Most customers were not aware of how their bank had stepped-up to help people during Covid-19. But when consumers did recall seeing or hearing a message to that effect, the approval rating of their financial institution was, on average, 24.5 points higher. That's according to an article this week from American Banker. Those who were familiar with a bank's communications or actions gave reputation scores for their bank averaging 82.5. Another story in the same publication explained how a smart Covid-19 response could take many banks from a perceptual villain to real-world hero. It is well worth the read if you're calling on any financial institution.
From the American Banker article: "Given how strong the payoff is, banks of all types could benefit from generating more awareness of the specific actions they are taking." In other words, helping people is a great idea. But helping consumers understand how you help people is just as important, as it creates relevant goodwill and brand equity.
Ways you might use this issue to gain an appointment:
Start by scouring the website of the financial institution, looking especially hard for notes about their policy adjustments during the Covid-19 era, "About Us," and any community notes or news sections that could explain the extraordinary measures they've taken to help people during a challenging time. Then, cite those behaviors in an email that sounds something like this: "A Reputation Study from American Banker and RepTrak explains how important it can be for financial institutions to publicize the extra measures they've taken to help people out during a year like this. (See the article by clicking here.) I have some ideas about how we can showcase [a specific service example from this local bank] and make sure you're creating the brand glow that you deserve.
Using this issue in a Needs Analysis:
- I saw several examples, on your website, of the measures your bank [or credit union] has taken to help people out during a difficult year, and some of the public service initiatives your institution has been involved with. Have you seen the American Banker study that explains just how important it is to communicate these actions to your customers and the market?
- Beyond your website, how are you making these public service actions known?
- Have you considered how these local initiatives can help distinguish you from some of the big banks you compete with, if we gave these endeavors a little attention?