I Went Out for a Quart of Milk and Came Back with a Credit Card…Anthony Pianezza |
A recent trip to the grocery store with a list of three items in-hand ended in my walking out with 10. They make it too easy, laying everything out in front of you and before you know it you’re justifying buying things you didn’t know you wanted or needed.
Let this be a lesson to banks. The current cross-sell ratio is 2.2 products per household, the same ratio as 15 years ago, despite enhanced training programs for bank staff designed to increase sales and the number of products per household. Customers often walk into a branch with one purpose in mind, but there is an opportunity for them to walk out with more products they didn’t know they needed.
As online banking becomes more and more entrenched and mobile banking continues to grow, people will likely make fewer and fewer trips into bank branches. When I can snap a picture of a check on my phone and deposit it into my checking account, why drive to a branch and wait in line?
With fewer opportunities for in-person cross-sales to both new and existing customers, it’s crucial that each trip into a branch results in a cross-sell conversation and offer. Unlike the grocery store, a bank can’t rely on esthetically pleasing product displays. The “bread-and-butter” of in-branch retail banking cross-sell resides in fostering and continually growing the full customer relationship. “Looking to open a checking account today? I can help you with that, but while we’re at it- do you also have a credit card? Are you thinking of buying a car in the near future or re-doing your kitchen? We can help you identify needs you may not have even recognized yourself.”
This kind of approach is tougher in an online or mobile context, which is why it is paramount that banks capitalize on opportunities to engage each customer who walks through the door. Despite the growth of online and mobile banking, branches are still the preferred channel for opening an account among all market segments: 95% of new accounts are opened in traditional branches. So despite us many mobile and online banking users making fewer trips into branches in general, we all still pop in from time-to-time. And when we do, banks would be smart not to let us walk out the door without being offered a credit card, an auto loan, or any other number of products that we didn’t even know we wanted or needed… just like the grocery store.
Topics: Payments Strategy