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More Customers Seeking A Change

Big Bank Has A Big Head Start In Awareness

Add Women And Stir Doesn’t Work


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Experience Matters

Use your call center to keep customers close


Women And Leadership Diversity without inclusion can’t succeed



An early look at Chase Bank in Massachusetts and Rhode Island






New England household and businesses looking to switch banks


Customer Service

Prioritizing old customers over new




News from the Banking New England Newsletter

Christine Bascetta-Gath, Litchfield Bancorp

Did You See?



Highlights from the Consumer Lending Summit, Community Heroes and Great New England Credit Union Show


On The Move

Comings and goings of New England bankers



Agenda for the 2019 New England Financial Marketing Association Spring Conference



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New England Financial Marketing Association Spring Conference Agenda

2019 NEFMA SPRING CONFERENCE May 9-10 | Providence, RI

NEFMA’S Spring Conference features keynotes, case studies, and panels from some of the best minds in the marketing industry! Topics include marketing strategies in branding in new market areas, disruption and technology, internal branding, media, creative, data and attribution. Gain actionable takeaways from specific marketing disciplines!


For more information and to sign up visit www.nefma.org.

Great New England Credit Show

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Anything But Banking




COVER STORY: Make them stay before they go



If defecting are customers for, ting worth figh banks how should ight? f pick up the

3/4/19 3:41 PM



The Conundrum Of Keeping Customers


n our package of cover stories this month, one thing is abundantly clear: It’s damn hard not just to get new customers, but to keep them. Of course, banks and credit unions have always faced attrition. Heck, at the least sometimes customers simply move away, while others inevitably pass away. But what’s going on these days is more than business as usual – or what used to be defined as usual. We lean, once more, into the treasure of trove of data produced by Bruce Paul’s company, Customer Experience Solutions. CES is in the survey business, but it looks at its research more as a pure science. Its benchmarking reports aren’t commissioned by any institution. CES polls tens of thousands of local consumers on their financial practices, without any questions tilted toward any particular banking institution. On the front end of data collection, there’s no bias introduced. And with so many voices speaking up in an independent fashion, it’s wise to listen. What they’re saying is that they are leaving, or likely to leave, their current banking relationships in much larger numbers than we’ve seen in the past. And that’s what makes our companion article on what bankers can do to keep their top 100 customers from fleeing so intriguing and worth spending a little time with. THE MARKETING IMPERATIVE None of that, however, will give credit union or community bank leaders a foolproof plan to stop disintermediation. There are just too many new fintech companies popping up, too many big banks using their sheer size and resources to overwhelm the market. For the community financial institution, it’s always going to be a war for customers. And that war is waged on the marketing front. Which is why, if your bank or CU isn’t aware of the New England Financial Marketing Association, this would be a good time to get acquainted. This is a decades-old group of marketing directors, agency leaders, PR professionals and more. NEFMA is a good cauldron of marketing initiatives, with shareable ideas bubbling up and over at each meeting. Its next conference is happening in early May, but if you miss it there’s another coming up this fall. We’ve got an inside look at the gathering coming up in Providence, and we hope you check out the terrific agenda the organization’s planned. Our story this issue on what Chase Bank’s entry to the Massachusetts and Rhode Island markets will mean is based on a presentation to be given at the conference. It’s a good indicator of the kind of high-level thoughtful material that marketers need to succeed. You can change all you want about your bank to be competitive, but you don’t get customers without marketing. And you don’t keep them without reminding them that you’re staying ahead of the competition.




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A Call For More Humanity CALL CENTERS PRESENT AN OPPORTUNITY TO MAINTAIN THE HUMAN TOUCH By Michael S. Kirkpatrick, Special to Banking New England


ery early in my career, I worked at a sandwich shop for a gentleman named Spiro, an affable Greek immigrant with a wry  sense of humor and perpetual smile. Spiro was a master of customer service and it came naturally. Spiro knew many of his customer’s names, their children’s names - where they worked, where they lived and so on. He’d often check in with folks no matter how busy the restaurant. People really enjoyed the visit, not just the food. Spiro was delivering “relatedness,” an inherent quality explained well in the self-determination theory of human behavior. We all want this human connection - it’s built in. Spiro unknowingly tapped into this by demonstrating an authentic caring about his customers. Many years later, I had the opportunity to lead digital at another sandwich shop  — but this was a large regional player.  Through the process of investigating the  opportunity with their leadership, I was pitched the sandwich shop experience of the future. As they

described an experience full of tablets and automation, I realized quickly that even though I was often the eager advocate for digital products and  experienceenhancing technology, in this case it didn’t feel right. I remembered Spiro and realized they were engineering out one of the best parts of the experience: the human part. I didn’t take the job. That was an epiphany. Since then I’ve built my career helping companies focus on being more thoughtful and intentional about  incorporating  digital  products into a bigger picture and total customer experience journey. If your CX is like a dining experience, it’s never about any single component; it’s about the total experience and includes a blend of technology and humanity. Adding technology to make payment easier is smart. Replacing the warm and friendly host with a kiosk is not. Today, world-class customer experience requires this artful blend of human and digital  talent. And in banking, where money matters are intensely personal and often


Today, worldclass customer experience requires this artful blend of human and digital talent.

emotional -or- highly transactional, it’s good business to deploy the right talent for the given challenge. So where specifically  should banks deploy human talent to enhance the customer experience? Well first, I need to ask - have you mapped the customer journey? If not, you need to start there. These days, most banks and CUs have this covered. A comprehensive journey map that shows how your customers flow through your services over time is essential. Financial institutions should also remember to incorporate the emotional context of the customer at key milestones in the journey. For example, a customer is in a vulnerable and anxious state after suffering an unfortunate overdraft just prior to an impending automatic mortgage payment out of sequence with their paycheck. Does your bank have a plan in place for moments like this one? Or do you rely on a spontaneous solution by your team? Designing for emotional state is key to showing customers you really do care - which garners loyalty. Employees can sometimes  “call an audible” in ways a computer never could. How good does it feel when you visit a friend and after the long trip, he or she takes your coat, shuffles you to the chair and hands you a cocktail? I feel a sigh of relief thinking about it. Humans remain superior at delivering empathy and caring to your customers. Your website or app can’t do that quite yet. Humans also remain  superior at explaining matters of finance/money that are


