CRM is the Relationship Lighthouse

While the way we transact has evolved, relationships are still at the core of banking.

Over 2,000 years ago, the Romans built lighthouses in Egypt to warn ships of dangers and to keep ships safe, allowing sailors to navigate treacherous waters and carry out their mission. Today’s banking lighthouse is the CRM platform.

If there is one takeaway from 2020, it’s the need to recognize relationship warning signals and opportunities that require personalized service. That’s hard to do without the ability to understand the customer relationship, respond to customer needs and support their financial goals on an enterprise-wide level.

Customer relationship management (CRM) captures conversations, monitors transaction activity, and displays actionable data so any staff member can connect with customers using relevant and personal communications. CRM utilizes customer data to build more engaged relationships through an integrated journey.

Financial institutions that incorporate CRM into their service develop stickier relationships with their customers. Banks leveraging CRM will experience an increase in sales. But this isn’t about dollars; it’s about an increase in connection. Better service leads to a stronger relationship.

“One of the key benchmarks for all financial institutions should not simply be to gain a deeper relationship with its customer base, but to position themselves as the ’go to‘ solution provider for all of the customers’ financial needs,” says Bill LaVigne, COO at The Bank of Elk River in Elk River, MN. “To accomplish this, you must present yourself at the right moment in time with the right solutions and the right advice, building trust and confidence. An effective CRM system provides the platform to deliver those opportunities. The rest is on you to execute.”

Most CRM systems don’t account for the nuances of the financial services industry. Generic CRMs leverage information on age, ethnicity, and gender without fear of compliance landmines. The situation is quite different for banks.

With the input of industry experts, Marquis created CallTrax NEXT, a CRM that uses terms tailored to the financial industry. This unique CRM integrates service, sales, and marketing automation with organized, actionable data. Marquis also helps to assess bank sales and service processes to customize a system that enhances both.

Given the rocky waters of 2020 and the unknown of 2021, you need to consider how to safely sail through the upcoming year. Let a CRM platform be your lighthouse and assist your customers in navigating their financial ship.


RYAN HOUSEFIELD is Senior Vice President of Sales at Marquis.

CUNA News Article – Marquis Sponsored: CRM Is Your Common Bond

Credit unions were created to serve a common bond—not for profit, but for service. The common bond has now shifted from a shared work or education experience into a broader relationship with members and communities. The mission of people helping people remains unchanged but how it is realized has evolved.

Check out the CUNA News Article sponsored by Marquis as Ryan Housefield, SVP, Sales Executive, explains how member circumstances are unique and require personalized service.

Click here to read the full article.

Connecting Sales, Marketing and the Front Line



Video Transcription 

Connecting Sales, Marketing and the Front Line – Move from Transactions to Relationships

Ryan Housefield, SVP, Sales Executive, Marquis

I’m a nice customer. You all know me. I’m the one who never complains, no matter what kind of service I get. I’ll go into a restaurant and sit quietly while the waiters and waitresses gossip and never bother to ask if anyone has taken my order. But I don’t complain. I just wait.

And when I go to a store to buy something, I don’t throw my weight around. I try to be thoughtful of the other person. If a snooty salesperson gets upset because I want to look at several things before making up my mind, I’m just as polite as can be. I don’t believe rudeness in return is the answer. I think that’s uncalled for.

No, I’m the nice customer. And I’ll tell you who else I am.

I’m the customer who never comes back.

Why they leave.

So, what are the stats on customers that never come back? Granted, 3% do move from the area, 5% do have relationships and partnerships somewhere else, only 9% find your competitor more appealing, and 15% have an issue with some facet of your product or service. But here’s the thing: the balance, the lion’s share – 68% – leave simply due to an attitude of indifference towards their business with you. Accenture said the same thing. It’s not about price. It’s about customer service, or lack thereof. And again, this is not necessarily about bad customer service. It’s much more subtle than that. So, let’s explore why and the opportunity some of that presents.

According to Bain, reducing attrition by just 5% can increase your profits up to 95%. That impact is all realized when you’re not spending your resources and spinning your wheels trying to replace the customers you’ve lost. Now you have a great foundation to build on and grow from.

Let’s look at another telling fact. According to Future Branches, 73% of your customers don’t know everything you offer, and would likely buy more if they did. But if your staff doesn’t know what your customers have and don’t have, both groups are in the dark. And at that point, all you can do is process a transaction.

What they expect.

Let’s recap the state of consumer expectations. First off, your customers assume you can see everything they have with you, don’t they? Based on that, they expect to be treated as a unique individual, not just another transaction. And if you know what they have, you should be able to make relevant recommendations that can help them.

Guys, your best customers expect you to know who they are. Everyone likes to be recognized. And as it was once said, “All customers are created equal. But some are simply more equal than others.” They expect you to be a trusted advisor and know what’s happening in their financial life. After all, that’s our fiduciary responsibility as a financial institution. But if we don’t record previous conversations and customer requests, it’s going to be pretty difficult to meet that expectation.

And then finally, regardless of where they engage you, they expect the left hand to know what the right hand is doing, and everyone to be on the same page. And if I was really going to boil that down, it all comes down to us honoring the relationship, taking note of what they shared with us and making it easy for the customer to do business with us.