Wells Fargo’s recent headlines regarding their bank-wide account opening scandal, resulting in numerous fines, staff replacements and goal reorganizations, has effectively changed the conversation about cross-selling across the financial industry. As cross-selling and customer share-of-wallet continue to top the list of organizational goals for financial institutions, there is now a more apparent responsibility to ensure that these sales are being made sensibly, with the customer’s best interests in mind.
The financial industry as a whole is now being forced to take a look at cross-sell practices, as both customers raise their eyebrows (and inquires) and internal accountabilities require it. In response to their own scandal, Wells Fargo has eliminated associate product goals. Instead, they are choosing to focus and incentivize on “service scores” for each of their retail banking associates. Meaning, there is a renewed emphasis on providing the best customer service, rather than incentivizing on increasing share of wallet.
So the question for all in the financial industry now becomes: how do we continue to drive increases in customer share of wallet (or household product relationship growth) without incenting staff in a way that would create similar problems to those experienced at Wells Fargo?
There are three answers that strike a balance between growth and responsibility:
- Customer Education. Using financial education resources, customers are able to better educate themselves on financial products and services at various points in their financial life. Furthermore, the content being consumed by customers allows the bank to create better dialogue with their customers and provide solutions that would truly benefit from to improve their financial life. With both sides of the conversation better prepared, the risk of unhealthy cross-sells diminishes.
- Training. An integral step in this process must focus on staff training. The more staff knows and understands about responsible cross-selling, the better positioned the bank is from a cultural standpoint. Incentive structures also need to strike a balance between rewarding staff while not being lucrative enough to want to take advantage of the system.
- Direct Communication. The last piece of the puzzle is opening the door for customers to connect with the right bank staff member at the right time. For instance, a customer preparing for retirement is able to connect with a financial advisor from the bank. With direct links in place to the right representatives, customers will find that they have much more productive conversations. And staff will not risk the possibility of making a frivolous referral, or worse, attempting to cross-sell products or financial services they do not understand.
Learn more about how these three initiatives can be a part of your 2017 cross-sell plan. Download Truebridge’s FREE white paper on cross-selling through content, or directly connect with us to find out more.