complex and sometimes best answered through dynamic conversation. And certainly, when something goes wrong, the tenor of a conversation changes dramatically when taken out of digital channels and served by humans with high emotional intelligence (EI). Are you well-versed in the moments of the customer journey that might be especially emotionally charged? Those are great candidates for humanity. Unfortunately for banks, these are often (but not exclusively) negative  incidents. Beyond those, consider other moments such as an application for a small business loan or a first-time home purchase. Those transactions are highly emotional, and your best humanity could make a customer for life if handled with care and respect. In banking, this focus on human empathy starts with the call center - likely your largest concentration of humanity interfacing daily with your customers.  To build a great team you must hire for high EI. Emotionally intelligent people ask questions, listen deeply to others, and are genuine and honest – all characteristics of likability. Why does likability matter? In a study by famed Nobel Prize-winning psychologist and behavioral economist Daniel Kahneman it was found that people would rather do business with someone they like and trust – even if the less likeable person is offering a better product at a lower price.  Customers who like your employees will do more business with you despite pricing inequities. Want to compete with “no fees”? Be nicer.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with USAA for years and have observed their best-inclass call centers firsthand. It’s no secret to say they truly understand the importance of EI and building customer rapport. I was impressed to see their innately curious member service reps (MSRs) spending the required time to understand the member situation and artfully make a true personal connection while whizzing through what seemed like a dozen screens to complete the transaction. They have the same operational pressures as most to be more efficient, but it never comes at the cost of listening and empathizing. They’re mission focused. And USAA’s customers appreciate it as evidenced by USAA’s top satisfaction rankings on JD Power and contribute strongly to their industry leading loyalty scores. Call centers are expensive to run, and that’s often why banks and CUs are pressured to drive call volume and call time down. There is a priority to complete calls quickly and most banks are looking to offload as much as possible to digital or outsource. A smart business strategy would entail investing energy in making sure your digital products handle all the transactional stuff (like change-of-address) to allow your human talent to focus on higher value things better served by people. For example, helping customers understand their credit options or dealing with an unfortunate fee situation. Deploy digital to drive higher value calls that benefit from the human touch. When the digital channel is expected to deliver empathy – you’re off course and the  corollary is also true. Don’t  waste your human talent on transactional stuff. You may need to organize and motivate your employees on different metrics to get there. A big cell phone company offers some inspiration. T-Mobile is receiving a lot of attention for revamping its call center operations. It has gone against the grain and organized for better service by creating customer pools managed by consistent care teams organized geographically. That consistency means when a customer calls, they are routed to their pool of reps - not a round-robin based on availability across the country. Because of this, you may get the same rep if you call back and customers love this continuity. Relationships are formed and T-Mobile teams are truly invested in the success and happiness of their customers because T-Mobile has organized the business to allow teams to manage their customer pool like a

mini P&L. Customer satisfaction and profitability are directly connected to the employee compensation  and progression planning. The organization is built to encourage employees to spend time with customers, something that’s counter to how competitors operate, often seeking ways to move more traffic out of the call center and online. This human-first mindset is being credited with T-Mobile’s huge turnaround over the past two years. Back to the sub shop… Spiro paid us by the hour and obviously the focus was on creating and delivering great food quickly. However, he also modeled behaviors he knew as important and wanted us to also exhibit - caring about the customer as a person. Recognizing the look on a face when a customer stops in mid-commute and just wants to get home. We’d recognize this, remember their regular order, find it and begin ringing it up  without even being asked  — in this case even dialing down the banter. Human connection and empathy in customer experience sound  hokey and may feel out of place when designing experiences to achieve business objectives measured in metrics often ruthlessly based in logic. However, world-class CX requires this line of thinking and today we live in an experience economy.  These days in a world where more  things than ever can be done  automatically, remotely and by machine it’s important to deliver humanity. Especially in matters of money. ■

Custom who like ers employeyour e will do s more bu sin with youess despite pric inequiti ing es.

Michael S. Kirkpatrick is senior vice president, client experience & strategy and leads the financial services practices at Mad*Pow, an experience design agency in Portsmouth, NH and Boston, MA.





By Karen Kirchner, Ellen Keithline Byrne and Denise D’Agostino Special to Banking New England

hese days there is never-ending talk in financial institutions about diversity and inclusion, particularly as it relates to women. Executives and boards know that to be innovative and relevant in the years to come they need to address this issue. They are paying attention to research like the study done at Deloitte Insights which found that organizations with an inclusive culture are eight times more likely to achieve better business outcomes. However, when we take a close look at the fundamentals of diversity and inclusion, we see that the diversity part of the equation gets more attention because it is easier to measure. The inclusion part is trickier and more complex. Deloitte Insights identifies a basic formula: “Diversity + inclusion = better business


outcomes. Yet diversity without inclusion in worthless.” A firm can work towards meeting its diversity goals, but if it doesn’t have an inclusive culture where people feel they belong, those people don’t stay or thrive. The organization ultimately misses out on the benefits of its D & I initiatives. In a study on inclusive leadership, Catalyst, a global nonprofit focused on women in the workplace, discovered that when employees feel included, they are: • more innovative; • more willing to go above and beyond to help other team members; and, • better at perceiving similarities with coworkers and engendering a feeling of belonging while perceiving differences that lead to feelings that it’s OK to be unique

CSI KNOWS GROWTH MATTERS. You’re looking to grow your bank, right? To get there, you need a partner that understands your culture and strategy. At CSI, our robust solutions provide the stability, security and scale you need to grow. We’ll help you be bigger—and better—than you already are.



Diversity + Inclusion = As leadership consultants, we work with financial institutions of all sizes that are struggling with how to build inclusive cultures and attract, retain and advance women. We’ve taken a deep dive into the research and our own decades of experience to share key considerations as you evaluate how inclusive your culture is.

Understand The Problem To feel “included” in an organization means to feel accepted as an insider in the workplace while maintaining your own unique identity. Research recognizes three fundamental requirements of an inclusive workplace: a. Employees are treated with respect b. Employees are valued for their strengths c. Leaders do what’s right These elements make employees happier, more confident and ultimately more productive.

Look Beyond The Obvious Putting in place new HR offerings like launching a women’s networking group or offering unconscious bias training, while helpful, only addresses a small piece of what’s needed. Like most important things,


it’s a complex systemic issue requiring a broad look at the internal factors related to shifting an organizational system to better promote a feeling of inclusion. The executive team needs to ensure their practices support their aggressive diversity goals. “Add women and stir” doesn’t work. Many organizational structures were originally designed by men to fit men’s lifestyles. It’s folly to simply place women into a traditional structure and expect them to thrive. Often women falter because they don’t have the networks, sponsors and processes in place to back their success which exacerbates the view that women struggle in certain leadership roles. One significant obstacle is that a substantial pay gap still exists between men and women doing the same work. This is demotivating to women who are working just as hard and getting results that are equal to or better than those of their male counterparts. For instance, in a large regional commercial bank servicing New England and New York, a woman we’ll call Mary was promoted to the head of mortgages. She was excited and eager to surpass her group’s objectives. Yet soon after her move, Mary discovered that a new male hire below her was making $40,000 more than she was. She became angry and resentful, talking to other senior woman about the inequities in the bank. When

Better Business Outcomes underlying organizational systems, such as pay rates, show a lack of gender parity, women don’t feel equally valued or respected. The bank eventually responded and adjusted the pay discrepancy; however, it didn’t make broad changes across the bank. The good news is that some banks are leading the way in this area as part of their commitment to providing an inclusive and rewarding experience for all. In January 2018, Bank of America announced that for employees in the US and UK, on average, compensation received by women is equal to 99 percent of what is received by men. These larger businesses can be role models for smaller firms by introducing more progressive organizational systems.

Diagnose Your Culture And Identify Patterns Often executives make assumptions about their culture. The stories are plentiful. Rachna Mukerjee, chief human resources officer from Schneider Electric, while offering remarks relating to including women in its culture, said “I already understand the need and we are doing it.” Soon after Managing Director Anil Chaudhry convinced him to conduct a roundtable with company women. The executive team was stunned to learn how unhappy their female employees were. That was a tipping point and significant changes ensued. The best way to confirm or challenge your assumptions is to examine where people thrive within the organization. Robin Ely, faculty chair of Harvard Business School’s Gender Initiative, suggests you ask deeper level questions on how you’re doing. At first, examine your culture, not with gender in mind, and then tease out where gender issues show up most. Ask questions such as: • What does thriving or not thriving look like? • What does it really take to get work done effectively here? • What are the critical junctures in career paths?

