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Cultivating Leads, Loyalty, and Lifelong Customers with a Bank-Focused CRM

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As digitization and mobile banking offer more options and the ability to bank anywhere, customer loyalty is steadily declining in the financial services industry.

The ease of moving money means banks and credit unions must now work much harder to keep their customers. Low fees and solid customer service alone are no longer good enough—banks and credit unions must continually offer value to customers and deepen relationships by serving as a partner in their financial lives.

Combined with the right strategy and process, a CRM enables banks and credit unions to connect the dots throughout the entire customer lifecycle. With these insights, banks and credit unions can customize messaging, continually recommend the next best product for the individual, and foster long-term loyalty.

A Triple Threat to banks and credit unions: More Options, Greater Competition, and Waning Loyalty

Waning loyalty, growing competition, and more banking options have made it more challenging than ever for financial institutions to attract and hold onto their customers.

Consumers now have relationships with an average of 3.3 financial institutions, according to a report by Phoenix Synergistics. Although they generally remain loyal to their primary main bank, they’re willing to move their money elsewhere when a better offer arises.

In recent years, fintechs have moved into the market with niche offerings that many banks and credit unions have failed to provide. According to the Financial Brand, one in three Americans now do part of their financial business with a “nontraditional” provider, such as a fintech or challenger bank. The worst part is many banks and credit unions may not even be aware of the opportunity costs associated with their own customers leaving funds with other institutions.

Today’s consumers want more than just a loan or a place to park their money—they expect banks and credit unions to actively deliver value, solve problems, and help improve their financial lives.

CRM as a Key to Attracting and Retaining Customers

Despite consumers’ growing demand for personalized financial services, many banks and credit unions are falling short. According to Accenture, less than a quarter rated their bank highly for its range of products and services, and nearly 60% said they recently acquired a financial services product from a provider other than their main bank.

However, this satisfaction gap means banks and credit unions may now have a “golden moment” to transform their customer relationships. Accenture noted banks and credit unions can find opportunities by better understanding customers’ motivations and then offering advice with a holistic approach.

A banking-focused customer relationship management (CRM) tool enables banks and credit unions to leverage data to retain customers, deepen relationships, and grow the account base. It breaks down siloes by providing actionable insights for all areas of the bank, from lending and wealth management to credit card services. A CRM connects all the dots of the customer journey and delivers actionable insights across all channels, including branches, contact centers, and digital banking elements.

This ultimately enables banks and credit unions to enhance the relationship by proving itself as a trusted partner and positioning the next best product in the consumer lifecycle.

Retaining Customers and Deepening Relationships

While raw retention goals are important, banks and credit unions can often find the best opportunities by deepening relationships with high-value customers. Bain noted analytics work best when driven by several principles. This includes segmenting customers by value, automating forecasts, and predicting loyalty. Once the bank understands what causes churn, it can then take a test-and-learn approach to approaching customers.

Grow Accounts

Although the depth of the relationship is important, the more accounts a customer has, the more loyal they tend to be. One survey by PYMTNS found nearly half of consumers want to have all of their accounts with a single bank or financial institution. Seventy-one percent of these consumers say they would be interested in bundling their bank accounts to make management easier and more convenient.

Checking accounts remain the gateway to loyalty and account growth. U.S. adults, on average, use the same checking account for 17 years, according to Bankrate.com.


Earning loyalty and cultivating lifelong customers starts with understanding. A bank-focused CRM can help financial institutions make the most of their data. Offering actionable insights to drive customer retention and account growth is a must-have in today’s business climate.