Picture yourself walking into your branch — except in this moment, you’re not a branch leader or employee. Instead, pretend you’re a customer who has never visited the financial institution, and you’re interested in opening an account.
You open the door and step into the building. What happens next?
Are you greeted at the entryway, or left to navigate the lobby solo? When you meet with a representative about opening the account, is that person friendly and informative, or bored and inattentive? Do they convey that they are an expert and are there to help you with all your financial needs, or are they simply there to take your order?
What they say is true: first impressions leave a lasting impression. Everything that happens from the moment a potential new account holder walks into your branch ultimately determines whether that person leaves with an account — or takes their business elsewhere.
As a CEO, CFO, or CMO of a bank or credit union, you can’t be at the front door to greet every member or potential customer who walks in. It’s unfeasible and impractical. Your expertise is needed elsewhere.
So how can you control the in-branch experience? By training the people who do meet face-to-face with potential account holders daily to leverage effective banking retail strategies. How do you sustain the training? Set the expectations and hold them accountable.
Set Your Frontline Staff Up for Success
An effective training program often means the difference between missing the opportunity to provide exceptional service and hit monthly sales goals, and the satisfaction of consistently exceeding them.
That’s why Kasasa® includes comprehensive and tailored training with the launch of all of our deposit products. Our Retail Experience Development (RED) team provides training to community financial institutions (CFIs) nationwide and equips their team with game-changing retail best practices.
Training includes e-learning modules, coaching certification, and mystery shopping that empowers CFIs to effectively set expectations, encourage best practices, measure results, and reward high-performing employees.
And of course, every FI is different; there is not just one formula for success. But that’s the beauty of it —combinations of these ingredients are tailored to your needs and can be applied in a variety of ways to generate revenue-driving results.
Advice from the Frontlines
We polled our top performing Kasasa® FIs to learn which of our best practices they’ve found most effective. Here’s what they had to say about what’s working for them beyond the training room and out in the real world:
- Regularly review performance — and reward employees who go the extra mile. “Kasasa ‘mystery shops’ our branch by calling us, asking about products as if they’re one of our members, then providing us with a score on how the call went. Afterward, I have a one-on-one meeting with the employee who took the call to provide feedback. If need be, I’ll spend a little time role-playing with employees to make sure they are confident and comfortable the next time they take a similar call from one of our actual members. Employees like it because when they get high scores, they also get recognition ‘bucks’ redeemable for prizes in our credit union catalogue.” — Jennifer Loftus, HR Training & Development Manager, Coastline Federal Credit Union
- Make it a team sport. “We put staff into teams weeks before [the Kasasa product] Kick Off so that they could start to gel right from the beginning. They picked Kasasa team names and each worked together to create a 1-2 minute video to present at Kick Off, which they planned during regular huddles. Even after Kick Off, the teams continue to huddle regularly to discuss Newton Federal service standards and Kasasa training, tips, best practices, challenges, and solutions. Because the teams are so close, the communication during huddles is highly productive and really helps everyone stay focused on our goals.” — Kala Aldridge, Sales and Service Coordinator, Newton Federal Bank
- Utilize online tools to get everyone on the same (web) page. “We’ve found the best way to keep everyone on track is by making everything available on our internal online platform. We post sales goals, progress, training tips, best practices — you name it. And, our staff always has the Kasasa Determining Needs guide so they can quickly reference and use it during daily conversations with members. Monthly updates are also shared with staff on where we stand in relation to our goals and objectives.” —Taylor Shigemoto, Business Development Account Executive, Kauai Community Federal Credit Union
- Ensure new hires are on board from the get-go. “All of our new hires go through the entire Kasasa eLearning program so they can fully explain the features and benefits of the products to our customers. I also have a monthly meeting with Kasasa representatives from each of our branches to establish monthly goals and share best practices.” — Marie Krause, Personal Banker and Kasasa Champion, Pioneer Bank
- Make your manual your mantra. “We use the COACH program as the basis for debriefing client interactions with employees, and for giving feedback in HR conversations. I even use it during mock interviews with our student members so that they can benefit from the best practices outlined in the program. COACH has become a part of everything we do, really.” — Tyler Young, HR Administrator and Kasasa Champion, Texas Tech FCU
Interested in learning more? This article by our VP of Retail Experience, Melissa Thinger, digs even deeper into the nitty-gritty behind successful banking retail strategies. Read it to further familiarize yourself and apply these best practices on your own, or contact Kasasa to put our RED team expertise to work for your frontline sales staff.