Imagine you are walking into a restaurant that is noted for great service and amazing food in a town or city where there are tons of choices. You drove a little further, perhaps you are prepared to pay a little more, and you’ve done some homework by asking friends for recommendations and checking out the restaurant online. What do you hope for as you enter the restaurant? Aren’t you seeking an experience where you can combine a fantastic product with a professional yet personal service experience that suits your preferences and needs? Restaurant staff and bankers are both customer service providers. There are plenty of banks to choose from, just like there are lots of places where you can dine. All bankers are expected to be competent order takers. All bankers are in the business of growing deposits and making loans. Great bankers are better listeners than talkers, do their homework on your company and industry in advance, and adjust their approach and recommendations to meet your needs and the industry challenges or opportunities. People sometimes choose where they dine based on convenience or price. More often food quality, attentiveness of staff and eating in a place that suits their palate and personal choices are integral factors to choosing a restaurant. Business owners and consumers should select their banking relationship using some of the same methods and questions as they would if they were looking for a special place to eat.
1. Ask Friends and Peers for Recommendations
- Where do other happy and highly satisfied business owners, friends or peers do their banking?
- Is the service staff knowledgeable, attentive and skilled?
- Does their banker proactively suggest ways to potentially build assets like your checking account balance, protect their cash and design the best loan solutions?
- Do they know a banker who listens well, has experience and knowledge they willingly share, who takes the time to design cash management and debt solutions that are best suited to help meet their clients’ needs?
- Do they design cash management and debt solutions that are best suited to their needs?
2. Check out their Website
- Does the bank have a broad enough set of products to meet an array of your needs?
- Does the bank make its financial information easily accessible? Public companies have to provide information quarterly and annually. Did the bank make money?
- How did the bank perform last year?
3. What Are They Offering Beyond Price?
Some banks use teaser rates to attract new customers but charge more for common services. What do you want to know besides price? Here are some questions to ask:
- Is the bank a safe place to put my money?
- Does the bank have many customers like me?
- Will the bank help protect my money once it’s deposited?
- Do small business owners have access to a dedicated business banker who will bring them ideas and meet with them in person?
There are plenty of convenience bankers who meet the basic needs of consumers and busy business owners. Find a professional banker who brings you ideas, proposes solutions and who deeply understands you, your business and the industry. Make your banker work for you and set high expectations. A banker should earn your business and keep it by providing high quality service and products you need in a way that suits you best. Do you think a banker who listens well, understands your industry and individual goals, and who has the time to meet in person makes a difference in helping you achieve your goals? What other service skills are important to you from your banker?