Breaking Up is Hard to Do

For every financial institution, getting a consumer to switch his/her checking account, refinance a loan or open a credit card is a starting point for a relationship.  Yet, because consumers are creatures of habit, breaking up with a bank or other financial institution is hard to do!

Think about how much financial services are woven into the fabric of our lives on a daily basis. You stop to get a coffee at Starbucks and pull out your debit card. If you drive a car to work, you might roll into a gas station and use a credit card to start pumping. Sitting down to pay bills at night probably means logging into your account through online banking. You have a child who needs to take in money for the class party and have to stop at an ATM on the way to school in the morning.

Every day, using financial services is part of our lifestyle and we depend on them.  So, when we start a banking relationship, we tend to want to keep it. Learn all the “how to’s” once and not have to think about it again. Like getting our direct deposit set up once and set up our payees on bill pay once in online banking

Yet, as marketers, our charge from senior management is to find new members, grow the product accounts and balances. In essence, disrupt the ease with which a person is currently doing their banking. And, have them possibly have to jump through hoops to do it.

How do we cut a piece out of their lifestyle fabric and seamlessly weave our product/service back in?

Three ideas:

  • Promise a reward to make the effort to move their banking relationship that makes sense – a rebate, a cash back bonus, and tell them that’s what it’s for!
  • Streamline the process for all loans, opening accounts, and getting cards (both debit and credit) on the spot – if you are not pushing for quicker, faster, better, then you’re not going to attract the new consumer.
  • Follow up within the next day or two with a nice card and another special offer or gift, or even a request to go online and fill out a satisfaction survey that will enter them to win a gift card.

Necessary? Yes, because breaking up with their bank is hard to do! 

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