Frontline employees are tasked with building strong relationships with customers in very short windows of time. From cashing checks, to making payments on loans, to renewing certificates of deposit, customers expect employees to work quickly and efficiently so that they can move on with the rest of their day. Frontline employees want to do right by their customers, but they also know they have the responsibility to build relationships that can lead to more business for their financial institution. So what can tellers and customer service representatives do to quickly start building stronger customer relationships?
Remember the theme song for the 1980’s sitcom Cheers? Cheers was the place “Where Everybody Knows Your Name”. What’s the value of a place where everybody knows your name? It’s actually quite simple, but extremely powerful. When customers’ names are remembered and used by frontline staff, it makes them feel special. It means a lot to someone to be remembered, particularly in banking. Being remembered by name will make customers feel as though they have a friend and trusted advisor in banking. Finances are a personal issue for most, so having someone they can genuinely trust to advise them in financial matters means a great deal to customers.
Studies show that there is a unique brain activation specific to a person’s name in relation to the names of others. This research explains the phenomenon that occurs when you hear someone speak your name in a crowded place and search for whoever called you, but it turns out to be a stranger talking to someone else with the same name. Still, you are able to hear your name cut through the murmur of the rest of the crowd. Our names stand out to us, even in loud and crowded situations. This increased brain activity is just one more reason to use customer names repeatedly. When customers hear their names frequently, it inherently makes them feel special. Ultimately, customers will choose to do business with the bank or credit union that makes them feel special.
Ask yourself this: how do you feel when your name is used by the employees of a business that you frequently visit? Have you ever been to a business repeatedly where it seems the employees should know your name, but they never use it? How does that make you feel?
It is undeniable that as employees begin to use your name you’ll feel more like a friend. This feeling is almost immediate. Conversely, when you are a regular at an establishment where the employees should know your name, but they never use it, there is an obvious perception that you are not valued by that business.
Banks and credit unions are constantly looking for ways to distinguish themselves from the competition. Making customers feel special is one of the easiest ways to accomplish this. And one of the easiest ways to make someone feel special is to address him/her by name! Don’t underestimate this powerful skill for building strong relationships. While it doesn’t cost a dime to use a customer’s name, it can make all the difference when attempting to earn a loyal customer that refers friends and family to your financial institution.
Our Loyalty Plus™ workshop is designed to give frontline employees the skills they need to make customers feel special on a consistent basis, which translates into earning loyal customers. For more information about Loyalty Plus™ or our other solutions, please contact us today!