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The Cross-Selling Conundrum: Is There a Solution?

October 25, 2016

The banking industry was recently turned upside down by a series of seemingly impossible events focused on one integral source of revenue: cross-selling. Aggressive and unethical sales practices have come under scrutiny at the highest level, subjecting one financial institution to what may be irreparable damage to their public image and forcing them to pay out hundreds of millions of dollars in reparations. The regulation and scrutiny of banking sales practices has never been greater.

With so much drama and tension surrounding cross-selling in the banking industry, how should banks properly respond? The answer isn’t as complex as you’d think.

The Negative Implications of Reactively Eliminating Cross-Selling

Putting a halt to cross-selling altogether may seem like the right course of action, however the negative implications are great. Without an active cross-sales dialogue to lead branch-level customer engagement, banks rely solely on marketing and existing customer knowledge to drive sales of their many solutions and services - which are often complicated to the end customer. With tellers walking on eggshells and customers being left to their own devices, we can assume only the most intuitive offerings will survive, leaving more complicated - and perhaps more profitable - products to fade into obscurity. Left to their own devices, customers aren’t as likely to find the products to best suit their needs, especially since they are used to relying on the guidance of branch experts.

Improve Customer and Employee Retention 

Regardless of popular belief, cross-selling is an effective way to increase both customer and employee satisfaction. To some bankers cross-selling may mean leading customers to solutions most profitable for the bank - not necessarily putting the customer’s needs first. Although this may be the fundamental origin of cross-sales, the right dialogue will lead customers to solutions that more adequately meet their needs. Better addressing customer needs improves retention on both ends of the conversation.

Providing customers with honest and accurate recommendations allows employees to enjoy a more fulfilling work environment in which they are more likely to stay. On the other side of the conversation, customers will be more likely to stay with a bank focused on helping them achieve their long-term financial goals. With the right approach, everyone wins.

Correctly Cross-Selling Actually Helps Banks Sustain Compliance

Sure, it’s understood cross-selling drives revenue and helps banks grow, but how can cross selling help sustain compliance? Simple. Dialogue automation. A solution that takes bias out of the conversation eliminates room for non-compliant practices and better addresses customer needs. By fully documenting customer needs and goals, an automated solution is able to quantitatively help bankers guide customers to the products that best address their needs from an unbiased perspective, taking the guesswork out of the engagement ensures compliance from start to finish.

Stay tuned for more on this in the coming weeks.

Build your own compliant customer engagement platform and dialogue. Connect with us today to learn more.

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