With these answers you can begin to see the norms, structures and patterns that direct your people. You can see where the pain points lie. Then you can check your assumptions and begin a strategy on how to address any issues that surfaced. For example, one financial services firm we worked with found that many key decisions were made in informal settings where mostly men were present, such as the golf course or over drinks after work. Once this pattern was discovered, the firm made a conscious effort to include women in a wider variety of outings that gave them more access to senior management. In January 2019, Bank of America won the Catalyst Award for building workplaces that work for women. Since 2015, one of the bank’s key practices to understand patterns is the use of “Courageous Conversations.” These are hosted dialogues ranging from small conversations with teams to enterprise conversations with community partners. The topics include race, gender dynamics, social justice, national current events and more. During the wake of violence in Dallas, Baton Rouge, Minneapolis and Charlotte, the bank hosted a conversation that brought out into the open issues that were on the minds of their people instead of them privately brewing. Through these conversations, employees see the bank’s commitment to including all voices. In addition, it’s an opportunity to identify areas where the bank’s practices don’t align with their employees’ ability to thrive.

Given these thoughts, do you think the women in your organization feel fully included? If you’re not sure, start asking questions to diagnose what’s really going on. A diverse and inclusive workplace is worth the effort so that you get the full benefit of your employees’ talents and contributions. ■

Moxie Leaders was founded by (from left to right) Denise D’Agostino, Karen Kirchner and Ellen Keithline Byrne, a team of organizational leaders, executive coaches and a PhD, who create programs specifically for women leaders –– to help them rise up in today’s competitive world and make their mark. For additional information visit www.moxie-leaders.com.


By Bruce Paul, Special to Banking New England


Chasing Your Business CHASE BANK’S ARRIVAL IN MASSACHUSETTS AND RHODE ISLAND HAS A SAPPHIRE HUE By James Briand, Special to Banking New England


hase Bank is coming to town. The megabank has committed to opening 60 retail branches in Greater Boston and Rhode Island over the next several years, starting with locations in Boston, Brookline, Watertown, Dedham and Newton, along with a dense ATM presence. It will be important for every area banker to understand what makes Chase unique, its plans for growth, and above all, the willingness of its customers to consider Chase as an alternative. NexTier Partners commissioned a research study to see just how eager Greater Boston and Rhode Island banking customers would be to contemplate Chase for a new relationship or to expand an existing one. We surveyed just under 1,200 respondents, making sure to reach both people with no relationship with Chase and those with existing non-deposit Chase relationships such as credit cards. The study’s goals included seeing how aware area residents were of Chase before the bank began its expansion and if those feelings were positive. We also wanted to find out how much people’s willingness to consider a deposit relationship would change when they heard the news that Chase was opening 60 branches in the area. We also wanted to know if people with a current non-deposit relationship with Chase, such as

a credit card, would be more willing to start a deposit relationship with Chase after its branches were open than people with no Chase relationship at all.

Chase Survey Results While we do not yet have full results, some key early trends have emerged. Here are the major takeaways right now: • Chase’s secondary presence among area households is extensive. In fact, Chase is present in more area households than any other local bank and only trails Bank of America among national banks, thanks primarily to credit cards. • Chase has a big head-start when it comes to awareness. Roughly one in two are moderately to extremely aware of the bank. • News of the bank’s local expansion has a significant impact on willingness to consider a deposit relationship, lifting it from one in five to one in three. • Early results show that the presence of a secondary Chase relationship does indeed have a significant positive impact on willingness to consider a deposit relationship.

The Chase Challenge These early findings suggest that local and regional banks in Massachusetts and Rhode Island should take note of Chase’s incursion. It is, however, a longterm threat rather than an immediate one given the inertia that always accompanies intentions to switch banks and the branch advantage held by leading local institutions. That noted, several other facts stand out. Scale. Nationwide, Chase has relationships with one in two US households. Number one in both credit card sales and credit card outstandings, they have 33 million mobile users, dwarfing the competition in both numbers and penetration. Supporting this is a marketing budget in the billions. This means they can use sheer market clout to achieve some goals. Ambition. Chase is not coming to this area to be just another player. In a recent interview, when asked whether he will crack top-three share in Boston, CEO


Jamie Dimon replied, “At least.” There are good reasons why area bankers should take this challenge seriously. Those reasons start with strong secondary product presence, especially one. The Sapphire Card. Sapphire, while highly profitable on its own, is far more than a credit card. It is the basis for a financial ecosystem that ties consumers back to Chase at multiple touchpoints. Sapphire’s behavioral data feeds an AI-driven crosssell-and-prospect marketing engine with a high level of precision. Given this marketing resource, it’s important for area bankers to understand the degree to which Chase secondary customers exist in their portfolios and the customer’s propensity to consider Chase. Digital Banking. Chase is putting its resources to work to get ahead of the next generation and its willingness to consider fintech alternatives. To that end, Chase is making massive investments in technology in order to build proprietary products and process advantages in-house or in partnerships with fintechs. The end goal is moving away from the traditional fee-based model, while at the same time increasing customer satisfaction and lowering costs. Service. Chase is determined to address the traditional Achilles’ heel of large financial institutions: indifferent service. Statements to investors suggest that Chase has taken customer loyalty to heart with unitlevel Net Promoter Score measurement and executive

engagement with service that resulted in a first-position JD Power ranking among large institutions. Local charitable commitment. Chase has announced it will spend $1.1 million to help people in the Boston area develop the skills required to get jobs in a changing labor market. As we continue to study the data, we will look for specific results and see if the MA-RI public will support Dimon’s ambition to be “at least” top three. We will focus on: • The specific lift that Chase gets for opening its branches, and if the public perceives those 60 branches as “convenient enough.” • Response to the $600 offer to switch that Chase is beginning to promote in Boston. • A profile of the Chase secondary customer and see what banks have the greatest exposure to Chase. • Finally, we’ll measure the satisfaction levels of those secondary customers to see if that will make them want to do more banking with Chase or not. ■

James Briand is a senior research advisor with NexTier Partners, a research firm based in Cambridge, Massachusetts focusing on financial services. NexTier Partners will be presenting this study at the New England Financial Marketing Association conference in Providence on May 9, 2019. BANKING NEW ENGLAND 13




By Bruce Paul, Special to Banking New England

t has taken the American bank customer almost each state. Table one shows how upcoming attrition 10 years since the financial crisis to feel fully rates vary, both for households (retail) and businesses confident again. They are now comfortable (commercial) in some areas. enough in their financial lives to get back to the old practice of switching banks. The strong When we looked at the upcoming attrition data for economy, the increase in competition for deposit dollars, each of the 353 New England banking institutions in the and the growth in smart marketing spending means Benchmarks, we saw that not every bank’s customer more and more consumers and businesses are in play. base is defecting at the same rate. Some banks have According to the latest Banking Benchmarks across a very low percentage of customers looking to leave, New England, bank switching is once again on the table. while others had a very high percentage. Table two We interviewed households and businesses in every shows the number of banks in each state with very low corner of the region and collected a total of 546,695 bank upcoming attrition rates (under 5%), and the number reviews by customers from 353 banking institutions. with very high upcoming attrition rates (over 20%). As part of those interviews, we asked customers of Just about any institution will struggle to survive if 20% each and every bank to evaluate the banks they use on 53 different metrics, including whether they were planning to leave that TABLE ONE: Available Market Share Today bank in the next six months. On average, Retail Market Commercial Market about 27% of NE households and 32% of Area Share in Play Share in Play NE businesses are unhappy with their current primary bank. That is slightly Providence, RI 13% 14% higher than the past couple of years. What is much higher, though, is the percentage Manchester, NH 6% 9% of unhappy customers that are willing to Boston MA, South Shore 12% 18% make a move (instead of just gripe to friends Boston MA, North Shore 10% 12% or on social media): 11% of New England households and 15% of New England Western MA 9% 12% businesses have actually started shopping Worcester County MA 10% 11% around and/or opened accounts elsewhere Fairfield County CT with the intention of switching primary 9% 12% banks within the next 6 months. This is a New London, CT 9% 16% dramatic increase from just one year ago. Hartford, CT 13% 18% The upcoming rate of defection varies widely by state and even widely within


