Article by: Benjamin Rempe, COO – LenderClose
Shortly after I was born, my dad opened a savings account in my name. Wisely, he didn’t tell me about it until later in life. Had I known about my little nest egg, it would have certainly been squandered away on expanding my Nintendo collection, not spent for college as he intended.
The point of this is actually not to highlight my dad’s foresight to start saving early, although I thank him greatly. This is a story about the financial institution he chose.
In perhaps an uncommon tale for 2018, I still have that account today. And, use it. It’s not sitting idle in Rochester, Minn. with five dollars left simply because I never got around to closing it. The account and the institution that holds it have been my primary through every major financial milestone in my life. They were with with me through moves around the Midwest, through marriage, home purchases, car loans, kids and countless transactions large and small.
All despite the fact I never chose the institution myself, and haven’t lived near a physical branch since I was 10.
It’s not for apathy or laziness that keeps me a customer. It’s pretty easy to switch financial institutions – 11 percent of consumers left their bank in the past year. The reasons I stay are the same reasons customers will stay with your institution, too.
Here are just a few:
Transactions are easy and convenient. Anytime I’ve need a loan, it’s been a smooth, painless experience. After a career in lending myself, I understand the complexities of origination and underwriting. Yet, they have never once let me feel the pain. Their processes are efficient and don’t drag out unnecessarily.
Service is solution-oriented. Whenever I need to call about an issue, the person I’ve spoken with solves my problem. The associates are empowered to resolve issues before they escalate, and that has personally kept my satisfaction high.
Rates and fees are always reasonable. Let me clear – my loyalty isn’t blind. Every time I make a financial decision, I research and compare rates and fees. My financial institution doesn’t always come in at the lowest rate – but they are close. Close enough that I’m not willing to take a chance on a new financial institution to save a few dollars. Finding the right balance of cost and value is key.
They continue to evolve. Because they have adapted smoothly to new technology, I have been able to continue my relationship digitally – supremely important considering I left the area nearly three decades ago. Through six loans and countless transactions, I haven’t needed to step foot in a branch. Don’t get me wrong – the branches are alive and well, and customers still want to interact with humans. But a versatile and modern “brick and click” mix of products and services means an institution can meet the personalized needs of different customers.
The story doesn’t end with me. When each of my three daughters was born, my wife and I opened accounts for them at the very same financial institution. We’ve established the beginnings of three new customer relationships. Now the question is, how will the institution continue to evolve its customer service formula to keep their business?