What makes a financial brand stand out? Is it employees volunteering at a local event?  Is it sponsoring an initiative? Maybe it’s the interactions a customer experiences while visiting the branch?  Whatever it is, community heroes are constantly leaving their mark. From supporting small businesses to uplifting employees, here’s how Community Heroes Empower, Ignite, and Enable their communities:

 

Empower

 

Community heroes empower local businesses. “In 2019, [community bankers] had only 12 percent of total industry assets and 15 percent of total industry loans. Despite holding a small share of total loans, community banks are a key provider of funding for many local businesses” and play an instrumental role in empowering small business leaders.

 

Loans provide an opportunity for community bankers to connect. They are often used as a relationship building tool. Through local knowledge and personal touch, community bankers can empower small business owners to follow their dreams.

 

As the economy continues to recover, businesses are reopening to pent up demand. One of the triumphs of the last 18 months is how community banks offered a financial lifeline to people and businesses, which deserves an applause. Customers came to banks for assistance seeking so much more than just products and services. They were seeking an ear to listen and a hand to help. Community bankers provided personalized financial assistance, online communication tailored to the user, and a long-term partnership with those in need.

 

The way they responded to this crisis has earned them much respect and trust that will empower small businesses for years to come.

 

Pro Tip:

Storytelling is a powerful tool.  Post on your financial brand’s social media or newsletter and let customers know how you’re making a difference in the community trough social good and local initiatives.

 

Ignite

 

 

 

Community Banks ignite cultural impact from the inside out.

 

For financial brands, it’s easy to always think about the output: How many loans did we give out? How many accounts signed up for? What are our numbers for this month? But what often is forgotten is the internal employees that are putting in extra effort to make all of this happen.

 

Each financial brand crafts its own personality and character; their branding. Part of establishing your branding is focusing on how your employees leave a positive mark on customers. 

 

Customer engagement at your bank or credit union begins with your employees. When culture starts from the top down, employees are ignited to show up, make connections, and change lives. When your employees feel engaged, they become advocates for your brand and are a part of crafting the culture from the inside out.

 

Defining and nurturing your workplace culture is a long-term investment. Take time to invest in your employees’ personal lives, listen to their opinions and offerings, and encourage them to attend community outreach events. 

 

Community Hero, Amber Farley, is a perfect example of igniting her employees. Watch the clip below to see how she encourages her people.

 

 

Pro Tip:

Praise and recognize the impact your employees are making; this will help drive them toward further involvement. Take a couple of minutes each week to ask what your employees are doing in the community and hear how they are making a difference.

 

Enable 

 

 

 

Community bankers enabled neighbors to rise above the crisis. Today, the banking landscape looks a little different, with fewer trips to the branch and a variety of financial services available at one’s fingertips. Community banks embraced this, allowing customers to continue banking comfortably through the pandemic. The latest technology-enabled products and services became a necessity rather than a luxury. With the right technology, community heroes continue to build relationships long after the customers leave the local branch.  

 

The pandemic showed how technology can augment community relationship banking. Community heroes enabled their customers to stay connected through social media and through mobile-friendly banking platforms. Personalization based on customer goals and priorities has become a focus for financial brands. As financial brands continue to explore digital innovation, they deserve a shout out for enabling customers during these tough times. 

 

Pro Tip:

Use targeted communication when interacting with customers digitally. Find something that resonates with them or call them by first name. This will show the customenr that you know them and that you recognize their loyalty to your financial brand

 

Now isn’t that remarkable? There are so many heroes in the financial services industry that are constantly empowering, igniting, and enabling their employees and their customers. Hear from our community of financial brands and the remarkable things they are doing in marketing, community and sales by checking out our Community Heroes Vlog series! https://socialassurance.com/vlog/

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Author: Sydney Long

Sydney Long is a Content and Campaigns contributor for Social Assurance. When she’s not helping develop strategic content, she loves to go on runs, drink coffee, and travel.

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