TABLE TWO: Highs and Lows of Atrribution Rates


# of banks with very high defection rate (over 20%)

# of banks with very low defection rate (under 5%)

Total number of banking institutions covered by the Benchmarks

New Hampshire




Rhode Island












of its customers depart so there are a couple of dozen institutions across the region that are in for a difficult time. (There are two institutions with over 45% of their customer bases saying they will leave shortly. Yikes!) Even if a bank is not one facing very high defection, it needs to know, first and foremost: why are my customers defecting and what can I do to prevent them from leaving? They also will want to know: how can I win more than my fair share of the defectors from other banks? The answer to both questions is the same: by understanding what makes people leave their current bank, you also understand their top priority in selecting a new bank. The reasons customers leave are not actually all that varies. We see a lot of common themes in the Banking Benchmarks. Table three has the top 10 reasons that customers across New England cite for leaving their bank. They also are the top 10 things they are looking for in a new bank.

Banks are losing more customers by not being pushy enough than by being pushy. Staff that can present thoughtful solutions rather than just sell products will make their customers’ financial lives better. Technology is not in the top 5 reasons people leave their bank. (It is even lower among millennials.) Lack of friendliness and low responsiveness are not major drivers of switching. This is because all banks are friendly and responsive (yes, even the biggest ones), so this is not driving people away. The reasons for switching banks often varies by state, by county and sometimes even by town because switching behavior is highly dependent upon the strengths and weaknesses of banks in each market. If each bank in your trade area charges a lot of fees, then fees will be a major reason people want to switch. Conversely, if every bank in your trade area is very strong at technology, then technology will not be a common reason for people to leave their bank. The ideal situation is when your bank has a competitive advantage. For instance, if you have built a reputation for being proactive in bringing TABLE THREE: Top 10 Reasons New England solutions to customers while competitors Customers Cite For Leaving Their Bank struggle to do the same. If you would like to see what the drivers 1 My bank does not proactively suggest solutions of switching are in your trade area or your 2 I can get better rates elsewhere bank, please contact 3 I keep getting the runaround our analytics team at 4 info@cescx.com. ■My bank treats me like a number 5

The staff at my bank are not trained well enough


I get charged too many fees


The online/mobile technology is bad


My bank is too pushy about new services


The bank is not responsive enough


The staff are not friendly

Bruce Paul is president and CEO of Customer Experience Solutions, which produces the semiannual New England Banking Benchmarks.



t on h g i l g n i d d She ers why custosm and leave bank

how to geAtY! them to ST

RETENTION OVER ACQUISITION By Theo Moumtzidis Special to Banking New England



oe Riley, executive vice president of retail banking for Salem 5 Bank in Salem, Massachusetts, says, “20 percent of the bank’s customers are always in flux. Other than moving out of the area or dying, most often a bad experience of some sort is the most prevalent reason for leaving. It’s not the products or the fees that matter. It’s the treatment customers deem not respectful that tops the list of why customers go to the competition.” The reality is customer defections can be split into two important categories: inevitable and preventable. Inevitable are defections of customers or accounts that take place through no fault of the bank. For example, like Joe suggested, customers might move to a neighboring state outside the bank’s footprint whether for work or personal reasons. Another reason customers leave is if their financial situation changes. For example, a customer might buy a longed-for boat, and savings will disappear. Based on current research, about half the balances that leave a bank’s balance sheet due to defection or diminishment (the reduction of balances in accounts that remain open) are inevitable. On the other hand, many customers leave their banks for reasons that could have been prevented. These incidents represent failures of the bank: its staff, systems, procedures, pricing strategy, and practices. Deeper root

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cause analysis may reveal gaps in training, governance, strategy, or striking the right balance between risk prevention and the holy grail of an “easy/simple/fast” customer experience. Carol Sexton with Cambridge Savings Bank agrees. “Often, customers who leave are reacting to a particular problem at their financial institution. Not enough effort is made to on-board new customers properly. If the effort was greater, chances are customers will stay longer.”

Obscurity of Defections Why do banks lose the retention battle against preventable defections without putting up a fight? One answer is by the time defections are known, it is too late. A big part of the “defection dilemma” results from organizational and cultural reasons. A new account or a new customer relationship can be traced to the person or channel that opened the account. Often, new customer acquisitions can be linked to a marketing campaign. Openings are visible events that happen at a specific moment in time when the account is created. They are easy to celebrate, to reward and to set targets for. It’s hard to avoid “easy” as banks work to create strong sales cultures. Contrary to sales, defections are slow and progressive. Moreover, they are hard to link to a banker or a territory. If a customer decides to leave because she became unhappy with a new fee for receiving paper statements or with the poor way a branch manager handled an identity theft event on her account, these will not be visible. The actual account closure might happen weeks or months later. Unable to point a finger to the culprit, these important events remain “orphan.” Unable to attribute defection events (or retention successes) to individual bankers, banks do not reward bankers who retain well. Nor do they penalize those whose actions lead to customer defections. This reality creates institutional apathy about retention and ignorance about the true reasons for it. When bank boards or senior executive teams are asked to guess why their most recent 100 bank customers defected, the order and percentages of their guesses vary strikingly. At the same time if asked about acquisition, they will be able to quote response rates to a marketing campaign to the second decimal point.

Shift the focus acquisition to retention The reality is a customer lost was more valuable than a new customer gained. Why? Three reasons: first, tenure is the most important determinant of loyalty. Simply put, every additional year a customer stays with the bank, the less likely they are to defect. Therefore, their lifetime value increases. Secondly, longer tenured customers know how the bank operates, and they become efficient users of their accounts. For example, if they make frequent wire transfers, they are less likely to make errors on the wire instruction form and might have been migrated to stored wire models in their online environment. Tenured customers are simply less expensive to serve. Thirdly, banks accumulate transactional and behavioral information over the years. These can be mined for more effective cross-sell offers as well as better credit decisions. On the contrary, new deposit or revolving credit accounts not only lack these three benefits, they also have a 30 percent likelihood of remaining unused or even closing by their 12-month anniversary.

st o l r e m o t s A cu able u l a v e r o m was than a newined. a customer g


The fight to retain customers

So, if defecting customers are worth fighting for, how should banks pick up the fight? Timing is critical. The earlier the intent for defection is detected, the higher the chances of averting it. Once the customer has opened a new account with another bank, which will happen well before they close the account with the bank they are defecting from, and have started moving their recurring payments and other money flows, retaining them is tantamount to re-acquiring them. The customer would have to repeat the effort they just made to move away in order to move back. There are red flags that go up when a customer begins the defection journey. That is the time to reach out and ask, “How did we mess up?” or simply ask for a response to a customer satisfaction survey. High defection risk customers will be more truthful than after they have pulled the plug at which point, they want to evade the bank’s reactive retention offers. When it comes to these early warning “red flags,” analytics can play a central role in “sniffing out” impending defections. For example, a discontinued direct deposit can be analyzed to determine if it is related to end-of-employment (i.e., not a defection

