Banking on Digital Growth
Banking on Digital Growth

Episode · 3 months ago

122) #ClarityCalls: How to Maintain Your Brand’s Humanity in a Digital World

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

After COVID rapidly accelerated everyone’s digital transformation timeline, many have come to expect digital-first… well, everything. 

But how do you maintain true human relationships without human-to-human interaction?

In this Clarity Calls episode, that’s the problem today’s guest, Jon Voorhees , Director, Distribution Strategy & Business Development at TerraStrat Group, and I wrestle with.

We discuss:

Why there will always have to be a human component in finance

The education component of creating more human interactions

How digital tools can help us be more human when a problem arises

You can find this interview and many more by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts , on Spotify , or here .

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Banking on Digital Growth in your favorite podcast player.

...john ask how can banks and credit andto create quote unquote true relationships without human contact.Well that's a great question john and one that I look forward to talkingthrough with you on this episode of banking on digital growth. You're listening to banking on digitalgrowth With James robert lay a podcast that empowers financial brand marketing,sales and leadership Teams to maximize their digital growth potential bygenerating 10 times more loans and deposits. Today's episode is part ofthe clarity calls series where James roberts sits down for a conversationwith someone in the digital growth community to provide clarity into thebiggest digital marketing sales and leadership questions others have. Ifyou'd like to join James Robert for a future conversation texture questionright now to 8 3 to 5495, seven and 92. And remember the only bad question isthe question that goes unasked. Let's get into today's clarity callsconversation greetings and hello I am James robert, ley and welcome to the122nd episode of the Banking on digital growth podcast. Today's episode is partof the brand new clarity call series and I'm excited to welcome johnVoorhees to the podcast, john is the director of distribution strategy andbusiness development at Terror strap, a new kind of strategy firm where humanintelligence meets artificial intelligence. Welcome to the show, john,it is good to have you today. Yeah, great being here before we get intoyour question and a mighty good question it is for for this claritycalls, I'm always like to start out on a positive note, what is going well foryou, what is what is just good and positive in your world right now,personally or professionally it's it's your pick man. So I'll give you two apersonal note. I became a grandfather 20 months ago for the very first. Uhthank you. And two weeks ago my granddaughter and her brought herparents but my granddaughter came up and visited for a week and she'sbasically grown up during Covid, which is severely limited her interactionswith other people and the like. And every time we've gotten together it'sas if we're strangers and she understands the danger stranger kind ofconcept. But this last time she let me pick her up and hold her and walkaround she took me by the hand and went and showed the animals at a park wewent to, it was heavenly, you know, being able to make that breakthroughand then professional, I think the thing that I'm most blessed with is I'ma trained geographer, my degrees in Economic Geography And you know, it'sone of those degrees that people go well how do you make money at that?I've made a career over 40 years doing distribution strategy, which iseconomic geography, right? It's the...

...retail side of urban planning and I'vebeen able to use it for my entire 40-year career. And so every morning Iwake up doing the thing that I love to do and I'm planning on continuing towork as long as I continue to love what I could do if you can find that in yourcareer, go with it. But if you wake up every morning hating your job, you gotto go do something else. I have the same sense that you love what you do. I,you know, I do, and it's such a blessing because it's not work like I'min an executive coaching program and they've always talked about retirement.Like, and I see this with people, I see people that retire and things justdon't go as well as they thought or they had expected. And so for me, mymind set and I think that's a unique opportunity because if when you'reworking with your mind say more than your body, you as long as your mindstays healthy, you can do this as long as as possible. So my people havealways asked, well, when you want to retire, it's like, I don't I don't, Iwant to keep doing this as long as I'm having fun and, you know, creatingvalue and finding enjoyment because it it comes back to the point of yourquestion here and and and the question that you would ask me, It's aboutrelationships and and to me that's what this is all about. Just uh the amountof people that I've been able to meet through this podcast, we're almost, youknow, we're approaching 150 episodes now and a little bit over a year. Thejust to to be able to meet new people and have good conversations. It's it'sfantastic. And your question that you ask that and we'll talk through this isyou said, how can banks and credit unions create quote unquote truerelationships without human contact? And can you provide some context intothis question for for some modest additional clarity here? Sure. So, youknow, you're talking about loving what you do. So, I I've spent some time,80,000 hours studying distribution strategy and there's always new thingsto learn. So, I I basically wake up in the morning and I get to read, I doresearch, I write craft speeches and I think that's that's my job. So keepingmy brain focused on those things, on whatever the new topic is always keepsme charged. So, when I was thinking about what's happened over the lastcouple of years, so when you think about the banking and credit unionindustry, um, and so I'm all about the physical channel, right? The physicalchannel branches exist together. Low cost deposits, which can then be usedto fund lending in a variety of other ways, right? You don't always have todo alone through a physical channel. It's easier to give money to peopledigitally than it is to gather money from people, right? But what's happenedis that there are factors that are...

