Bank on Wipfli - Blog and Podcast


Frequent Flyer Status . . . and the Long Lost “L” Word!

Feb 01, 2017
Financial Institutions

In addition to flying frequently as part of our extended Wipfli consulting footprint, my husband and I do as much traveling as we can, while we can. As frequent fliers on a major airline with a Minneapolis hub, the benefits we receive as a “preferred customer” with this airline have created loyalty on our behalf that would make it challenging for us to book with any other airline. I am sure the day will come when our travel is more limited and that status is diminished, but for now, the relationship is secure. 

That analogy is one I use often with banking clients when asking the strategic question, “Who are your best customers, and what are you doing to ensure your relationship with them is secure?” While this is an age-old question, few community banks are doing this as well as they could. Community banks across the country readily cite some combination of local decision making, quality of customer service, and years of being in business as their competitive advantage. Yet the lack of data analytics and a robust CRM system (despite the decreasing costs of both) are too often lacking as critical investments for understanding and differentiating a bank’s customer base.

The 80/20 rule is alive and well, and the “big guys” know readily who the 20% of a competitor community bank’s clients they would most like to “pick off” and woo to their site or mobile app or personal relationship are. Wipfli’s service offerings related to CRM and our business intelligence dashboards specifically designed for community banks are state of the art! See our website or talk with your relationship executive for more on these important offerings to assist your community bank with a thorough understanding of how you can increase your knowledge of your coveted “best customers” and the depth and breadth of your relationship with them.

That brings us to the long lost “L” word! In a dialogue recently with a colleague at Wipfli whose client had experienced some turnover of a trusted advisor, my colleague said, “Terry, we just need to show this client a lot of LOVE right now!” With Valentine’s Day around the corner as the next big “event” in the Hallmark, floral, and chocolate world, showing your best customers “a lot of love” is not only timely, it makes sense. All customers are not created equal. The most profitable 20%-30% likely subsidize to some extent the bottom 30%-40%. Identifying your bank’s “frequent flier” customers with whatever definition you use, whether it is profitability, depth and breadth of relationship, or a definition more unique to your bank, knowing your customers through facts and data analytics is vital to making sure you are paying enough attention and providing the “love” that is critical to retention of the ones you most want to keep. It just could build deeper loyalty and create those coveted referrals.

Which customers make your “frequent flier list” . . . and why?

We value your relationship! Happy upcoming Valentine’s Day!

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