The earlier the intent for defection is detected, the higher the chances of averting it.

red flag event) or a possible shift of the payroll to a competing bank. Shifts in transaction patterns can also help identify higher-risk for defection relationships. Analytics can also be used for post-mortem analyses. While these will occur too late to retain an account, they can reveal a systemic root cause that can be addressed to prevent future defections. A spike in defections after a new policy or a new fee went into effect should be identified and warrant a discussion. Any correlations between defections and a customer’s channel use or events that might have affected a customer (e.g., a branch consolidation or a staff change) can also offer actionable insights. Analytics and their results must be coupled with the right soft skills. Soft skills to hire for would include empathy, good listening skills, creativity (to find solutions to customer problems), overall problemsolving skills, and negotiating skills (to negotiate not just with the unhappy customer but also internal bank areas whose actions could be the source of the customer dissatisfaction). The banker who is reaching a red flagged customer to ask, “How did we mess up?” must have the ability to convey empathy and a genuine desire to learn as opposed to being perceived as making a clumsy attempt to prevent a defection with a pushy sales pitch.

Looking forward A focus on retention must come from the top. Senior management must instill a culture that celebrates retention as much as acquisition. In addition, they need to make sure systems are developed for both the early-detection of defections as well as for analytics that correlate defections with their root causes. That means investing in processes and soft skills to leverage the analytics. When done right, the ROI can be far greater than the most successful new account acquisition marketing campaign. In the end, the reality is shareholder value is driven by growth and profitability. Growth is the net effect of the acquisition of new customers, new accounts and new balances versus customer defections. While new customers and accounts are acquired in the spotlight, they defect in obscurity. In order to prevent more customers from going to the competition, bankers need to ask and answer these three questions: Why do customers defect? Why does this happen in the shadows? Why do banks focus more on acquisition rather than retention? With this knowledge, savvy bankers will be well-positioned for long-term, sustainable growth. ■

Theo Moumtzidis managing director of Delos Advisors, a NY-based consulting firm that specializes in working with financial institutions in the U.S. and abroad.



Banking New England publishes a weekly digital newsletter that rounds up the latest news and information about, you guessed it, banking in New England. Here are a few stories from recent editions. If you would like to subscribe to, share your news, or advertise in the Banking New England newsletter, contact us at info@ambizmedia.com.

LIBERTY BANK ACQUIRES SIMSBURY BANK & TRUST The boards of directors for Liberty Bank, headquartered in Middletown, Connecticut, and SBT Bancorp, Inc. headquartered in Simsbury, Connecticut, have entered into a definitive agreement for the merger of SBT Bancorp, Inc. and its subsidiary, The Simsbury Bank & Trust Company into Liberty Bank.

million in capital. It has a 55-branch network in Connecticut and first opened in 1825. SBT Bancorp, Inc., a bank holding company, is the parent company of The Simsbury Bank & Trust Company, a Connecticut chartered bank with assets of approximately $480 million and five full-service branches in Hartford County. It was established in 1995. The transaction is subject to approval by the shareholders of SBT Bancorp, Inc., as well as customary regulatory approvals, including the State of Connecticut Department of Banking and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Upon completion of the merger, each SBT Bancorp shareholder will receive $51.32 per share in cash, giving the transaction a value of approximately $71 million. The transaction is expected to close in September 2019, according to an announcement from the banks. Liberty Bank is a Connecticut chartered mutual savings bank with $5.1 billion in assets and over $738

NEW CT BANK TO OFFER BOTH DIGITAL AND IN-PERSON SERVICES Nexos National Bank is aiming to be the first nationally chartered bank to open in Connecticut since the 2008 financial crisis. It would serve individual customers and small- and mediumsize businesses throughout Fairfield, Connecticut, and Westchester, New


York, counties, with brick-and-mortar branches and online offerings. “Our view is there’s a real opportunity to design and build a new bank from the ground up that’s geared toward serving customers how they want to be serviced, through online and digital channels,” Nexos founder Gordon Baird, who also plans to serve as the bank’s CEO and chairman, said in an interview. His career spans 28 years in banking and a number of roles, including managing partner of G.A. Baird Partners & Co., a Stamfordbased private-equity investment and research firm. Nexos, whose name refers to “next generation,” has not finalized its opening date. It expects to start operating within the next 12 months — contingent upon approvals from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. The first branch would be in Stamford — likely in or near the downtown. Other branch locations are to be determined.

CITIZENS BANK MEDIAN PAY INCREASES The median income for Citizens Financial Group employees rose to $59,748 in 2018, according to securities filings. That represents an 8 percent increase for the workers. Most banks have yet to file their proxies this year. Due to its size, though, Citizens is most likely to lag behind other financial institutions in the region. Holding companies for Belmont Savings Bank and Brookline Bank had median compensation of $90,034 and $77,885, respectively. Across Citizens, salary and employee benefits rose by 6 percent last year, to $1.88 billion, according to the company’s recently filed annual report. That increase was driven by “higher revenue-based incentives and merit increases,” the filing said. TD BANK APOLOGIZES FOR AD INTERPRETED AS RACIST TD Bank issued an apology for an advertisement that some said contributed to the negative stereotypes about Dorchester, the city’s largest, most racially diverse neighborhood.

The ad states, “When you’re downtown, but your debit card’s somewhere in Dorchester,” a neighborhood with a higher minority

population and lower median household income than the rest of Boston. Local Twitter users who saw the reference as a slight to the neighborhood questioned why TD Bank focused on Dorchester. “This ad is bad enough, but to add insult to injury, TD Bank doesn’t even have a branch in Dorchester, Boston’s largest neighborhood,” tweeted the Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance, which hosts the annual “Taste of Dorchester” event. Bill Forry, managing editor of the Dorchester Reporter, called the ad racist on Twitter. He also said TD Bank’s message is “just leaning on a hackneyed old trope about a ‘gritty’ neighborhood that people like to demonize.” OPTIMA BANK & TRUST APPROVES MERGER WITH CAMBRIDGE TRUST The shareholders of Optima Bank & Trust, which has six New Hampshire locations, have agreed to a merger with Cambridge Trust Company. The merger is expected to close in the second quarter of 2019. Optima shareholders will be able to choose between the right to receive $32 in cash or 0.3468 shares of Cambridge Trust common stock. The total deal has an estimated value of $67 million. The combined entity is expected to have over $2.5 billion in assets. Cambridge Trust Company is a 128-year-old Massachusetts chartered commercial bank with approximately $2.1 billion in assets and 10 Massachusetts locations

in Cambridge, Boston, Belmont, Concord, Lexington, and Weston. WORLD BEST BANKS LIST INCLUDES 7 FROM NEW ENGLAND Seven banks headquartered in New England have been named to Forbes first-ever look at what it deems the World’s Best Banks. In conjunction with market research firm Statista, more than 40,000 banking customers around the globe were surveyed for their opinions on current and former banking relationships. Liberty Bank, based in Middletown, Connecticut, takes home the top spot in New England and is ranked fourth overall in the nation. It has $5.1 billion in assets and 697 employees. Two Massachusetts banks were next: Rockland Trust, based in Hanover, came in ninth overall in the nation, followed by Bostonbased Eastern Bank at 10th. Maine’s Bangor Savings, which ranks 22nd, is the smallest New England bank on the list in terms of assets at $3.79 billion. Two Connecticut banks place behind Bangor Savings. Bridgeport-based People’s United Financial, which has $48 billion in assets, ranks 38th among best world banks based in the United States. Webster Bank, located in Waterbury, has a ranking of 56 and $27.6 billion in assets. Citizens Financial, located in Providence, is the last of the New England banks to make the list at 58 out of 60 U.S. banks. Citizens has $160.5 billion in assets, which is largest among the seven New England banks included. Instead of gauging the balance sheets and P&L statements, as Forbes does for its ranking of the 100 largest publicly-traded U.S. banks published annually in January, banks were rated on general satisfaction and key attributes like trust, fees, digital services and financial advice. ■



The 2019 Great New England Credit Union Show, Consumer Lending Summit, and Community Heroes Awards Presentation were great successes this year with more than 630 registered attendees. Held at the MGM Springfield, the two-day event presented a compelling mixture of education, entertainment, and face-to-face business opportunities in the exhibition hall.