...influencing your ability to do that. Infact, I'm working on an article reminiscent. So think about like this,you've got, how do you grow a new branch? Well, you acquire new customers,you cross sell existing customers additional accounts try to get more andmore of their business. And by keeping your customers longer, you grow theirbalances over time as their incomes go up and things like that. Right? Sothose are the three principal drivers. Well, in the last 20 years, The numberof people who move change residences, which is the number one driver peoplechange in the bank has gone from 16% a year to 9% a year. So there's far fewerpeople moving. Therefore this far less turn, therefore it's harder to acquirecustomer. Right? And then the industry has done it. We keep introducingdigital channels to drive people away from us. Right? Well, we really don'twant to talk to you. You can just do it on your own. And in fact, if you try totalk to them, as I did recently with a financial services firm, you call upthe 1 800 number And you have to answer 27 layers of questions. And whileyou're waiting for each of the next layers that keep reminding you, you cando this on our online or mobile channel. It's like, I don't want to do that. Sothey're doing things to drive traffic away. Well, number one reason, Numberone way you cross sell accounts is through teller referrals. That's whattelephones going away. So it's harder to get new customers. It's harder tocross sell. And then the third is growing balances well in the last twoyears, all of a sudden we've seen huge stimulus payments being pushed out sobalances but it's artificial. It's not gonna last. It's basically it'scovering an underlying issue which is your ability to drive sales to gatherpeople is getting harder and harder and then you layer in external things likeall these Syntex and neo banks that are coming in and what they're doing isthey're stripping off the front is right they're going after. So chimethere. Our target audience is younger, lower income people living paycheck topaycheck in the link. So all of these factors going on and yet everyone issaying the future is digit, the future is digital banking. I often get intodebates about branches going away. They're not going away. So that that itwas all that context. I kept thinking about it because if people really want to create a relationship with theircustomers, which is what everyone, if you listen to them relationship bankingis the key to do this, then how do you do that when you don't actually want totalk to me? Yeah, it's a it's a fantastic question and it's one of thereasons why I wrote banking on digital growth and have a formulaic approach, D.X plus H X equals growth. The digital...

...experience plus the human experiencewill lead to growth because I'm a I don't believe digital alone digital ina silo it will lead to any growth. I I I'm even seeing now in doing researcharound the digital only experience and like you know why people keep comingback and saying oh amazon's a threat and I'm like but are they have youtried to get in touch with a human being at amazon? Even time research isnow coming out showing time there's a level of friction and frustration wheneverything's fine and dandy, everything's fine and dandy. But whenyou need to get in touch with a human being at chime chime is sending themthrough chatbots, china's sending them through email and that's frustrating alot of people who well wait a minute. The grass isn't necessarily greener onthe other side. I even take a step back further and learning through the covidexperience. That formulaic approach of DX plus Hx equals growth. I want to reI want to add another variable in there. E. X. E X plus Hx plus D. X equalsgrowth meaning the employee experience must proceed. A positive employeeexperience must proceed. A positive human experience that may or may not bedelivered through a positive digital experience because it could be a faceto face, it could be video but the human element still has to be very veryreal, particularly in a complex buying journey, like a financial product. It'sit's like health care, you can have remote digital health care up to acertain point, but then you're going to have to actually sit down and Have someheart to heart conversations, you some diagnostic work and really dies. You'regonna have to be hands on at some point at some point. Exactly. And we've, youknow, financial, there's $6 billion dollar bank and they're looking atmaximizing their digital growth capabilities. And I said it's not goingto be done by digital alone. You're gonna have to build this human elementinto this. And what they said, well what do you mean? I said, well you'vegot lead generation who's going to pick up those leads. A human being has topick up those leads. You got to actually talk to them, schedule anappointment, whether that be through a zoom or in person, it doesn't matter.You still have to bring that human connection. What we have found throughour studies is the faster that you can get one human being in contact withanother human being through a digital medium. There's a higher naturalpropensity for and it's a human element.

