Your retail lending products are featured on the home page of your bank’s website, right? Go take a look. While you’re at it, tour the home pages of your top competitors. You might be surprised at what you discover.
Here’s what you probably found. There’s plenty of content about personal banking products centered on deposit accounts. You also found a lot of information on ATM/debit cards and mobile and online banking. After all, every bank wants to send the message that customers have 24/7 access to their accounts.
What you also discovered is that precious little real estate is dedicated to your lending products. You may have found a drop down menu with links to all the bank’s products including personal loans, auto loans, student loans, and mortgage loans, but you didn’t find a splashy section dedicated to your beloved retail lending products. You probably didn’t even find a link to a page dedicated to them. Instead, you’re more likely to find links to apply for an unsecured personal loan or a credit card.
So why do most banks fail to aggressively go after new lending customers? Despite encouraging retail bankers to break down product silos and focus on our customer’s overall relationship with the bank, most website designs are grounded in the old way of thinking about banking products. Those designs treat them as if they’re stand alone products rather than part of a strategic set of offerings. It’s not that your bank doesn’t want to attract new lending customer; it may not know how. That’s where you come in.
How do you take control and promote retail lending products as an integral part of your customer’s overall relationship on your bank’s home page? First, think about the message you want to send to prospective lending customers. What products do you want to promote? Will your featured products change often? If so, find out from a website administrator or manager how easy it is to update the website. Build a plan based on that answer. If you can’t update the home page frequently, don’t highlight a “flavor of the month” product. Stick with your traditional products that are always in demand, such as auto loans, student loans, and mortgage loans.
As you fight for your rightful space on your bank’s home page, remind management that updating the bank’s website to feature different lending products is much less expensive than continually developing and printing hard copy product brochures. When lobbying for more real estate on the home page, don’t forget to ask for a robust Retail Lending landing page. This page should highlight the features and benefits of your various product offerings and include links to apply for the products online.
Work with your marketing department to get what you want. It might take a few tries until they develop something that matches your vision. Don’t get discouraged – not everyone speaks “retail lending-ese.”
Keep this tip in mind. You’ll get the best results if develop a collaborative partnership between the marketing team, the website administrator and yourself. Best wishes as you take control of your online presence.