipe—the basis of which is nothing more than a stone—will become something extraordinary.

  • Strategic alliances can multiply your reach—and your value—to customers

    ripple effect of alliances

    When was the last time you thought about putting your well-known contacts and customers together to bring more value to everyone? As a banker, you know lots of people. Are you using that knowledge to expand your reach?

     

  • What bankers can learn from Girl Scouts about customer experience

    Girl Scout Cookie for bankersSoon, Girl Scout Cookie Time will return. Over the years you’ve come to expect—and thoroughly enjoy—your purchase experience. Whether your favorite is Thin Mints or Samoas, you might think the cookies are a little pricey. And you also think they’re worth every indulgent bite.

  • What Dale Carnegie and Beyoncé can teach bankers about relationships

    saymyname MB PilandAlmost every community bank will boast that they know their customers by their names. But do you really?

    And do you teach your bankers to go further than just recognizing familiar faces and say customers' names out loud? It might be a little old school - but it will be music to their ears.

  • What tourist-y restaurants can teach banks about being sticky

    Wet naps for sticky brandsI was a tourist in Branson, MO recently and as to be expected, had some sub-par experiences in the crowded restaurants. Many seemed perfectly happy offering mediocre food and sticky seats. They know I probably won’t be back, because some other stranger will take my place. They're just in it for today's dollar.

    On the flip side, you actually want stickiness in your institution. You're in it for today's and tomorrow's dollars.

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