I recently had the privilege of speaking to the seasoned banking professionals at the Arkansas Bankers Association Mega Conference in Little Rock, AR. I always jump at the opportunity to network with bankers across the US. Community bankers are beyond resilient in their efforts to make their client’s and prospect’s lives easier. After all, community banks have the ability to compete because they know their clients, they know their communities, and they simply can just make things happen! It is inspiring to see how these, sometimes competing, financial institutions come together and share best practices with one another.
It’s also a privilege to be called on as a trusted industry partner and thought leader but admittedly I was a bit hesitant to present on “Lending Technology Trends to Succeed with Millennials.” The generational component of this topic is pretty much a dead horse gasping for air from time to time, and I did not want to be that Millennial that preached about what veteran bankers in Arkansas needed to do to gain share of wallet from my generation.
Nevertheless, as I began reviewing and prepping my presentation something hit me (and it wasn’t my shiny metal fidget toy – for once). Technology trends to succeed with Millennials are no different than what the typical business or consumer borrower demands from its financial institution.
In that vein, I asked the attendees at the beginning of my presentation to simply consider if any of the technology strategies I presented were materially different from what their existing clientele would either utilize or benefit from. Of course, it’s critical to analyze, understand, and listen to all target markets and respective demographics and as such, I couldn’t resist poking and jabbing at my generation’s quirks. Once we got a few laughs in the audience quickly started to realize that my presentation was not about Millennials. It was about overcoming challenges in engaging any client or prospect. Critical components like delivering value and ease. Digitizing, empowering customers and prospects, and recognizing the value of data – after all, isn’t data exactly what your clients are telling you?!
It’s about fostering an environment that is conducive to change and innovation and one that is transparent throughout any client or prospect interaction. It’s a safe assertion that we all expect more from the companies we do business with and the products and services they provide. So while there is no magic formula, simply start with the facts: customers want their bank to know them and listen to them, they want their bank’s help in gaining (and maintaining) their trust, and they want their bank’s help in making it easy and convenient to do business. While technology can be a facilitating factor in meeting these demands, it’s not a “Millennial thing,” it’s an “everybody thing.”