July 01, 2012
When people choose a bank, an investment professional, or an insurance firm, they consider countless rational and emotional factors. But when they find a partner they feel they can truly trust, everything else becomes secondary. So rather than focusing your branding and marketing efforts on the numerous reasons why someone should choose you, focus on why they should stay with you.
Here are a few powerful ways to build loyalty.
Build your reputation with a
When it comes to selecting a financial partner, it’s often the emotional reasons—not the rational ones—that make the difference. Surveys may say that convenience, expertise, and fees are all what guide consumers’ choices. But we all know that, for any kind of financial need, people want to feel good about who they work with. So they choose with their hearts and their minds.
They pay attention to what their friends say, what they read about you online, and how you’re perceived in the community. Word of mouth is critical. So tell an authentic story, keep your message clear and consistent, and stay relevant. Both your reputation and your business will benefit.
Your reputation grows naturally from the story you tell and the stories told about you. When the two are aligned, it creates a strong brand image.
Create a seamless
When clients or customers encounter your organization, they don’t want to spend time figuring things out. And they couldn’t care less about your org chart. They’re looking for solid advice and personal attention.
Delivering on that can get complicated, though, and how you manage the experience can help alleviate confusion. Offer simple, clear direction and avoid financial jargon wherever you can. Create easy-to-understand tools that help people navigate the process. Be transparent and informative. When customers feel comfortable in your office or on your website, they’ll know they have the right financial partner.
People don’t care about the financial system. They care about their finances (and trust that you will too).
Address people’s anxiety before they
Whether people come to your company with their personal finances or those of their business, there can be stressful moments along the way. And while you can’t control interest rates or cash flow or deductibles, you can control how that information is delivered.
What you say to your customers and how you say it can help assuage their fears and concerns. Start by considering things from their point of view. Then craft communications that present your brand as a stable, reliable place to work through challenges and capture opportunities.
Don’t underestimate the role that fear can play in financial matters. Or the ability of a strong brand to alleviate those fears.
Deliver the information that people are already
Welcome to a world with a million financial experts, and they’re all online. When you consider investments, insurance, and everything in between, people have access to more information than ever before. But is it trustworthy? Timely? Tailored to their needs? Not likely.
So when you offer information, be proactive and accessible. Use your web presence to provide relevant and reliable communications—not just for customers, but for intermediaries and other stakeholders as well. As you become their go-to source, you’ll gain their confidence and build long-term trust.
Start conversations with people long before a face-to-face meeting. It can create a lasting relationship.
ONE BRAND VOICE.
It’s no surprise that people tend to trust other people more than they trust institutions. That’s all the more reason why your brand voice—the way you sound, look, and feel—should be consistent across your staff as well as your printed and digital communications.
This doesn’t mean handing them a script so they sound like an army of drones. But it does mean educating them about your brand vision and values, and helping them act and speak in a way that reflects those ideas. As your team brings your brand to life, the service they provide will be more authentic, more effective, and ultimately, more trustworthy.
When you share an authentic story, it becomes compelling. When people deliver that story, it becomes real.