Your marketing and digital media might be in perfect harmony, but if your employees are singing a different tune, your customers may be receiving mixed messages. It could be as simple as a teller giving a customer an outdated brochure, or as serious as a loan specialist misrepresenting a promotion.
Internal communications are especially important for community banks because of the high level of service that customers expect and the gap that can occur between corporate and branch offices. There are several tools we routinely suggest to our bank clients to maintain effective internal communications:
Designating a “brand ambassador” within your team can change the complexion of your culture. The ambassador straddles marketing, HR and retail. He or she is in the branches communicating internal announcements, reminding employees they are part of something bigger than themselves, and gathering feedback. The ambassador is also mindful of community events, ensuring bank activities are properly communicated via social media. Additionally, they are a vital link to the marketing team, providing critical input on incentive programs, future campaigns and web updates.
Though typically used as an IT function, the employee intranet is a valuable communications vehicle. We’re building a user-friendly intranet for a client as we speak. It includes an e-guide to products and services so customer questions are accurately answered. There are tools to promote intra-branch communications, a section for company announcements and upcoming events, and a resources section that informs employees of company benefits and discounts. Besides facilitating a unified voice, the intranet helps create a team mentality.
A letter from the President is a recurring opportunity for a bank to reinforce its brand identity. The messages can be internally or externally focused, or both. We’ve developed “President’s Message” features in multiple media including web, video and print. Regardless of the medium, the key here is to include meaningful messages (avoid typical fluff and platitudes) on a continuing, predictable basis (we recommend quarterly).
What are your most pressing internal communications challenges? Contact us and we’ll help you develop a plan to overcome them and keep everyone on the same page at all times.