The highlight of the Great New England Credit Union Show were the networking opportunities, whether they came at the reception at day’s end or the countless one-onone meetings with exhibitors in the exhibit hall.

Among the speakers over the course of the two days were, from left, Brent McKown, lending analytics and product manager for CSI; Maureen Devine, president, Strategic Information Resources; John J. Leonard, principal, financial institution group, Wolf & Company; and Donn Mann, Navy SEAL, bestselling author, and endurance athlete, who was the GNECUS keynote speaker.


Michael Carter, executive vice president at Strategic Resources Management, may be a Southerner but that didn’t stop him from showing his support for the Red Sox during his remarks at the Consumer Lending Summit.

Monica Lewinsky addressed a capacity crowd at the Community Heroes Awards event honoring New England’s leading credit unions and community banks for their philanthropic efforts.

Nutmeg State Financial Credit Union was among the top winners at the annual Community Heroes Awards. From left, Lisa Asadourian, senior vice president/chief engagement officer; Holly O’Lenick, executive assistant/ office manager; John Holt, president and CEO; Robert Bruhn, senior vice president/chief financial officer; Corey LaBreck, community and employee development manager; Al Festini, senior vice president/chief operating officer; and, Brian Scavone, senior vice president/chief strategy officer.

A highlight of GNECUS was former New England Patriot Joe Andruzzi allowing attendees to try on his three Super Bowl rings. He was the morning keynote speaker.

Kirk Kordeleski, digital transformation strategist and former CEO of Bethpage FCU, spoke at GNECUS about 10 critical benchmarks for strategic credit union growth.

At left, attendees stop by the ZRent booth, as well as the Shesnushoff Consulting booth, right.





the bank’s philanthropic arm, which has provided more than $6 million in grants to over 600 nonprofit organizations in Eastern Massachusetts.

Liberty Bank Announces New President And CEO

Liberty Bank in Middletown, Connecticut, has appointed David W. Glidden as the new president and CEO. He succeeds Chandler J. Howard who led the bank since 2007. Howard announced his plan for retirement in May 2018 and is now a member of Liberty Bank’s Board of Directors. Glidden brings over 30 years of industry leadership experience to Liberty Bank. Most recently he served as regional president for the Northern New England and Upstate New York Region for TD Bank. He was responsible for managing retail banking, small business, wealth management, commercial and specialty banking operations and lending services. Glidden began his banking career at Shawmut Bank’s commercial lending division in Boston and joined TD Bank in 1994, with numerous positions of increasing responsibility. “David’s diverse banking experience and commitment to the community make him the perfect match for Liberty Bank. I am confident that under his leadership, Liberty will continue on its journey to be the most admired company in Connecticut,” said Chandler J. Howard.

Salisbury Bancorp Announces Appointment Of New Executive Officer

Salisbury Bancorp Inc., the holding company for Salisbury Bank and Trust Company, announced the appointment of a new executive officer of the bank and a change in title for an existing executive officer. Amy D. Raymond was named executive vice president, chief retail banking officer, CRA officer. Raymond, age 47, has served as senior vice president, retail lending and commercial operations, CRA officer of the bank since April 2015. Prior to that, she served as vice president, mortgage origination from May 2007 to May 2014. Raymond holds a BS in Business Management from the University of New Haven. She has more than 18 years of experience in community banking.


Middlesex Savings Appoints New Chief Operating Officer

Dana Neshe, a 24-year employee of Middlesex Savings Bank and member of its executive team, has been promoted to chief operating officer. In her new role, Neshe will oversee all aspects of community banking, compliance, credit, marketing, and risk management. Additionally, she will continue to serve as president of the Middlesex Savings Charitable Foundation, 24 BANKING NEW ENGLAND

Neshe began her career as an examiner with the FDIC before joining Middlesex Savings Bank as a compliance officer in 1995. For four years, she oversaw community banking and then joined the bank’s executive team as chief community banking officer. In 2017, she assumed the role of chief risk officer.

Braga Named First VP at BayCoast

BayCoast Bank announced that Kevin M. Braga of Dartmouth, has been promoted to first vice president, risk management and compliance officer. In this role, Braga is responsible for the day-to-day management, ongoing maintenance and continuous improvement of BayCoast Bank’s Compliance Management System in addition to overseeing the Bank’s Vendor Management Program. He joined BayCoast Bank in 2002 as an operations assistant, and has been continually promoted to positions with increased responsibility throughout the years.

Princi Named CFO At Jeanne D’Arc CU

The $2.4 billion Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union in Lowell, Mass., hired Joseph M. Princi II as senior vice president and chief financial officer. Princi joins Jeanne D’Arc with nearly 20 years of experience in the financial services industry. He has extensive direct banking experience, working for large international banking institutions, midtier banks and community banking institutions. Prior to joining the credit union, he worked as the director of the USA for Mirai Advisory, a boutique consulting company based in Europe. He has also worked at Citizens Financial Group, Santander Holdings, Inc., Darling Consulting Group and State Street Global Advisors, where he has built a successful track record of delivering improvements to bottom line through financial forecasting, profitability, mergers and acquisitions, and sensitivity analysis.


DeShaw Joins Centreville Bank As Senior VP, Chief Lending Officer

Justin DeShaw has joined Centreville Bank as senior vice president, chief lending officer. In his new position, DeShaw is responsible for the bank’s commercial, government and residential lending business. Prior to joining Centreville Bank, DeShaw was a senior

leader in commercial banking at Citizens Bank and spent the last 21 years in various roles of increasing responsibility at Citizens, Bank of America, and other financial institutions. Prior to his banking career, he served in Massachusetts state government in several senior leadership roles. DeShaw began his professional life with the audit and business advisory firm Arthur Andersen LLP in Boston.

Pawtucket Credit Union Hires Abatiello

The $2.3 billion Pawtucket Credit Union in Pawtucket, R.I., hired Carrie Abatiello as senior vice president/ compliance officer. She serves as the primary compliance resource for state and federal regulatory agencies, auditors and legal counsel. She also serves as the credit union’s bank secrecy act officer, coordinates and monitors compliance efforts, and works with credit union staff in the development and implementation of appropriate internal controls, policies, procedures and practices.


Bank Promotes Commercial Services VP

Katahdin Trust Company announces the promotion of Alison Gould to assistant vice president, commercial services officer in Houlton. She will continue to help businesses in southern Aroostook County and provide for their banking needs. Gould started her career with Katahdin Trust in 1993 as a commercial services assistant in Houlton, the position she held until 1997. After raising her family, she returned to the bank in 2007 as a teller and transferred to a commercial services assistant in 2008. She was promoted to commercial services specialist in 2014 and commercial services officer in 2016.

