Customer Retention in a Rising Rate Environment

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Build a strategy to keep deposits when customers start shopping around.

When the Federal Reserve Board raised the federal funds rate this past December, your bank was probably ready. Chances are good that you’d developed a rate strategy to handle the change, and perhaps you’ve already announced that the interest rates on your savings accounts are going up. Unfortunately, many of your competitors have likely done the same. And that means all of your loyal deposit customers have a reason to do something they haven’t bothered with in years: Shop around.

The question is, how will you compete, and keep those customers, without getting into a rate battle? The bottom line is that you have to differentiate on something other than price. And a key part of that means having a communication strategy that keeps your customers hooked by providing valuable, useful information while reinforcing your rate strategy.

Seven Tactics to Try

Exactly which communications you include will depend on your specific institution, objectives and resources. But here are a few ideas to consider as you brainstorm and plan:

    • Drip email series. Offer customers the chance to learn more about specific savings topics through a selection of targeted email series. Topics might include investing basics, how and why to build a CD ladder, money markets 101, and retirement or college savings.

 

    • Ongoing informational communications. Newsletters or informational bulletins sent on a regular basis can keep customers tuned in over time. Plus, they let customers see you as a helpful resource — not simply a product provider — when it comes to making financial decisions. Building a relationship based on trust and expertise like this can go a long way toward building loyalty.

 

    • Value-add web content. Consumers today do a large amount of research independently, online. So make sure your website has valuable information not only about your specific products and services, but also about general personal finance topics. That way, you’re not simply pushing content out to customers, but also pulling them in — and getting them to interact with your website.

 

    • Trigger communications. Leverage your database to identify customer milestones and address them with related communications. For instance, send a personalized birthday card or a thank-you message from the bank manager on their anniversary as a customer.

 

    • Text tips. Many people prefer texting today. So make sure you’re including it as a communication option. For instance, you could break down a weekly drip email series into a daily series of text tips. Then let customers choose their preferred delivery method.

 

    • Videos. Offering video-based learning options is another way to make sure you’re addressing your customers’ preferences while delivering value-added content. It’s surprising how many topics lend themselves to a video format, whether it’s animated, flip-chart style or live action.

 

  • Webinars, online chats. Don’t overlook the opportunities for interactive communication and two-way dialogue provided by these content channels. They give you the chance to not only provide education, but also to gather feedback that may shed light on additional ways you can serve, satisfy and retain your customers.

All of these communications can work to deepen and strengthen customers’ relationships with your bank — and make them less likely to stray. So as you’re putting your rate strategy in place, make sure you’re also deciding how you’ll stay in touch with your customers in even more valuable ways.


Ready to develop a communication strategy, brainstorm topics or develop content? We can help, with more than three decades of experience doing exactly these things for some of the country’s top financial institutions. Email us or call 800.525.0313 for complimentary advice.

Customer Communications Group, Inc., is not responsible for products or services offered by third parties or websites mentioned. We provide such information and sites solely for your convenience.