by Rich Edwards Jan 5, 2022


Dear *|FNAME|*, making it personal, not personalized

One in a million, Photo by Veronica Benavides on Unsplash

I just spoke with a community bank leader who felt that their organization had been out matched by national banks & fintech companies.

“We don’t have anything left to offer our customers now.”

The path out of a mindset like this is the very thing that has long differentiated community financial institutions: customer intimacy.

Not just the proximity of branches, but real personal service.

Not personalized, but personal.

Getting deeper into what really drives your customers points to where you can show up to help. So you have to start by asking questions*:

  • What major milestones are they about to go through? Which are they making plans for?
  • What do they care about? What issues/causes/aspirations will move them to action?
  • How do they interact with you? Channel? Frequency and how recently?*

These questions and more help you get to a personal level of understanding so you can engage in a truly personal way at every interaction.

Not personalized.


*These are not trite questions. Understanding your existing customers and prospects at this level of detail can help you build an engagement process that yields drastically lower acquisition costs and market leading wallet share/retention.

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