I would, I would say right here,technology has transformed our world and digital has changed the wayconsumers shop for and buy financial services forever. Now, consumers makepurchase decisions long before they walk into a branch if they walk into abranch at all, but your financial brand still wants to grow loans and deposits,we get it. Digital growth can feel confusing, frustrating and overwhelmingfor any financial brand, marketing and sales leader, but it doesn't have tobecause James robert wrote the book that guides you every step of the wayalong your digital growth journey, visit www dot digital growth dot com toget a preview of his best selling book banking on digital growth or order acopy right now for you and your team from amazon inside, you'll find astrategic marketing manifesto that was written to transform financial brandsand it is packed full of practical and proven insights. You can start usingtoday to confidently generate 10 times more loans and deposits Now back to theshow, I agree with you 100% that the, the answer to the question is ourfuture digital or physical is Both they have to compliment because so here'shere's a couple of different things. One is you mentioned China rightChina's, you know, I think there are 12 million customers or something likethat. And so if you go back and look at chimes advertising of a year or so ago.Right. It was all about, we'll get your paycheck early, you get a debit card,your life is easy, no fees, all that kind of stuff. And what they werefighting at the time though is that through different research companieshave come back to conclude that yes, but the customers of mobile or digitalonly banks hate their banks, right. They don't like them as much as theylike. Break banks still got branches and the like and and the reason becausethey don't feel they have a relationship with them. Right. Right.It's very transactional, right? It's like, I don't really have arelationship with amazon but I probably order something three times a week.It's very transactional. And when I have a problem, they actually do makeit easy for me to return something and things like that. So they've sold thataccount management side of the issue by making it easy on the back end. So youapply that to banks now we'll chime as they found out through all this growth.They haven't staffed up the human side of the equation enough. And so theyactually had more consumer complaints to the consumer financial protectionboard than chased it. And chases got like five times the customers. So youstart thinking about, well what are the ramifications? It's not an either or itcan't be in either or and but it has to...

...be a both. Because what's happening isthat as we've introduced from from a customer's perspective and this iswhere I do a lot of my thinking, I put myself in the customer's shoes asthey've been afforded new ways to transact. They don't trade off whatthey do is they add the new channels to their menu of options and you've nowgiven them a selection of options and depending upon what I'm doing duringthe day, what my need is, let's say it's to make a deposit. Well, I maychoose to do with my phone. I may choose to drop that may tm and or ifit's a big deposit, I may chose to go into a branch by having those options.That's that layer of convenience. Just like having a lot of branches and ATMslayer of convenience. That's what people want. They want to have choicesfor doing it. However, that deals with only the transactional side of thebusiness. The number one reason people go to branches because they have aproblem. Right. I screwed up. In fact, some of the research I recently did,it's hard to believe but gen Z uses branches as much as baby boomers. It'sfor different reasons. Right, gente. Does it because I screwed up, I don'tknow how any of this stuff works. How can I be out of money? I still havechecks. Right. But whereas boomers do it for the security reasons. Yeah, I, Ithink that's, I think that's where the opportunity lies though, particularlywith a new line of possible income, non interest income. And you see, you seeAlly going away from NSF you see a lot of larger nationals starting to movethat direction. So what's gonna that impact to drive down to say thecommunity bank and the credit union level? Are they going to follow suitewith that? Well then, how are they going to replace that? For me, it'salmost financial coaching, financial, like actual coaching to where I have acoach, you got the financial Jim out of New York who's doing this to get amonthly membership fee of about $95 a month. That can, that coaching can bedelivered digital remotely. Or maybe you sit down on a quarterly basis withyour coach, a monthly basis, whatever the cadences and you go through and yousolve the tough problems together and you give people a choice to maybe youcharge a premium if they want that, that face to face in person experience.And then maybe if it's a digital or remote, well maybe it's a differentlevel of membership. So to me, I totally agree. I'm sorry. I think infact the way you do, so advice, right? People are talking about banks that thegovernment advisory centres, but the type of advice, someone who's 25 needsdifferent than the type of, someone who's 55. Absolutely. And the, the gymZ is looking to become educated, they...

