Watch for the unexpected
“There are always a few surprises along the way,” says Mach.
“It’s how you handle those surprises that makes the differ-
ence with your new customers—with honesty, integrity and
doing what’s right….”
She adds, “Quirky data issues always seem to surface as you
begin mapping the acquired institution’s customers. Marketers
need to make the acquired institutions [information technol-
ogy] and operations staff their best friends.”
It is critical to partner with a firm that has been through
this before, Hall observes. “They should be a critical member
of your marketing conversion team—talking [you] through
the various required notifications, the recommended letters
to customers and how the data processing conversion really
happens. You can have the best marketing in the world, but
if no one is reading it, what’s the point?”
In the end, all these communication efforts are designed
to retain customers and strengthen their relationships with
their new bank. Making new customers feel comfortable with
the conversion process is the best way to preserve the value
of the acquired franchise.
“Consistency in branding and messaging can be integral to
your success,” says Mach. “This is time to convey the benefits
of becoming a customer of your bank and create a favorable
customer experience, before, during and after the customer’s
“Remember, you are vulnerable during times of change.
Your competitors know this and will try to take advantage
of the market opportunity.” n
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
CHARLES “CHARLIE” GROSS is senior vice president with
WordCom Inc., Ellington, Conn., a target marketing company serving the banking industry. He was a bank marketer
before joining the firm. Website: www.wordcom-inc.com.
There are always a few surprises. It’s how you handles those
surprises that makes the difference.