As we enter the spring season, I would like to call attention to refreshing relationships and building new relationships with customers both young and old. Much like our budding plants, banking relationships need attention and nourishing to develop into lifelong connections. A recent new hire at our bank announced one day that she had officially moved her accounts to our bank. She said, only half kidding, that she actually got a little teary-eyed when she went into her previous bank to close her accounts. When asked why she was so emotional, she said, "Those tellers watched me grow up. I opened my accounts with them over ten years ago; they still remembered my name and asked about my parents the few times a year I actually went into the lobby." In community banks, it is vital to create banking relationships early on. By planting the seed at an early age, we create responsible and active consumers later in life. 

At the Bank of Prairie du Sac children under the age of twelve may open Eaglee Saving Accounts with their parent or guardian. These accounts are specifically designed to cultivate a relationship early on and encourage money management. By "planting the seed" with a children's savings account, it creates the first initial banking experience for a child which can then lead to stronger banking relationships down the road. A children's savings account can likely lead to opening a checking account, applying for a car loan, and eventually other financial needs such as IRAs and Mortgage lending. 

The key to building these relationships starts with knowing your customers. Our employee felt a belonging to her childhood bank because their retail staff recognized her, which made her feel appreciated. The Bank of Prairie du Sac not only encourages these interactions, but also promotes community involvement to build these relationships. We host a 3rd grade bank tour, as well as various events to teach children about saving. Outside of the schools, we participate in community center events, local parades, and various local events and fundraisers. 

Nourish relationships with your customers by not only being present at the bank, but also being active members of the community. Welcome Spring 2017!

Dresser is Assistant Vice President | Retail at the Bank of Prairie du Sac and a member of the 2016-2017 WBA Retail Section Board.