Banks mystify me. They should be great one-to-one direct marketers, but they’re just not!
It’s not only the stilted letter copy printed in mouse type, “my eyes glaze over” offers or the stock photo brochures with more legal disclaimers than actual selling copy. It’s the staggering mismanagement of information. Better yet, complete ignorance of information that, with minimal effort, could make them lots of money.
When we were getting ready to move from New York City to Hollywood, Fla., banks were the first companies notified. My assistant Kate sent about 50 letters to banks, credit card companies, insurance companies and brokerages, and I figured I’d get a barrage of notices at one address or the other about helping me move my accounts. I didn’t receive a word.
Maybe the Government Won’t Let Them …
Banks spend a good deal of money marketing to people who haven’t even hinted they have a need for anything. But when customers initiate contact and inform them of a trigger event in their lives, you’d think they would perk up and say, “Hey! Look here. One of our best customers is in danger of getting away.” Then, they might send me something like this:
Congratulations on your move. I hope it works out well for you. Just so you know, you don’t have to worry about your banking for a minute.
We’ve already sent your personal checks to your new address and alerted our branch at 123 Main Street, Whereverville, FL.
The branch manager is Alice B. Toklas. Her direct phone number is: (305) 800-8000. She’s looking forward to meeting you and doing everything she and her staff can to help smooth your move to Whereverville.
Wouldn’t a bank that responded in this manner keep more customers? Companies that adapt to the trigger events in customers’ lives really build successful long-term relationships. This isn’t a new idea, and it’s not brain surgery—but it still isn’t happening.