Imagine if instead of fumbling through a maze of 1-800 numbers to find product experts spanning across multiple offices within one bank, there was one person who brought together all of these experts on behalf of your business needs.
This common-sense approach, known as a relationship management model, focuses on the “big picture” of what customers need from a financial partner to achieve their goals. Which means, rather than a model that encourages one-off products and services, a dedicated banker—with the experience and knowledge of the customer’s business—can draw upon the bank’s best talent on that customer’s behalf.
This encourages cross-pollination and collaboration instead of siloed thinking. Surprisingly, though, in 2019, it’s a rare model in the community commercial banking world.
Why? Mergers, for starters. All successful banks have mergers and acquisitions. But there’s a difference between those that put the customer relationship first and those who apply a standard corporate methodology without considering the historic relationship and knowledge between a relationship manager and their customer.
Relationship managers improve the customer experience by fostering relationships, not transactions, with local service teams, providing service continuity, local decision making, and access to products and services.
Case in point: A large property management company in the Seattle area processes more than 3,000 rent check transactions each month and more than 1,500 monthly automated clearing house (ACH) transactions. They required owner-occupied real estate financing and corporate credit card processing.
The customer’s multi-faceted banking needs were customized at Heritage Bank by a dedicated service team quarterbacked by the relationship manager. The customer continues to have access to a full suite of banking services through a single point of contact.
Stories like this are why the relationship management model makes sense for commercial customers. Together, they implement a system based on their understanding of the customer’s needs, including online technology platforms that drive efficiency and enhance data security.