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ABA Banking Journal Podcast

Mar 27, 2019

Micah Bartlett’s views on “relationship banking” are formed by a fundamental insight: most people have a fraught emotional relationship with money. For most customers, he says in the latest ABA Banking Journal Podcast, finances cause anxiety, not empowerment. “There’s a big emotional component to money in people’s lives, and that’s helped inform how we approach our relationships with our customers.”

Meanwhile, community banks thrive on expertise about their customers, adds the president and CEO of Town and Country Bank in Springfield, Ill. “When we’re delivering products and solutions to our customers, it’s based on specific knowledge of their business, their industry, their needs.” To help build that expertise — and lay a foundation for a supportive relationship — Town and Country bank staff make thousands of outreach calls each year, not to pitch products but to understand how customers are doing.

“The majority of our customers don’t regularly come in the bank. If you’re through the onboarding process and you don’t have any program to reach out to those customers, their connection with you is really nothing more than the digital experience,” says Bartlett. “We want to take that a step further and make sure we’re staying in connection, even with customers we don’t see on a regular basis.”