"Strategic insight combined with clear, concise and actionable solutions"

David Kerstein

It’s a confusing world. Every week we get calls from clients asking for guidance on new technology, and new digital strategies.

 

How do you choose? With the current technology sprint, it’s often hard to make sense of it all –the iPhone, after all, is only 10 years old.

 

Digital transformation is critical to the industry, and critical to your bank’s success. How do you determine which strategies are right for your bank now?

 

If we were to write a “how to” manual for textbook implementation, there would be ten key takeaways:

 

  1. Define a digital strategy—and be bullish. Are you aspiring to be the most digitally advanced community bank in your market? Is your goal to flesh out certain products? Step back, pick a customer- oriented strategy that will guide your journey. Without this, it’s easy to fall into the trap of chasing the latest “shiny object.”
  2. Build for Millennials and you’ll succeed with all age groups. Digital adoption and migration is happening across all age groups but at different paces. The lag between younger and older cohorts is shrinking—but experience with social media and bank technology adoption shows that what the 21-year-old consumer uses today, your 55-year-old customers will use three years from now. Develop for your younger customers, learn from that experience, and you will ultimately serve your broader base.
  3. Include the compliance team early in the process. Taking a regulation crafted in the early 1990s and interpreting it for today’s digital world is not easy. The compliance group will need time and will appreciate the upfront engagement.
  4. Select the right technology partner – this is especially important with FinTechs. Culture fit is critical. Spend time learning each other’s institutions. As with any partnership, the fit needs to make sense. Does the FinTech share the same commitment to the customer experience as your bank?
  5. Confront and discuss the obvious. FinTech firms operate at lightning speed through dedicated project management operations and agile processes—while banks are historically conservative and slow. Both partners need to meet in the middle and work at a mutually comfortable and challenging pace. Recognize that your partner needs you and your loyal customers, just as you need them and their technology. What’s more, you can learn from each other. Your bank will better implement projects, ranging from IT to product development, after learning agile project management methods from your FinTech partners.
  6. Drive the process by creating company-wide buzz. You are about to embark on something exciting. Get all your employees excited as well. Start communications early and keep the momentum going. It will result in better implementation and create enthusiasm that will impact your entire organization.
  7. Don’t settle for anything less than full integration with existing systems. Often the initial response from your IT group, or your core vendor, is “I’m not sure that this can really be done.” It can be done: Don’t take “no” for an answer.
  8. Introduce your solution in stages. These include pilot, soft launch and full launch—and don’t be afraid to make changes on the fly. FinTech firms excel at testing “proof of concept” and then rapidly improving based on actual customer experience.
  9. Keep your brand front and center. It is what your customers trust. If your FinTech partner values promoting their brand above all else, then you’ve chosen the wrong partner.
  10. Don’t stop innovating. Again, it’s a journey. Take the first step in moving from an operating model (where products and processes are built and managed internally) to a more efficient model of utilizing “best in breed.” The payoff is significant.
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The idea of the “Universal Branch Employee” is not new, but what makes it critical at this point in time is the need to improve sales growth and manage cost while branch transactions are declining.

 

In this 2-part series, Ric Carey, Director for Peak Performance Consulting Group, will cover best practices, including:

 

  • Recruiting and training
  • Branch design and technology
  • Job positions, incentives
  • Implementation strategies

 

Please join Ric for this informative webinar on October 31. An archived copy of the webinar will be available to all attendees to share with your team, or view later if you are not able to attend “live”.  More information or Register.

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Banks are paying renewed attention to Bank-at-Work.

 

Bank-at-Work programs make a lot of sense – they are a way to leverage relationships you already have with businesses, and a way to generate consistent levels of new consumer accounts.

 

These programs are especially effective for Community Banks. For some commercially oriented banks this is their consumer acquisition strategy. And for those that struggle with small business profitability, this is a way to double the income from smaller clients.

 

But success requires program structure: targeting, cross line-of-business coordination, the right sales focus and marketing support.

 

In this 5 minute video, Peak Performance consultant Paul Corrigan, outlines the 7 key elements for success.

 

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Peak Performance Consulting Group has been selected for the 2017 Austin Award in the Consulting Services category. The Austin Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of businesses throughout the Austin, Texas area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

 

Peak Performance Consulting Group is based in Austin, TX and serves clients nationally. Peak is a leading firm helping banks, credit unions and other financial services companies grow customers, grow revenue and improve effectiveness.

 

Peak is the founder and owner of four of the largest banking related groups on LinkedIn: Retail Banking Network, Bank and Financial Services Marketing, Bank and Financial Services Training and HR, and Bank and Financial Services Innovation and Technology. In addition, Peak recently received the Constant Contact All Star Award for the top 10% of newsletters during 2016 in customer engagement, relevant content and readership.

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Everyone believes service quality is important, especially for high value clients. But how well does your service quality program work? Does it only measure customer facing staff in branches and call centers, or does it encompass every aspect of your organization?

 

Please join Ric Carey, Director at Peak Performance Consulting Group, on October 9 to learn best practices for creating and maintaining a superior service quality culture with branches as well as back office departments.


Understand how Service Quality programs integrate into branch incentive plans, plays into department managers bonus and how service quality can be recognized and rewarded within the total organization.

 

Highlights:

  • Learn how one institution created an environment where everyone was focused on providing exceptional service quality.
  • Learn the criteria/components utilized for measuring service quality for the branch network as well as back room departments
  • Learn service quality programs were integrated into incentive and bonus programs throughout the bank.
  • How to integrate service quality into day to day operations.
  • Learn some very basic, yet effective ways to recognize and reward superior service quality.
  • Learn how the front line measured the service quality of each back-office operation.

 

For more information, please go to: http://bit.ly/2yj5qjl

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Branches have lost much of their reason to exist because routine transactions such as depositing checks and transferring money are increasingly done on computers or phones.

 

But banks need branches because many customers still pick their bank based on whether it has a nearby branch. Important product sales still happen there.

How many branches do you need? Which markets, or locations, should you decrease — and where should you invest?

 

In this Wall Street Journal article, Peak Performance consultant and former head of distribution strategy and execution at Bank of America, Jon Voorhees, discusses how BofA closed branches, and re-focused on growth markets.

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