The Power of Referrals

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Are you doing all you can to get new business and retain longtime customers?

MidSouth Bank teller Patsy Poirier keeps the “Four Rs of Referral” taped to her desk. She received them during a training seminar and knew the information was something she didn’t want to forget. More hints Recognize an opportunity. Respond to a need. Review the need. Request the action. Those four Rs are what have helped to grow not only Poirier’s own St. Martinville client base but also the community bank that employs her.midsouth-bank_blog_power-of-referrals_4-rs

“You have to listen to your customers and hear what they have to say,” she says. “They give you a lot of clues.”

Some of these clues can be life changes or major events happening for a customer. “We always look for new additions to the family and even college funds and graduations,” Poirier explains. She says new babies are an opportunity for savings accounts opened by both parents and grandparents. “It’s a big opportunity, because we want those little people to bank with us in the future,” she adds.

Listening can also help with customer retention and getting new business from old clients. Poirier works in the drive-thru, and it’s part of her job to know when a customer’s almost finished paying their mortgage or when their loan balance is getting low.

“You’re trying to get their attention,” she says. “I had a customer the other day who said he’s almost finished paying his mortgage and was thinking about getting a camper. I said, ‘Come and see us; we can give you a good rate.’”

According to an August 2016 article in The Financial Brand, “one of the easiest and most steady sources of new business and related revenue is to reach out to current customers for additional business.” The article recommends helping customers use an account they already own, continuing the conversation with customers through email, direct mail, statement messaging or SMS texts, empowering employees who interact directly with customers, and just straight up asking for referrals.

Because the drive-thru leaves little time for chit chat, Poirier often does business outside of the bank and after hours. Wearing her MidSouth T-shirt to the ballpark for her son’s game helped to spark a conversation with someone who lived close to a Lafayette branch but didn’t bank there. Poirier convinced him to go in and meet with someone about transferring his business.

“We have so many branches out there, and if customers see we really want to have their business, they’ll find out we have a lot to offer,” she says.












Source: HubSpot

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