It’s no secret – banks have a reputation problem. No matter how convenient they make their service, or how much money they save for their customers, their issue will always be brand perception.

The tightrope for any brand is to ‘brag without bragging’ – trying to communicate what makes them special without patronising the audience. In regulated industries, this becomes an even greater challenge. Banks can’t actually say what they want to say. That makes it hard to control their reputation, and even harder to control their customers.

Banks have long been afraid of customer opinion – after all, it’s often come in the form of angry letters and public demonstrations.

If we can’t hand the banks our letter, we’ll tie it to a brick and throw it through the window. - Highlight to share -

Insert digital: things get a billion times worse. The lack of control is amplified, and negative sentiment floods the Internet. The punches are being thrown at a cowering opponent. In fact, that’s the real issue here: people don’t feel like banks want their input. It’s natural for us to want to express ourselves, but if we can’t hand the banks our letter, we’ll tie it to a brick and throw it through the window (figuratively of course).

Learning from your customers is about more than just collecting data about what they buy. It needs to be more human than that. Typical analytics tell the “what”. It’s time for banks to ask “why”.

Learning from your customers is about more than just collecting data about what they buy. - Highlight to share -

There are avenues for customer connection beyond traditional advertising and marketing. Trying to fight regulatory rules – and the media – is an uphill (and expensive) battle.

Customers want a voice. They want not just to be heard, but to be listened to. An honest and open discussion, on their level, is the way to gain trust back.

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The trust account