Expressing gratitude is a key differentiator between those who are succeeding right now and those who are not.
More and more states are relaxing lock-down protocols. The “curve” appears to have flattened and the economy shows at least some signs of improving.
Most credit unions and community banks have focused on initial communication with their consumers. That's great, but as we enter the next phase, how you communicate your brand will need to evolve.
Expressing gratitude is a key focal point of this communication pivot.
It has been a rocky road for financial institutions and their consumers. As lockdowns lift and lobbies open, expressing authentic gratitude for your members' and customers' continued support is critical.
Here's what this has looked like in the past:
- "Thanks for choosing us."
- "You could do your banking anywhere, so we're grateful you chose us."
- "We're here to serve you because you're part of our family."
Now, you must up your gratitude game or risk sounding trite.
As credit unions and community banks all leave the arena, bruised and battered, after battling coronavirus, you must be ready to stand out with your brand. The phrases and words you used in the past will likely fall flat now.
In your marketing, branding and content delivery strategies, ensure gratitude is a central message.
Embrace a sense of camaraderie. Let your consumers know how much you appreciate their understanding as we had to fundamentally change the way we interact with each other.
Let them know how much appreciate their business. Over-communicate any changes they can expect to see (for example, distancing dots on the floors, employees wearing masks, Plexiglas barriers, etc.). Make sure they know you're doing these things just as much for them as you are your own employees.
Clearly express gratitude for them both in your marketing messages and in your staff's interactions with them.
Every consumer must be fully aware of the sincere gratitude you feel toward them at all times.
If anything, the coronavirus has heightened the importance of expressing gratitude. As inspirational author William Arthur Ward noted "feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping up a present and not giving it."
Your members and customers stuck with you through the pandemic. Make sure you deliver, in every way possible, the gift of gratitude in return. This is one of the surest ways to accelerate your growth even now.