Want Stronger Sales? Try Doing what’s Best for the Customer.

 

From Jim Callan, founder and CEO of Econiq

 

When it comes to sales, the use of unscrupulous tactics to meet or exceed a forecasted goal severely undermines the integrity and erodes the credibility of any organization. Banking is no different. In an industry where the fundamental purpose is to provide customers with exceptional financial products and support their financial journey from beginning to end, such a careless approach might provide a small payoff in the short term, but will eventually result in reputational and financial loss. Look no further than the headlines to see how this story plays out.

To be clear, sales goals are essential to the banking ecosystem and are important key performance indicators that reveal how well a financial institution is communicating its products to customers. But if the number of new checking accounts, for instance, isn’t as high as the previous year, the solution should never be to create false accounts or push products onto customers. Strong sales are a direct byproduct of a bank’s ability to appropriately provide financial products and services to customers, which establishes quality relationships. By fulfilling the role of a reliable and trustworthy partner, a bank will maximize the customer loyalty and remain a successfully viable, respected financial institution.

Is there an expectation amongst consumers that their bank will try to sell them products or encourage them to open additional accounts? Yes and such an expectation is healthy so long as it demonstrates the bank’s awareness of each customer’s financial situation and an effective ability to pair the product with the customer’s respective needs. But when the wrong product is suggested or aggressively touted, it shows that the bank is too focused on making a sale, instead of serving the customer. And there is no greater area of opportunity to improve customer service than at the front line, during conversations, across every branch, every day.

Every conversation with a customer reveals important information about what they want and need; all a bank has to do is listen, adjust and act accordingly. It is at this level where human conversation intelligence is gathered and analyzed to provide frontline staff with a guided human conversation with each customer that is balanced and naturally occurring. By recognizing and creating genuine opportunities and progressing them every time, frontline employees will drive increased revenues for the bank. Guided human conversations also give every employee the tools needed to serve the customer with confidence, removing fear or uncertainty in their performance and reducing turnover. Finally, the insights gained from human conversations provide executives with visibility into what’s being said, who’s saying it and if it’s working – in every interaction. This prevents unscrupulous sales tactics, strengthens quality review and mitigates a bank’s financial, regulatory and reputational risk exposure.

The financial industry has made a lot of progress in restoring consumer faith in banking since the recession and there’s no reason we can’t continue down the path to improvement. Human conversation intelligence enhances the capabilities of frontline staff and demonstrates to the customer that service is your top priority, establishing life-long relationships that will keep them returning for additional advice, products and more.