Banks should understand that the account initiation process does not end after customers have opened their accounts and the initial interaction with bank representatives has concluded. New customers presume ongoing value, and have come to expect a personal follow-up contact from the bank shortly after the initial interaction.
We offer the following tips to help you maximize the on-boarding experience:
Timing is critical
While ideally the follow-up contact should occur within 2 days after the account is opened (8.46 satisfaction rating for overall account initiation, on a 10-point scale), our data shows that a contact within 2-7 days after account opening also results in high levels of satisfaction (8.31), but notably declines when the contact occurs after 7 days (7.87).
Pick up the phone
Follow-up phone calls result in the highest levels of account initiation satisfaction (8.44), followed by other methods including email and mail (8.03). Satisfaction declines to 6.78 when no follow-up is received.
Data sourc: 2012 U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study. ©2012 J.D. Power and Associates The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Save the sales pitch for later
Don’t treat the initial follow-up contact as a sales opportunity, but rather as a contact strictly related to the accounts that were recently opened, with the bank representative thanking the customer for their business….or offering to answer any questions related to their current products and fees. Immediate follow-up contact is also the perfect opportunity to confirm a customer’s e-mail address (for future communication) or ensure a customer has successfully activated online banking and online bill pay services. After all, the initial selling or cross-selling should have already occured during account initiation.
Although the follow-up contact should not be a sales pitch, customers who do receive a follow-up contact from their bank are more likely to open additional accounts, such as money markets, credit cards, home equity loans, personal loans etc. later on, once a relationship has been established.
The bank rep should make contact
It is important that the follow-up contact be made by the same bank representative who originally opened the account(s), as this type of relationship building results in a significant increase in satisfaction with the account initiation process (8.62 vs. 7.74 for contacts made by other bank personnel).
The bottom line:
Follow-up with a phone call to all new customers as soon as possible after the account(s) are opened. Welcome them by thanking them for their business, answering any additional questions……..and save the cross-selling for a later date after they’ve already been “on-board” for a while.