Regions bank customer service
The largest subsidiary of Rainier Bancorporation, Rainier National Bank is Washington state’s second largest commercial bank, with 141 locations throughout the state. In addition, the bank operates 156 automated teller machines (ATMs), including 39 branch lobby machines.
Founded in 1X89, Rainier is one of the organizers of the ACCEL network with more than 1,400 ATMs in the Pacific Northwest, as well as a founding member of the PLUS SYSTEM of more than 17,000 shared ATMs in 47 states, Canada, Japan and the United Kingdom.
Rainier Bancorporation is a Seattle-based multi-bank holding company with consolidated total assets of $9.3 billion at December 31, 1987. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Security Pacific Corporation of Los Angeles, Rainier operates three commercial banks and a savings bank throughout the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. Regions bank customer service is most important for us.
TELEPHON BANKING SERVICE 24 HOURS A DAY
DirecTrust, a Canadian trust company subsidiary, has chosen to build its business around an innovative telemarketing distribution route. A division of the $1 -billion, six-branch Counsel Trust, DirecTrust was set up in September 1986 as an alternative to the parent company’s strategy of distributing linancial products primarily through independent agents.
Counsel’s past locus had always been on providing the best rates in town, but, in order to grow, they needed lo reduce their cost of funds to give them a competitive advantage. “We had to have a different distribution system,” says George Hopkinson, vice president and general manager for DirecTrust. The idea of a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week banking operation entirely transacted over the phone was born.
Not content to rely on their own telemarketing hunches, Hopkinson and his colleagues did some in-depth checking into their proposed scheme. Their first step: a fact linding tour of an Amsterdam firm, Direct Bank, that had built up an extremely successful telemarketing operation in less than two years. Next, they tested the concept on potential Canadian buyers, initially through focus group interviews, followed by a random mail survey of 1 ,000 consumers.
DirecTrust’s research was targeted at a select group of Canadians. Hopkinson characterizes these consumers: “People who want convenience; people who are busy; annual income, $40,000 plus; better than $10,000 in deposits; but a wide range of ages.” Initial response was better than even Hopkinson dared hope. “We found that about 35% of our target market was interested; 4% were definitely interested.”
Confident that the odds favored its success, DirecTrust began to set up shop. A customer-oriented database management computer system was the first order of business. “We had to make massive changes to our system,” admits Hopkinson, “so we could handle calls quickly and easily plus deal with all the back-up procedures.” A team of four specialists devoted live months to the reprogramming task at a cost of $100,000.
In tandem, a search for telemarketing talent was launched. Based on research done on other telemarketing companies within and outside the financial services industry, Hopkinson’s task force settled on an initial team of 10 staff, all university students or recent graduates. Key criteria for selection were communication skills, sales experience, intelligence, and financial product knowledge, in that order (Fig. 3.2). However, in the eight-week training course, the role of product knowledge was pushed right to the front.
Explains Hopkinson, “We felt that it was important that you got a feeling of expertise when you talked to them on the phone.” Service is another major subject of study for Direc-Trust’s sales staff and is also encouraged through a system of service quality tracking. For example, measurements are taken daily of the percentage of calls answered within DirecTrust’s set service level — within 10 seconds of the first ring.
Tagged with the designation, “Personal Financial Representatives,” DirecTrust’s telemarketers receive a compensation package that includes a good base salary plus a small commission paid on each sale. This commission can make up as much as one-third of the total remuneration. Further, if as a DirecTrust Personal Financial Representative you’ve taken the time to warm up a customer but are off duty when the actual sale is made, you don’t lose out — half the commission on that transaction is yours.
This ensures that the customer doesn’t get the run-around line, “I’m sorry you’ll have to talk to your own rep, please call back.” Affirms Hopkinson, “We want our clients to be able to do business any time of the day,” a convenience of which DirecTrust customers take full advantage, with over 30% of all calls occurring outside traditional banking hours.
DirecTrust’s direct response experiment, launched in September 1986, can be termed a respectable success. At the end of December 1987, accounts totalled 3,100 with assets just under $82 million.
SAN ANTONIO SAVINGS ASSOCIATION
TWO SERVICES IN ONE LOCATION
San Antonio Savings Association found it possible to cater to the convenience needs of two customer groups in one location. Although the firm has implemented some very successful programs aimed at specific audiences (for example, the upper 20% of its customer base), it is still a mass retailer, and as such, has multiple consumer groups clamoring for its attention.
For the “get-out-quick” set, San Antonio’s new branch prototype offers express teller line-ups, ATMs, and drive-through service. On the other hand, those who want to sit and visit for a spell can relax in the sit-down transactional areas. The new style branch has met with approval from both customer sets.
MORE TO CONSIDER THAN CONVENIENCE
Where you place your branch is more than simply a promise of customer convenience. Ft is a statement of which group of customers you’d like to attract and how you want your company to be viewed by those customers.
Of course, a corollary to this is that the image you are trying to project with your delivery network must dovetail with the personalities of the people you would like to attract as clients. As an example, First Nationwide Bank has a hub branch in the traditional style for every eight to ten K mart outlets, to cater to the preference of some clients for an element of conservatism in their banking relationships.
As the bank’s president, Robert Lackovic, explains, “If you locate in Beverly Hills, that in itself is a marketing expression that you are seeking to serve an upscale segment. It is just the converse with us; we are not in those areas deliberately because we are a middle-income company.”
Have you done your research homework in determining the Where in your strategy?
– Just over half of the 23 firms in this book include queries on delivery systems in their consumer market research programs
Have you considered the use of different methods of delivering different financial products?
– Again, most (just under 95%) have at least considered that the
delivery of different products may be more effective using unique channels of distribution; for example, a direct mail drop for a simple product versus the personal delivery of a more com
– And again, fewer (just over 57%) have implemented different delivery strategies for different financial products
Have you looked beyond the brick and mortar concept of branch location in an attempt to provide better and more convenient access for your customers?
– Vlany (approximately 60%) have implemented an automated teller machine system
– Well over three-quarters have included in their marketing plans alternative delivery options such as telemarketing or the use of a nontraditional sales force
Have you kept the look and location of your outlets consistent with your company’s overall corporate image?
– Nearly all (over 84%.) do take into account corporate image when designing and building offices and outlets.