When it comes to finances, everyone at some point needs a liaison. You and your organization serve as the go-between for people with savings and people with a need for money, providing them with an essential function of financial management. Often, however, it can be difficult to work with these people and also follow regulations. Here are a few examples of ways you can better help your customers.
Know your Customer
The first step, of course, is to know who exactly you’re dealing with. Every customer is different, but often creating a profile of different types of people can help you better meet their needs and still follow financial regulations. A business owner may want to take a risk that a bank cannot legally approve, or a person may assume coverage for something that their insurance policy doesn’t cover. When handling these situations, keep in mind the wants and needs of the customers that often come into your institution. It’s beneficial to practice consumer profiling so you can better identify their pain points and resolve them.
Develop lending standards
Having lax or no lending standards at all will inevitably result in financial problems for the bank, its customers, and the community at large. Most financial institutions insist on customers putting up an equity that is some percentage of the full payment, demonstrating their source of repayment, and providing past financial history. If a potential customer cannot meet these standards, it is not only in the institution’s best interest but also the customer’s to not go through with the loan. When doing so, of course, denying customers should be done tactfully in an official letter, still remembering to foster a good relationship for future interactions.
Encourage financial literacy
Though it is very helpful to avoid complicated jargon that will distance and confuse a customer, it is even more helpful for all involved to encourage their understanding in the resources you and your institution provide. Some institutions go so far as to create their own financial literacy program. Regardless, teaching your customers how to do things such as buy a home, save for retirement, or pay for education will strengthen their trust in you and increase the business they do with you.
Helping people manage their money and their livelihood is no small task. Investigate how well your institution works with their customers and see what you can do to improve how you do business. In the end, their livelihood is yours.
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