Today, consumers expect more than the delivery of a product from businesses, they expect an experience. An experience that envelops every part of their transaction process, from research, to decision making, to the actual purchase, including every interaction with a member of your staff. We are longer selling products, we are selling a client experience.
My parents were business owners and from a young age, I worked with them in the family business, interacting with our customers. I explained how a carburetor works to a customer at age 5 and sold my first motorcycle to a customer at age 10. I started doing the books at age 12, when my parent’s accountant fired my mom from the job. I began managing the store on Saturday’s while in high school, which continued into my college years when I regularly drove back to my hometown. I worked directly with our customers and with the professionals in my hometown who helped my parent’s business succeed. I remember, when we walked into a few of the local stores and supply co-ops, they knew exactly who we were and what we needed. And, when we walked into our local community bank, I heard a friendly, “Hello Ryan,” every time. Just as my parents’ customers were at the core of their business, customers are at the core of Automated Systems’ business, and at the core of your bank.
In a recent ASI blog article, How Community Banks Win: Making Digital Personal, Kristen Vogler wrote about community and how this term is one of the most defining words used to identify community banks. The customers of community banks are “local residents” where both the bank and customers have “…watched generations of families go through all phases of their life.” This is described as a legacy, a community bank is a part of local life, while “maintaining a reputation of trustworthiness” for the members and residents of that community. If we ask the question: what is the foundation to a relationship? Trust would be emphasized in the answer.
If you google “trust in customer service,” “trust in customer relationships,” or similar, you will find a wealth of information detailing strategies to build relationships with customers. Tremendous amounts of time and money are invested in trust across every industry, especially banking. A recent blog article published on the 360 View Blog (http://blog.360view.com), Why Budget for a CRM in 2019, lists “Prioritize Personalization” as the #1 reason for using a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) application. Personalizing messages is key to creating relationships with customers. We believe Automated Systems is a customer service company that also develops industry leading software, putting customer service first. “Build strong relationships with community banks” is in our mission statement. We place an emphasis on customer service just as your community bank does with your customers.
The modern term for this trusting, personal relationship between a business and customer is “client experience.” Companies across most industries invest time and money on strategies to focus on client experience while community banks view it as simply a typical Tuesday. I learned to deliver the full customer experience at my parents’ business in a small Wisconsin farming community and am so happy that ASI’s mission aligns with those standards. Community is at the heart of community banking and this is the reason Automated Systems’ team loves focusing on supporting community banks.