Franklin Savings Promotes New Senior Vice President

Franklin Savings Bank in Farmington, Maine, has announced that it has promoted Lorna D. Niedner to senior vice president and director of residential and consumer lending. In this role, Niedner oversees all residential and consumer lending functions at the bank. Niedner, who joined the bank in 1986, is tasked with ensuring customers are cared for efficiently and appropriately and that all lending practices are in compliance with banking regulations. She oversees a staff of seasoned lenders and underwriters. In her time at Franklin Savings, Niedner has progressed from positions in the loan department and customer service through to becoming a lender and manager of the Jay branch, “Throughout her career, Lorna has been sought out as a resource for others for her leadership abilities and vast

banking knowledge and experience. She’s been a model for customer service and commitment to Franklin Savings Bank,” said Shelley Deane, executive vice president, administration and human resources.


Hurlbert Joins Community National Bank As Residential Lender

Community National Bank President and CEO Kathryn Austin recently welcomed Heather Hurlbert to Community National Bank. Heather will serve as the bank’s Residential Lender in Barre, Montpelier and the surrounding central Vermont area. Hurlbert has a lengthy career working in many areas of the financial services industry. Most recently she worked as a commercial lender for Community Capital of Vermont. During this time, she collaborated with several Community National Bank employees as the two organizations work together assisting entrepreneurs obtain resources to start and grow businesses. Throughout her career, Hurlbert has been passionate about advocating for women in business and the financial industry in particular. She lives in Barre with her son Shea and her daughter Katie.


Mudgett Promoted To Vice President, Risk And Information Security Officer

Tara Mudgett has been promoted to vice president, risk and information security officer at New Hampshire Mutual Bancorp. In this position, Mudgett oversees risk management, including fraud, information security, cyber security and physical security for Meredith Village Savings Bank, Merrimack County Savings Bank, Savings Bank of Walpole and MillRiver Wealth Management. Mudgett, who has more than 23 years of banking experience, joined the IT department of Meredith Village Savings Bank in 2003 as image processing manager, establishing the vital practice still used today. She was quickly promoted to business application specialist in 2005, and again in 2007 to assistant vice president. In 2015, she was promoted to vice president, IT operations for NHMB, where she oversaw information technology, applications and operations.

Benton Promoted At Bank Of New Hampshire

Bank of New Hampshire has promoted Bambi Benton to commercial banking officer. Benton joined the bank in 2004 in the retail loan servicing department. She transitioned to commercial lending in 2010 and has held the positions of commercial services representative and portfolio manager. In addition to her portfolio management responsibilities, Benton assists businesses and municipalities with their lending needs and handles many of the behind-the-scenes aspects of lending functions for loan requests. ■



Christine Bascetta-Gath Senior Vice President, Commercial Lending at Litchfield Bancorp Torrington, CT

“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.” By JOHN HASSAN

A psychology major with a master’s degree in language acquisition, Christine Bascetta-Gath has worked in banking since joining Union Savings Bank in 2010. Banking New England stopped her on the way to the gym for a quick chat about her life outside working hours.

FAVORITE SPORT: I’ve never been a huge fan of watching sports on TV but I absolutely love going to Yankee Stadium to watch a baseball game. Of course, I have to love the Yankees because my husband loves the Red Sox. It’s fun to keep that debate going. MUSIC: I love music. Everything from George Frideric Handel’s string compositions to the Wu Tang Clan and modern pop. And everything in between. And I’m going to see the Indigo Girls. MOVIES: I could watch “The Longest Yard” (with Adam Sandler), “The Shawshank Redemption,” and “Remember the Titans” on a loop and never get sick of them. NEXT THING LIKELY OFF THE BUCKET LIST: I’d like to see the Northern Lights in either Iceland or Alaska. TELEVISION: I’ve probably seen every episode of “Law and Order: SVU” three times. I also love “Modern Family,” for the lighter side of things.

HAVE YOU EVER BINGED ON A TV SHOW? We recently moved and gave up our cable subscription. We rely on Netflix quite a bit. I recently welded myself onto the couch to watch all four seasons of “Peaky Blinders.” It was fantastic.


HOBBIES: The gym. I usually start and sometimes end my days at the gym. I also love any toy with a motor, like jet skis. I also enjoy being out on the water in general. FAVORITE PLACES TO VISIT: On the weekend, we’ll go to a local winery. But my favorites for a long weekend getaway are Newport, Rhode Island and Portsmouth, New Hampshire. BEST VACATION: Fiji. It was amazing to be all the way across the world and under the equator. And to be honest, I didn’t even mind the plane ride. International planes are very nice. Where we stayed, we had our own indoor-outdoor pool. MOTTO: I saw this on a T-shirt at the gym: If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. I really respond to that idea. I’m an advocate of lifelong learning and it’s good to continually challenge yourself and grow.

SOMETHING MY CO-WORKERS DON’T KNOW ABOUT ME: I still sleep with the covers over my head after watching a scary movie. The scary thing that’s out there, can’t see you? Right?


g n i t e Mark ! r ! e r w e o w p o r p e per s up su

2019 NEFMA SPRING CONFERENCE May 9-10 | Providence, RI

NEFMA’S Spring Conference features keynotes, case studies, and panels from some of the best minds in the marketing industry! Topics include marketing strategies in branding in new market areas, disruption and technology, internal branding, media, creative, data and attribution. Gain actionable takeaways from specific marketing disciplines!

For more information and to sign up visit www.nefma.org.


2019 NEFMA Spring Conference


WORKSHOPS THURSDAY, MAY 9 1:30-3:45PM Chase Bank Is Targeting Your Customers. Are You Ready?

James Briand & Bill Muto, NexTier Partners JP Morgan Chase president Jamie Diamond has declared his intention to be the dominant surviving national bank in ten years with aggressive investments in service delivery, mobile banking, distinct online bank platforms as well as traditional face to face service. Already the largest bank in the US, Diamond is determined to achieve a dominant position in the markets Chase does not currently serve including Boston and Providence. To achieve this, Chase will open 60 new branches in MA and RI in the near future, and will aggressively leverage their substantial existing credit card, mortgage and auto loan relationships with area residents. NexTier Partners has conducted proprietary primary research with area customers to measure their receptivity to the promised Chase value proposition, with special focus on the appeal for community bank customers and those that already have secondary Chase relationships. NexTier presenters will share the results of those studies at this exclusive NEFMA workshop. NexTier will also share insights from bankers in current Chase markets on how to best compete with Chase. This workshop is a must-attend for every financial institution marketer that wants to stay ahead of the changing New England Marketplace.

Digital Trends on the Rise

Amanda Rowe & Gillian Hery, Pannos Marketing As Digital Media Marketing opportunities continue to evolve, your marketing strategies need to evolve with them. Lately, it seems like every Monday morning, there is a new technology or advertising opportunity on the rise waiting for you in your inbox. How can your business keep up, or at least stay ahead of the game? With so many trends floating around in the digital space, there are some you can’t afford to ignore anymore, such as artificial intelligence (Al), chatbots, programmatic, voice search, personalization and video. Not to


mention, there are several other growing technologies such as Google Lens and new social media platforms. Many of these require hefty investments, so how can you make sure you will be able to show a return? Luckily, with all the digital evolution came several advanced attribution tools. That means it is also time to also rethink your attribution model and adopt tools such as custom conversion tracking, cross-media analysis and call tracking.

