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How To Keep Customers

Keeping customers in the financial institution these days has become almost as important as getting them. Some bankers are going all out to keep those customers who are an asset to their institutions. And some are doing it through some pretty innovative means.

One encourages their employees to pamper their best customers with quick, preferential attention. They keep in touch with these customers by telephone, track them down if anything untoward happens to an account, and provide the customer with a telephone number they can call to reach a senior bank officer 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If someone wants to close an account, account officers take the client out to dinner and try to change his or her mind.

Larger financial institutions work at setting up ATMs and 24 hour customer service numbers. Small banking institutions are going at it through personalized service. Some try to cut teller turnover in order to keep service levels high. Another guarantees to resolve errors within 24 hours.

Pouring coffee, giving rides home, picking up checks to deposit, personally delivering checks-all are part of the "personal service" available for good, profitable customers.

Of course, all these services are meant to hold on to the high balance customers, who are willing to pay for this special treatment in the form of lower rates. They are not for the masses who are seeking low-cost service.

But the banking offices who are practicing customer service to the extreme say it is worth it to do so.

Copyright © 1991 Bankers' Hotline. Originally appeared in Bankers' Hotline, Vol. 2, No. 10, 11/91

First published on 11/01/1991

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