If there is one thing common among all startups, it would be the need for funding a new business. Even small businesses with only a handful of employees cannot operate without working capital and so most turn to financial institutions for small business loans. As a bank or a credit union, you probably deal with dozens of loan applications weekly, sometimes even daily in large metropolitan areas. Are you seeking ways to improve the customer experience, CX, at your financial institution? If so, here are 3 ways to set your bank apart from other lenders in your market.
1. Fine Tune Listening Skills
One of the most common complaints you will encounter after meeting with new customers is that they felt you weren’t hearing what they are saying. After a brief introduction, you begin listing the various loans available at your bank. You take the time to explain each financial product available only to have the customer leave without finalizing a loan. The one financial product best suited to their needs got lost in the shuffle because you may not have heard what that particular new business owner was looking for. It is imperative that you learn to listen and really hear what is being said in order to create happy customers.
2. Recognize Your Role as an Advisor
What many lenders often overlook is the fact that a majority of new business owners aren’t ready for building the financial backbone of a business. Some need advice just as much, if not more, than a small business loan. Many lenders have closed a loan only to realize that a new business was soon struggling financially. Perhaps they chose the wrong product for their financial needs or perhaps they needed a larger amount of funding. Instead of seeing your role as simply being a lender, perhaps you should also see the importance of offering much-needed financial advice. Give them some tools and knowledge they can use to successfully launch and run their new business.
3. Ask for CX Feedback
Finally, unless you are a clairvoyant, there is no way to know why that potential customer went somewhere else for their startup capital. Never fear asking what a new prospect found most helpful along with what they were most dissatisfied with in that initial meeting. It pays to offer customized banking surveys so that you can get a handle on what your potential clientele in your market are seeking. In fact, they may have been looking for a financial product you don’t currently offer. With enough interest, this may be something to consider going forward.
The best way to ensure a satisfactory customer experience is to listen to their real needs, sometimes what they are not saying, and to offer advice on where to find answers they seek. Today’s customer wants to know that they are valued and with that survey, you can assure them their opinion matters. It’s all about building a relationship based on mutual understanding and trust. If you get this right from the very start, you will have a valued customer for the life of their business. Ask, listen, and advise. It’s sometimes just as easy as that.