Picture this... ten years ago, a woman—let's say in her early 70s—comes into your office with an ad from a local community bank promoting a CD special for a rate much higher than the one you currently offer. You ask your bank manager if you can match the rate, who then asks the finance department, and after a short discussion on whether the person is a longtime customer with other accounts at your bank a decision is made based on their relationship with you. Chances are if this customer has stuck with you and has other money in your bank the rate on their CD will be increased. If not, the customer will be allowed to walk away.
In the banking industry we call these people who only bank with you because of price "CD Shoppers." They shop around for the best rate and move their money where ever they can make the most.
Now picture this... a tech-savvy man in his 40s is researching online websites that help promote the best high interest savings accounts in the nation. He picks yours because it has the highest rate. He applies online, opens the account, and continues to monitor rates at other banks to make sure his rate remains the best bang for his buck. When it no longer is, he moves his money to the next top dog in the deposit blogs.
In all reality this man is the new "CD Shopper." The difference is this customer will not be giving you an opportunity to build a relationship with him. The only value he sees in you is price.
What really makes money walk?
Beauty lies within your bank. In other words, you cannot be just a pretty face with flashy rates and a nice app. In my experience people still bank with people. Competitive pricing is important but it does not overthrow the value of human interactions and a pain-free customer experience.
Research shows that branch traffic is dying and more people are banking through their mobile device. There is no arguing with these facts; however, if you forget about the power of people in the new digital customer journey the high interest rate environment that lives there will quickly burn out your ability to forecast deposit growth, leaving you to work the churn of hot money.
Insert a personal call, email, or text in areas of the digital experience with you where technology may still be a bit painful. Keep your interest rates competitive and communicate frequently with your customers about how your bank manages their rate environment and how it will benefit them.
Customers appreciate knowing their banker is paying attention to the market and even if their rate isn't the absolute tops, but maintains consistent growth, your relationship with them will continue to grow as well.
Reineck is national market president for IncredibleBank, a division of River Valley Bank, Wausau. For over a decade she has established expertise in using the voice of the customer to create relationship-building experiences that grow the bottom line of the bank.
This article originally appeared on banconomics.com.