Big Ideas for Bank Marketing Jim Perry, Market Insights, Inc

Strategies to shake up the status quo in 2019. Customer expectations are at an all-time high and only creative, agile marketers will be able to help their institutions stay competitive. Innovative new tools, platforms. and technologies continue to disrupt the bank marketing landscape. This annually-updated session explores emerging consumer behaviors and the marketing trends that should guide strategic choices in 2019. This session is designed to inspire innovative thinking and help bank marketers navigate an increasingly digital landscape. Participants will look at tangible ways to move beyond the basics and breathe new life and success into their marketing efforts.

Achieving Material yet Efficient Deposit Growth through Strategic Analytics and Marketing Tim Keith & Trevor Knott, Baker Hill

Deposit growth is in many ways, the core challenge of the industry in 2019, but not all deposit growth is equal in value and sustainability. This talk will reveal fundamental assumptions necessary to achieve your deposit growth goals in a manner that is profitable and sustainable over time. Client case studies will be shared from recent successful deposit growth initiatives at community banks and credit unions. 3:45 – 5:00

Break/Check-In 4:00 – 5:00

Mentor Session

2019 NEFMA Spring Conference


NETWORKING RECEPTION THURSDAY, MAY 9 5-9:00PM Super Powers Ignite! You don’t want to miss this networking event! We promise it is like no other. We will unite in teams where you will create a super hero costume! Better yet, you will present your creation to the judges where they will be critiqued on creativity, use of materials, overall theme and presentation from the team. There will be a prize for best costume! Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be served throughout the evening.


Super Charge Your Mind and Body Providence Power Yoga

Learn how to take a few minutes out of your day to quickly reconnect and unwind. Who doesn’t need this, right!! This session will teach you how to reduce stress quickly and refocus your energy. After all, your mind and body hold all of your super powers! Namaste’. 9:00 – 10:15

what’s that in the sky? Never fear! Business leader, former stand-up comedian and current-superhero Brian Carter is here! In this fun and uplifting program, you’ll see how customer experiences and expectations everywhere are changing. Brian will highlight social, economic and technology trends affecting the financial industry today and how top performing marketers attract more customers, regardless of budget. In this amazing and engaging program, you’ll learn how to use your own “disruption superpowers” to create an invincible customer experience and erupt with success! You’ll also discover: • Why customers see themselves as the heroes and how your organization fits into their adventures. • The best superpowers (innovative tech) to adopt in the financial marketing world today. • How customer expectations are changing and where they are right now. • The five keys to a delightful - and invincible customer experience. • The tools top banks and credit unions are using to resonate with their markets.

How to relocate your Super Brand! Rebranding in a New Market

• How to make today’s customers happy enough to stay with you forever!

Rob Crain, SVP Marketing for Pawsox

Q&A with Audience

Rob will discuss the decisions and research that went into the move to Worcester from Pawtucket. What does it take to rebrand in a new area? How important are B2B Alliances, and why Worcester? We think Rob has some pretty cool super powers that he can share with you!

1:15 – 2:30

Q&A with Audience 10:45 – 12:00

KEYNOTE: Eruption Not Disruption: Super-Duper Customer Experiences That Attract Customers and Loyalty Brian Carter

Oh no! Another villainous disruptor with sinister tech superpowers just thwarted yet another organization by kidnapping its customers! Wait,

The Power of Internal Branding: How to Unite and Ignite Human Capital

Sean Hockenbery, Executive Vice President FMS A great brand starts from within; you need a strong culture and brand belief internally so that your message is consistent externally. Fortunately, when brand becomes the focus of the bank, employees have a common goal they can direct their efforts on, they have a rally cry, they understand the bank’s vision, and teamwork becomes second nature. In this session, we will discuss the value of building an internal brand culture, share examples of internal brand alignment, and provide action steps for igniting the team to have a greater impact on the performance of the bank. Q&A with Audience




ELIZABETH HUMMEL IMAGE 4, MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE IC Federal Credit Union worked with Image 4 to create a new customer experience at a new branch. Elizabeth Hummel, vice president, operations at Image Four, a 3D brand design agency in Manchester, New Hampshire, took Banking New England inside that process.

and we do an immediate visual assessment. So, we remapped the visual experience a customer has when first entering to give visual cues that the experience would be different, triggering a reassessment of the space.

Banking New England: What was the origin of this project? Liz Hummel: IC Federal Credit Union is a community credit union with seven branch locations in Northeast and Central Massachusetts. In 2017, IC FCU approached us with a project for their newest branch in Marlborough, Massachsetts. Building on member insights from other locations, IC FCU wanted to redesign the experience their members would have at the branch. BNE: What was IC FCU’s insight? Liz: Previous financial branch design revolved around transactions. People primarily had to stand in line to make deposits and withdrawals. Teller lines were the norm. But times and consumer behavior have drastically changed. Unfortunately, most branches have not changed to reflect this. Most people visit the branch of their chosen financial institution for one of two reasons: either they are concerned about something like an overdrawn account, or they are hoping for something. We call this trepidation or aspiration. In today’s world of mobile devices and online services, people almost never enter a branch to conduct a simple transaction. This shift in member behavior and needs necessitates a change in the way financial institutions approach the customer, from focus on simple transactions to emotional transactions. IC FCU members want to belong to an organization that makes them feel connected and valued. BNE: How does space design communicate that new awareness? Liz: Rather than space design, we talk about experience design. Most people are visual learners. When we enter a new space, our mind goes blank for a moment


BNE: What was your design strategy? Liz: One of the challenges when implementing new designs in previously familiar spaces is that people don’t know where to go, which can create anxiety. If a customer is arriving with the trepidation I mentioned before, this moment can make them even more anxious. When they are taking in the new space, we want them quickly calmed and reassured. We created a series of visual landing points to clearly walk people through the new experience. We created islands of branded interaction within the branch that give members visual destinations during their initial scan. Each area of activity had a visual anchor. Even though the branch location is small, we wanted to create a waiting area where members can walk in and assess the new location without feeling rushed. We used a series of soothing, spa-like colors on the walls. From here, members can easily see where they should go next. A “Marlborough Community wall” and illuminated logo frame an open and inviting reception desk area where people can meet with a knowledgeable employee. We want members to walk to that place.

The Marlborough Community wall draws customers over to the reception area.

For more private or detailed discussions, we created a glass walled office space. We put a banding treatment on the glass walls to create both the feeling of privacy and the permission to enter that space. It feels welcoming, but also creates an understanding that you need to be invited into that space. This visual cue directs members towards the reception area first. We were designing away from the idea of coming in and getting in a line. We want to invite members to come in and converse with a knowledgeable professional. Customers tend to gravitate towards mobile channels whenever possible, but sometimes visiting the branch is required. We don’t want a visit to a physical location to be a lesser experience.

BNE: What were the results? Liz: IC FCU opened its branch in the Apex Center in Marlborough in the summer of 2018. The membership reaction to the new branch has been very positive. Members appreciate that the focus is on finding solutions for big life events and not on sales and transactions. IC FCU has been successful in attracting new members who value all the benefits of the credit union. Moving forward, IC FCU plans to incorporate the new experience design into all their branches, reflecting the importance of localization and the specific community in which the branch is located. The reason this design works is that it is human-focused and can adapt to other locations to support the needs of that Comfortable meeting spots indicate that the branch is now more about community. ■ conversations than transactions.


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