Bank Marketing Strategy
It wasn’t long ago that financial institutions were reaching out to their customers during the pandemic, keeping them updated and providing direction for how to stay connected with their bank while staying safe from illness. Today, recent bank closings have triggered similar fears of disruption and instability. However, because current concerns arise directly from the vulnerability of certain financial institutions, it is even more important for your bank to reassure your customers that their money is secure and that you are taking steps to ensure its continued safety. You can do this by implementing a clear crisis communication strategy.
The best communication strategy for banks during a crisis is one that is designed to not only reassure your customers but also empower your team. In this post we will discuss some simple and effective techniques and tactics to calm customer fears in a bank crisis, grant confidence to your staff to help them navigate ongoing concerns and position your bank as both trustworthy and stable, characteristics that can give it a competitive edge in an uncertain financial world.
By effectively managing your communication strategy during a crisis, demonstrating and building trust, you can ensure customer loyalty—and potentially even attract new clients. Here are a few tips to help you model your own communication approach to achieve the best outcomes.
Stay in touch.
Consistent communication during these times is critical, so that your customers never have the chance to doubt that your institution is trustworthy, and their assets are safe. When you are proactive with regular updates, this not only reassures customers, but it also prevents them from having to contact you with questions that can be easily addressed with well-considered communications.
Keep communication direct but personable.
Address your customers directly, using specific pronouns like “we” and “you” to bring content to a human level and consider customizing communications by client type. Be aware of your customers’ needs and concerns and strive to be reassuring—but do not mince words. Use simple, clear, definitive statements that both underscore your institution’s efforts for transparency and commitment to your customers.
Position your brand as a trusted adviser.
At a time when so many need a trusted adviser, your communications can renew trust and effectively ease your customers’ fears. Use your communications to reinforce key messages about your brand while refreshing clients’ knowledge of investment fundamentals to guide them through these turbulent times. Remind them that while markets may experience ups and downs, they will eventually recalibrate.
Respond quickly to inbound questions.
Regardless of how well you craft your messages, you will receive questions and concerns. Dedicate a person or team to answering these, quickly, accurately, and thoughtfully. Have regular meetings or memos to discuss key developments and strategies to make sure all staff or areas of your financial institution are prepared to correctly answer questions related to the crisis. Be sure to provide talking points to staff that echo other communications to help relay a clear and uniform response.
Offer resources and expertise.
In both electronic communications and in one-on-one interactions between customers and staff, express a willingness to help educate and inform. For example, you can create a “Quick Facts” sheet that provides answers to frequently asked questions, devote your next blog post to addressing common concerns, or advise staff to encourage and invite questions, leaning on talking points to create a consistent message.
Consider waiving fees or limits.
To both show your clients that you have their best interests at heart and that your institution is financially sound, not dependent on fees for revenue, consider taking a brief hiatus from fees, especially those generated by transaction limits. This show of good faith may help keep your current customers loyal, while also potentially drawing in new ones who may be disillusioned by their current financial institution’s response to the crisis.
Show that you care.
The most important thing you and your staff can do during this time is show your customers that you care. Your customers count on you even more than usual during a banking crisis. Communicate that you value their time and their business, that you know that their commitment to your institution is what makes your institution possible, and that you are committed to serving them and preserving their hard-earned assets.
Effective Marketing Tactics to Calm Customers
There are many forms of communication with your customers that you can utilize during times of crisis—and it is important to use as many as you can to reach your diverse client base while keeping your messaging consistent across platforms. Here are a few options that are particularly useful.
The first thing your customers should feel when they visit your website is reassurance in your institution. Creating a landing page dedicated to concerns is an effective way to do so. Consider adding a video clip from your bank president addressing customers, to lend a human touch to your message.
If your bank offers a mobile app to customers, this can be one of the most useful and direct ways to reach them. Use the app to push out messages that inform and reassure.
Email is the most effective and flexible communication tool that you can use. Consider a well-drafted, one-time email to inform customers of your bank’s secure position during the crisis, include FAQs with simple, clear answers, and otherwise keep customers up to date. You’ll want to convincingly convey why they should feel that their money is safe with you.
Use social media to mirror key talking points from your website, email, and other communications. Regular social media posts also help ensure that your bank is seen as active and engaged. Find more best practices in our guide to social media for financial institutions.
Sometimes, the most reassuring thing you can do is send a physical letter, either as standalone communication or included with monthly statements or other direct mail. Follow the same guidelines as listed above about consistent messaging and tone.
Keeping in line with the forthright nature of written communication, it may be helpful to include a direct phone number that bypasses phone trees (which can be frustrating or make your institution feel inaccessible), where you have trained staff addressing questions. Additionally, be sure to drive people to the website where they can find more detailed information.
BankBound is here to help!
Communication—open and honest—is especially important for the financial industry as the bank crisis continues to unfold. Providing informative resources and answers that help your customers navigate the economic environment can help ease their stress and help your brand become known as a trustworthy advisor during a time of need.
Our team of experienced financial content writers can help you with your bank crisis communication strategy, either doing the heavy lifting or supporting a plan you already have in place. We utilize innovative SEO (Search Engine Optimization) practices integrated with high-quality, fully customized content, from webpages to infographics to blog posts, email automation, social media posts, and more. And the impacts are measurable.
With analytics, we can show you the real-world results of relevant and useful content, from organic visits and social media shares to search conversions and keyword rankings. Reach out to us directly to learn more about all we have to offer.