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10 Tips: How to Cross-Sell Bank Products to Customers

Try these strategies to effectively increase the number of financial products a customer has with you, leading to longer, more profitable relationships.

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Article Highlights

  • Customers with multiple products are more likely to remain loyal to your financial institution.
  • Retaining current customers costs less than acquiring new ones.
  • Successful bank cross-selling focuses on customer needs versus pushing products.
  • Giving customers a reason to stay engaged throughout their entire customer journey can lead to stronger, longer-lasting relationships.

Competition among financial institutions is as fierce as ever. And new customers still tend to abandon the relationship at high rates. An effective solution? Cross-selling bank products to help retain existing customers.

Retention makes good dollars and sense. Acquiring new customers can cost eight to 10 times more than you would spend cross-selling products and services to existing customers. Plus, it’s a proven fact that the more connected a customer is to your financial institution, the longer they’re likely to stay with you.

Cross-Selling Bank Products Builds Customer Loyalty 

The figures below show how much longer, on average, a customer will stay with a bank, based on the number of products they hold with that bank.1

1 product = 18 months
2 products = 4 years 
3 products = 6.8 years 

But cross-selling in banking isn’t as simple as telling every customer about every product and service you offer. To be successful, your efforts need to be customer-centric, focusing on what your customer needs so they won’t want to go anywhere else. Here, we share 10 tips on how to cross-sell bank products — and reap the rewards.

1. Empower your employees – from in-person to online.

When it comes to cross-selling bank products, your employees are the front line of your strategy. They have daily opportunities to ask customers about their needs, and then provide relevant suggestions about the most appropriate product or service solutions.

Give your team easy ways to extend the conversation and better engage with customers beyond a transaction. Ensure that every front-line staff member receives training on how to converse constructively with customers about products and services, and how each item fills a consumer need.

2. Bundle up.

Offering packages of three or more products or services lets you instantly create sticky customer relationships. From a customer standpoint, make sure there is a benefit to accepting the entire bundle together, at once, versus separately over time.

  Leverage your customer data to determine the most logical combination of product and service combinations for your customers.

3. Stay well connected beyond onboarding.

Keep the conversations flowing after onboarding with ongoing personalized and targeted communications. Regular communication keeps your brand top of mind and presents new cross-sell opportunities by introducing or explaining assorted products and services. Encourage customers to sign up for your blog or specific personal finance topics. Keep your communications and messaging interactive and customer focused.

  Give customers a reason to stay engaged with your financial institution throughout their entire customer journey by communicating early and often. Create customer newsletters, trigger email campaigns and even drip campaigns based on customer actions on your website or app.

4. Encourage customers to engage more with their existing accounts.

Make sure your customers are using the products and services they already have with you as frequently as possible — and to their fullest potential — to improve retention.

  Promote sticky services like online and mobile banking, automatic savings transfers, mobile payments, account alerts and complimentary money management tools.

5. Leverage your data.

You collect customer data for a reason: To understand your customers and their needs, and then use that information to provide the most appropriate engagement, in the form of products they don’t yet have, services they don’t yet use and offers that incentivize them to try something new.

Use your customer data — such as transaction behavior, existing accounts, lifestyle factors and demographics — to customize cross-sell offers and provide personalized recommendations based on each customer’s current and future needs.

6. Maximize segmentation when selling bank products.

From buying their first home to planning for retirement, your customers face different needs at different times in their life. So selling bank products relevant to each new point in their life cycle simply makes sense. You can expand on this strategy by also building segmented marketing campaigns around the buyer journey, as product and service needs often shift when a customer moves from awareness to purchase to advocacy.

Take your data a step further by segmenting your customers into groups based on most-likely cross-sell opportunities. Then make your communications relevant to that specific segment.

7. Focus on providing value.

Customers want to feel like they’re getting a good value from the brands they do business with. Banks can leverage this attitude through cross-sell marketing that emphasizes customer-centric benefits. That could include highlighting convenient banking features and tools that simplify a customer’s life. Or it might mean showcasing other advantages the customer gains by doing business with your financial institution and that make them want to remain a long-term loyal customer.

Make sure financial marketing messages related to your products and services always answer the customer’s number one concern: “What’s in it for me?” You can do this by focusing on helping versus selling.

8. Leverage your mobile app.

Consumers are using mobile apps more than other channel to conduct their financial transactions.2 And if you can get customers to engage with your mobile app, you strengthen their connection to you. On the flip side, 35% of consumers said they would switch banks for an easier to use mobile app.3  

Ensure your app is easy to navigate and that customers can manage all their banking tasks and access the information they need to make financial decisions. In addition, use in-app messaging to cross-sell bank products to this captive audience.

9. Use value-added content to educate, inform and build trust.

Deliver useful content with a customer-focused approach that engages customers by offering information, helping them solve problems or addressing a need they didn’t know they had. By helping your customers solve a problem, you have the opportunity to mention related products and services they may not be aware of and show how they can help.

Provide education and actionable information on the personal finance topics your customers care about, such as debt management, saving for retirement and homebuying. Then link to the related products and services you provide that can help fill a need.

10. Reach your customers where they are.

Maintaining an active presence on your customer’s preferred channels means more
opportunities for interaction, education, awareness and 24/7 engagement. And it makes it more likely that your brand — and the products and services you offer — will stay top of mind.

Keep the customer exposure to your brand frequent and consistent across online and offline channels for greater brand awareness, engagement and trust, so customers will be more likely to continue their relationship with you.

Build a Solid Foundation with Cross-Selling for Customer Retention

As a financial institution, you have opportunities to retain your customers every day. Of course, providing quality, relevant products and customer-centric services are always essential to keeping your customers happy. Once you have those foundational elements in place, combining meaningful engagements with the cross-selling strategies above can go a long way toward ratcheting down attrition — and pumping up customer loyalty.

Helping our clients build long-term, loyal customer relationships to grow revenue is the foundation of everything we do at CCG. As a full-service financial marketing agency, we offer an array of financial marketing services and solutions. For a free consultation to see how we can help you, click below or call us today at 303.986.3000.

Sources

1 “Stop Cross-Selling! Help Customers Buy Instead,” The Financial Brand, posted Aug. 31, 2017, https://thefinancialbrand.com/67238/banking-cross-selling-strategy-trends-wells-fargo/, accessed May 13, 2022

2 “National Survey: Bank Customers Now Use Mobile Apps More Than Any Other Channel to Manage Their Accounts,” American Bankers Association, posted Nov. 12, 2020, https://www.aba.com/about-us/press-room/press-releases/survey-bank-customers-now-use-mobile-apps-more-than-any-other-channel-to-manage-their-accounts, accessed May 13, 2022

3 “Survey: Younger Customers More Likely to Switch Banks for Better Digital Features,” American Banking Journal, posted Feb. 17, 2021, https://bankingjournal.aba.com/2021/02/survey-younger-customers-more-likely-to-switch-banks-for-better-digital-features/, accessed May 13, 2022

Suzy Buglewicz

Author Suzy Buglewicz

Throughout her 30+ year career, Suzy’s driving force as a writer has been to help people solve problems. She’s done that by developing value-added content for everything from blogs and web pages to emails, articles, video scripts, direct mail pieces and case studies.

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