...recognize they don't know everything.Millennials think they know everything and they want transactional conveniencegen x is sitting there going, oh my God, retirement is coming up and I haven'tsaved anything, right, So they need, they're the ones who truly need advice,financial advice like investment advice and they're like, and, and and boomersare sitting there half the boomer, you know, I'm a peak baby boomer, right?And I'm the youngest of five kids. So all my siblings are the front edge ofthe boomers and you know, they're looking for security. Listen, I'vebuilt up enough wealth I can retire. I just don't want to screw it up and Iwant you to be there. I want you to have my back. Right? And so you needdifferent things at different times. So thinking, I've been thinking abouteducation, Well, how does it been taking information? Right. So why arebanks and credit unions doing, you know, 90 seconds or three minutes? You know,short videos? If I, if I bought a new house recently. And so there's alwaysnew things to learn. Like how do you adjust these, you know, brackets onyour kitchen shelves and things like that? Well, there you go to Youtube,you type it in and there's a little video about it, Right? So how dochecking accounts work? How do late fees work? How do you know, all thesedifferent things. Could be a suite of educational things for, for the youngergenerations who wanted, but then you can think about as you go up, it couldbe one on one advice for gen x, right? It could be without having to sit downwith a financial planner or something. It could be just help me understandthese kinds of things, but it all gets back to, there's a human doing thatright. You know, it's not a chat box, there's a there's a there's a human whois educating these, these folks. But the other big piece of this is if youput yourself in the issue of the consumer right, I'm willing to give upmy contact with humans at my financial services provider for all the routinestuff. But when I have a problem and I chooseto solve it by either picking up the phone or going into a physical buildingto talk to someone that better be a perfect experience, You better solve myproblem and make me really happy because otherwise that's the only thingI'm going to think. Yes. And and that is where I believe that idea ofexperience the micro experience and micro experiences has the potential tobeat the macro micro in a digital world can beat the macro. My wife orderedsome towels off of an online retailer, not amazon it was, she was looking forsomething very specific mattock as I...

...believe the brand and brands beenaround for a very long time and ended up getting you know, handwritten thankyou know, delivered with the towels beautifully wrapped like high endretail. But it was through an e. Com experience and it really left animpression Zappos for example, right? Digital aecom retailer but staffed byan amazing and Tony shea passed away too early. But he his mind was so farahead of this idea of humanizing a digital shopping experience to wherethey wrote about it and delivering happiness. I even think about this ideaof financial coaching, it's more than just showing someone what to do, butprobably helping them re imagine their relationship with money because thatyou're getting into a whole psychological discussion rooted in, youknow, family of origin and childhood and environment. But but it's somethingthat, that we just can't do alone. We it's why we go to the gym, it's why weget that trainer. It's why we get that additional layer of expertise. But Ithink about the fitness industry and with the fitness industry has undergone,you've got political, political has been successful, not because of thebike, but because of the accessibility to a human being a coach. That that'swhy they have the live classes because and, and and also the community becausethere's that accountability factor too. I think that I'm more likely to be heldaccountable by john even if john you're through zoom the fact that john I knowyou're there, you're a real person. I can call on you, you can call on me andhold me accountable, I'm more likely to transform positive behaviors because Idon't wanna let jOHn down versus say a chat bot. It's a chat bot, who cares,right? So I think I think that's the flesh and blood, even if it's not inthe physical context, it's still knowing that john is going to be thereand you said something to before we hit record, it's this idea of people saythat, oh, I got all these friends on social media. But is that really arelationship? Is that is that someone who is going to be there for you inyour most dire time of need? Yeah, the, you know what, what defines arelationship, right? So psychologists say that you can't have a relationshipwithout human interaction and does even now you and I are looking at each otherand we're talking and where many miles apart, you know, we have a relationshipwell, we made for this moment, right? If we do this enough, if we talk enoughwe may do that, but we'll see each other at conferences and the like, butit's not the same kind of relationship...

