It is commonly understood that true relationship marketing is key in developing productive long-term business interactions. But what does that really mean? Brian Bischoff from Citizens Bank describes what having a strong relationship with your business banker entails. You may be surprised to find that you are missing some significant elements…..AND it could be costing you money.
So let’s hear Brian’s thoughts about this:
Now is the time to ensure that your bank understands your personal and business financial goals. Your bank needs to be an extension of your team – especially in today’s economic environment. If you’re only using your bank as an enabler of transactions, it’s time to take another look at your banking relationship.
Here are four important points to help reevaluate your bank to ensure they are able to meet your needs:
• Relationships are key: Relationship marketing is more than just good customer service it is about building a long-term, lasting relationship with your banker. When you do business with a banker who cares about you and your business, it shows. Often times it’s the extra attention you need to help you resolve timely matters and find solutions. If you are in a good relationship with your banker, he or she can identify needs that you as a business owner may not even be aware exist.
• Access to decision makers: One of the most important elements of a good banking relationship is the ability for a business owner to have access to the bank decision makers. Whether for a loan request or a special circumstance pertaining to your accounts, having the ability to speak directly with a person at the bank who can understand your situation and resolve your issue is very important. Let’s say you own an office building and your tenants are feeling the impact of the economy and can’t make their full payment on their lease. Do you have the relationship with your banker that allows you to collectively evaluate and pursue the right solutions for you?
• Business services: Many banks offer time-saving services for businesses, including remote deposit capture, sweep accounts, deposit pick-up services, identity theft prevention software and online compatibility with your accounting software. Analyze your business processes to determine if the bank meets all of your needs. Remember to evaluate any associated costs, as some banks charge for these services, while others consider them a value-add.
• Interest rates and fees: Interest rates vary depending upon the type of account and the account balance. Be sure to compare account benefits and rate offerings to maximize your options. Take time to understand minimum balance requirements, service charges, and earnings credit and transfer ability. Make certain that your banker will proactively inform you about options and opportunities, products and protections that you may not even know exist to maximize your interest income and minimize risk.
If your bank isn’t meeting all your business needs, it’s time to ask yourself, ”Is changing banks really worth the hassle?” Eliminate the hassle, and the answer is “yes.” Your cost savings and other financial benefits can be significant. In addition, if you take a systematic approach to reviewing your options and initiating the change while your current banking relationship is still intact, the change should be simple and painless. A good banker will help you facilitate the entire process to ensure that your transition is seamless and you begin enjoying the benefits of your new banking relationship immediately.
Do you have a trusted advisor?
Post by: Brian Bischoff
Business Banking Officer, AVP