What Millennials Like (And Don’t Like) About Community Banking

Community Banking Won’t Attract Millennials Without Listening to Them

community bankingCommunity banking seems like a perfect fit for attracting millennials. After all, one of the identifying traits of the millennial stereotype is that they value interacting with companies that have a bigger purpose. The local investment and interests of the community are always at the heart of community banking, so for many millennials, this is a selling point.

It’s not guaranteed, though, that you’ll capture the business of millennials, even with a strong local presence. There’s more to their decision, and here are some important mistakes not to make:

Talking to them, not with them. Like any generation, millennials reach adulthood with a desire to be treated as such. If you offer financial advice to your customers, make sure you aren’t infusing the conversation with judgment or an attitude that they need you to parent them in their decisions. Instead, offer advice and encouragement the same way you would an older bank customer.

Having mobile access that’s not user friendly. Millennials do a lot of business over their phones, but they want efficient and fast transactions. Here are some common problems:

  • You have mobile access but it’s not efficient. Maybe nobody can open an account on your mobile site, or you require customers to print and mail a form for a change to be made. This isn’t convenient and may cause millennials to seek out easier options.
  • It’s not user-friendly. If a user can’t find what they need within about 20 seconds of getting onto your site, they may leave and go somewhere else. You can do testing to see how long it takes a person unfamiliar to your site to find a variety of commonly-accessed areas.

Not listening to their needs. Is your effort to capture more millennial business informed by millennials? If not, take some time to have conversations with them. Talk with millennials and they will be upfront and clear about where you’re missing the mark. Consider setting up a millennial board to gain information about what’s valuable in your current situation, and what changes need to be made to attract consumers just entering the workforce.

The future of community banking relies on attracting each new generation to the importance of local investing and financial decisions. Membership in CBA of Kansas provides resources to help you navigate these changes and ensure that community banking is thriving where you live and work.

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