I think you have with, you know, sayyour family or you know, your friends or your people that you work within thelife. I think the, the industry in total has been so cost avoidance, right?It's been it's been the matter and that's why digital has come in and allthese other kind of things and and and it's been great. But there's a limitbecause the other side of it is this balancing act and I don't thinkAnyone's got it right yet. And then that I've mentored. So I was with bankof America for 17 years and so almost all my relationship with with Bank ofAmerica lots and lots of accounts and I know the products really well. So whenI pick up the phone because I have a problem, you know, I've explored allthe other options, right? And you know, and I'm one of their preferred clientsand they send me all these nice notes and everything. It will take 10 minutesto get through their damn phone tree to be able to get to talk to a person. Andthen oftentimes the person I get on the other end of the line, I realize I mayknow more than they do. And it's like, no, no. When I choose to talk to aperson, I want someone who's really good operationally, right? They knowhow things work and because I want them to fix something, right? And and sothat I may have no issues at all all year. You know, and I might interactwith the bank every day via the mobile device or my my computer. But that onebad experience, it's going to stick with me. And I had one of those earlierthis year and I can't keep letting it go. It got me to the point of should Igo through the pain and suffering of changing all my relationships right?And it was like, you know what I ended up doing was I call the people I knowwithin the organization still. And I said listen, I think you've got aproblem, you may not be aware of and I told them the story and we'll see ifthey do anything with it. But The new firm that I joined, reason Ijoined is because we have some amazing AI-based programming tools that helpmake the decisions about where you put branches in 18. So much more scientificthan we could in the past. But even within that part of my role at the firmis I bring in 47 years of experience. You know, I think I've opened over 1000branches and I've closed over a couple of 1000. I've analyzed pretty muchevery market in the country. So I'm a sounding board for the models, right?So when the models generated output, it's john do they make sense? You know,this market really well? And so combining the human intelligence orhuman experience with the ai intelligence and a experiences, I can'tdo what the models can do and the models can't do what I can do. It'sthat combination. It's your it's your...

...formula. But for each of thoseinteractions there has to be an easy and comfortable itty with it. And so Ithink there's going to be a smart bank out there who's gonna be heavy digitalbut they're gonna say we're gonna build up the biggest baddest staffed callcenter that's ever existed and were already going, we're going to pay moreso we're going to get pros we're going to get the best people we possibly getright there. Yeah. And so when, when, when a call comes in, The call getsrouted from the first ring, not from, you know, 87 the layers to get it tothe right person, it's going to go to the person and they're going to say,how can I help you? And when you tell them what the problem is, they help you,that's where we have to be. And someone's going to say it's worth it tobuild that model because I can take out some physical costs because I'm goingto be able to serve those issues via the phone, which should still becheaper than the physical. But I'm not gonna sacrifice the experience we usedto have when you would walk into the bank and sit down and talk to marryyour banker. Absolutely. And we were just having that conversation in a peergroup this morning talking about how we must become more proactive in theserelationships, whether they be in the real physical world or in the digitalworld when someone and that's where the data and the a I can come back intoplay because I can utilize some of that context, that history of who thatperson is and their behaviors and they're where they're at where they'relooking to go to facilitate a dialogue to facilitate a conversation and thentake a proactive stance in their life to provide that level of guidance andmaybe even accountability. Because I'm being reminded that I need to do anoutbound outreach just to check in on john to see how his progress is goingbased upon, what we had talked about three months ago. That type of anexperience, I think you're right. It's to me those that can solve that problemwill be far ahead than those who are just thinking about digital alone orthinking about physical alone. But they're bringing the best of bothworlds together as a hybrid. You when you win, imagine a future where youcall and you talked to someone at your bank and they resolve a problem for youand then two weeks later you get a call from them asking did everything workout right? And the like now you've got a friend relationship who's checking upon you and and you are much more receptive to having a secondconversation with them and that's how you end up doing cross selling, likeyou acquire more of the business. One...

