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The world of financial services has changed Has the way your customers see you changed, too?

Nearly every aspect of life and business has been impacted by the pandemic. The financial services sector stepped up to meet the new challenges. But the truth is that challenges already existed when COVID-19 struck, and changhad long been underway.   

That’s because the increased sophistication level of available technologies has rendered the in-person banking experience less and less common—or even necessaryToday, people of every generation check their account balances online. Borrowing and investing can be accomplished from home, and even the mortgage process, car buying and funding, and, in fact, nearly everything that used to happen exclusively at the local branch can now be done anywhere. 

Add pandemic-related layoffs, temporary furloughs and stay-at-home orders, and the result is fewer branches and fewer employees.  

With all of this upheaval, it is important for businesses to re-focus on what makes them great. Existing and potential customers need to see what sets the business apart from the competition. If you are in the business of banking—or any business that focuses on customers—how can you and your team contribute to that effort? 

Now more than ever, taking a step back for an objective look at the way you serve your customers is a wise moveThat may start with an open discussion among the executive team and (either together or separately) with employees. Answers to a few pointed questions could light your way to a bright future. Here are a few of our favorite inquiries: 

  • What do we do really well? 
  • What traits define our organization, and give us an edge against our competition? 
  • What services, attitudes or customer-focused conveniences are missing, and how can we change or add them? 
  • What feedback from customers have we received?

You may have had to adapt to a lot of flux in a short amount of time. You are not alone; every business has been touched by recent events. Not only has change already happened, more is likely to be ahead, and things may never return to the normal we knew before COVID. But you can’t stay in “fire suppression” mode forever. Perhaps it’s time to take another look at how you are serving your customers and how you can improve. Then, it’s time to share the message. 

Marketing teams, especially within small- to mid-sized financial institutions, exist for two reasons: to remind customers why they chose you instead of a mega-bank, and to bring new converts into the fold. That’s still true. Yet, you may be working with fewer employees than you were before. If that’s the case, you have a number of options for developing your messaging based on your findings from the above questions. We suggest: 

  • Prioritize your communications projects and work on the critical, short-term ones first 
  • Cut down on unnecessary meetings, perhaps assigning one or two team members to execute on a project start-to-finish and follow up with input from the rest of the team 
  • Bring in outside resources that can help with a single project, or to add fresh ideas to larger-scale communications

Times of change can be a great time to re-examine your methods and priorities. At ARTEMIA Communications, we hope you’re beginning to see the silver lining that has been hidden of late. Take care, be safe, and let us know if we can help. 

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In our efforts to contribute to the well-being of our peers and clients hit hard by the covid-19 crisis, we now offer new PPE solutions. For more info please email m.edwards@artemia.com

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