In the Seinfeld TV series, many things were purposefully unsaid, mostly for the sake of
storytelling brevity. In place of the details were the filler words,…yada, yada, yada.
Mostly, the details that were left out weren’t relevant (or funny). However, in the world
of CRM, you can’t yada, yada the details, because it is in the details where success or
failure resides. And there have been too many vendors quick to slap you on the back
with a CRM yada, yada, yada.
So, let’s stop the insanity. We all know that CRM stands for Customer Relationship
Management. But it starts out as something simpler and easier to grasp Customer
Retention Management. In this gentler version of CRM, we must first identify and
understand from whom our business and profit comes. You’ve no doubt heard of the
80/20 rule. In a profitability context, this is where 80% of the profit comes from 20% of the
clients. I think you would agree that this holds true for banking, as well. Would it surprise
you to know that the 80/20 rule is more like the 150/10 rule for your institution? It’s true.
For most every bank, the vast majority of profit comes from a small percentage of client
relationships. This also means that there is great exposure to our bottom line, by not
serving the needs of these clients well. If they leave so does the growth and profitability
of the bank.
To that end, we must identify who our most profitable & valuable customer relationships
are, and what products they buy. We then need to reach out to them and find creative
ways to strengthen their relationship with us. Enhancing a relationship can take many
different forms. A few examples are: adding a product or service to the existing pool of
accounts owned by each of these relationships, getting new electronic ties to existing
accounts (like direct deposit or direct debit), and recognizing the top client relationships.
It’s amazing how the last one can have an incredibly long-lasting impact to the banking
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