...of the research things that I stillremember, it was early in my career, we were studying what happens when someonewalks into a branch on how do you place advertising in a branch? And we did indepth studies with people, we'd have someone stand inside and outside thebranch and we'd interview people as they're going in, coming out. Like whatwe found was when someone's coming into use a teller, Their mind is engaged inone purpose. How long is the q how do we get to the teller that kind of stuff.All our advertising was facing the door so people would see it when they walkin. Well what we learned was they don't take it in at all. We flip the signs sothey would see it as they're leaving the teller station. We found thatrecall from those people with significantly higher because theremight have cleared of the task and now they're open to something. The samething happens when you're on the phone, you've got a problem, right? If you'vemade a problem, a positive experience for me by solving it quickly andcorrectly, then my mind is going to be open to all sorts of ideas, but I don'tI don't see that happening at least at the big players and it could be a scaleissue with the like they've got to solve it because if they if they wantto keep reducing branches to limit your options with people and they want tomake it almost impossible to get someone on the phone. They're basicallysaying, well, we value your business, we just don't value you, right? Andbecause we really don't want you to talk to us, we want you to go away andjust, you know, it's a friend of mine was at shopping at walmart and posted apicture of their local walmart, they had closed down all the manned checkoutlanes and everything was self service checkout and her comment. And so shewas showing pictures of huge lines, people which big shopping carts doingself checkout and she goes, whoever thought this was going to be moreefficient has to be fired because I didn't know when I came in her shopping,I didn't know I was going to become an employee of walmart. Right, right. Soit's the does the technique fit the expectation of your customer? And youknow, I think it's people need to really step back and say humaninteractions are getting fewer and fewer. How do I make them the bestpossible interactions? Because those moments of truth are what people willremember and that's what we'll talk about. I still talk about my badcustomer phone experience months after it's happened and because it justticked me off so much. And when you think about those moments of truth,five pop to the top of my head and this...

...has been such a fantastic conversationwith a great question today, john but for the dear listener to really go backand review you obviously you have the in person physical experience, you havethe phone call center experience, you have the video experience, you alsohave email and SmS, you've got chat and and and and then there's that the Aicomponent. But but but I think that's that's only one half of the equationbecause even then, how many times do those Ai chatbots end up connectingover to a real life person to resolve that situation? To provide that help toprovide that hope john this has been a fantastic conversation and I appreciateyou joining me on another episode of banking on digital growth. Mr Lay,thank you. If anyone is listening has a question like john about digitalmarketing, digital sales, digital leadership please reach out to me, textme that question to gain clarity at 283 to 5495792. And I look forward toanswering and talking together with you on a future episode of banking ondigital growth until then and as always be well, do good and make your bed,thank you for listening to another episode of banking on digital growthwith James robert. Ley like what you hear, tell a friend about the podcastand leave us a review on apple podcasts, google podcasts or Spotify andsubscribe while you're there to get even more practical improvementinsights visit www dot digital growth dot com To grab a preview of Jamesroberts, best selling book banking on digital growth or order a copy rightnow for you and your team from amazon inside you'll find a strategicmarketing and sales blueprint framed around 12 key areas of focus Thatempower you to confidently generate 10 times more loans and deposits untilnext time. Be well and do good. Yeah.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (149)