These days, many people are increasingly tired of big banks that don’t personalize the banking experience. While major banks might not be able to scale back their size, they can begin offering a more personal feel when they serve customers. Of course, smaller community banks can do the same.
Banks of all sizes can start by reaching out to the communities that they’re in and providing some level of localization based on the area’s specific needs. These are a few ways in which they can localize their offerings.
Get to Know Each Community’s Identity
Communities across the country all have their own quirks based on several factors that come together to create an identity. Any bank that sets out to serve the community should learn what this identity is and adapt its messaging accordingly.
The first way to do this is to incorporate the name of the community into the signage around the bank. The same can be done when it comes to any pamphlets or other paperwork that customers will see at the branch. This makes it clear that everything at the bank is personalized for the community, not simply given to banks in every other location.
Community banks can go one step farther than this by referring to anything else that makes each community special, aside from just the name. For example, if there is a well-known nickname, landmark, or award the community has won, this can be mentioned in signage and paperwork.
Don’t Rely Too Much on Technology
Technology has its advantages and can definitely make any bank more efficient. But it can also make it feel really impersonal to customers. This is especially the case in communities where the residents are used to seeing the same employees at the businesses they frequent.
If the community your bank is in has a small-town feel, it’s best to keep it that way by not replacing employees with machines. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t use the latest technology at all. It’s just best to keep a balance, with some long-time employees mixed in with the technology the bank needs to run smoothly.
For instance, you can offer technology to customers who feel comfortable with it — such as multilingual ATMs — but consider always having a few bank tellers and other employees around to answer questions. They can also be there to conduct friendly conversations with the customers who seem to want a more personal, genuine feel in a community bank.
Employ Language Localization at Each Bank
Another way to personalize the experience for community bank customers is to localize both written and spoken language. You can start by having tellers available who speak the languages that are most often used in your community.
You should also make sure all marketing materials and other documents are presented in a few different languages, depending on the area. Take note that even if most people in the community speak English, you should still localize written material for the specific area.
After all, different states in the US have different slang and popular phrases, which means you probably won’t be able to use the exact same paperwork from coast to coast if you want your bank to resonate with each community. Pay attention to the language diversity in the states where your banks are operating.
Following these tips for localization can help any bank be readily accepted by its community.