It’s no secret that Bank of America has suffered some reputation hits since the financial crisis, from high-profile lawsuits blaming the bank’s lending practices for the housing bust to public outcry over plans to charge new fees to checking account customers.
Most recently, the bank received the worst score of the four major commercial banks in a survey by the American Customer Satisfaction Index, sliding 3% to 66, its lowest score in years. Bank of America has also undergone major structural changes, downsizing the bank’s operations, cutting back on staff, and closing many branches.
Now, in a position to grow and in serious need of repairing its image with customers, the bank has begun its new rebranding aimed at building more personal connections between bankers and customers. There was a survey done on over 1,000 customers who just recently opened an account with Bank of America, and in the survey more than 70% said the banker didn’t understand their needs. As mangers at BOA we needed to help steer our bankers away from pushing products.
At the end of the day, the bank’s success really revolves around the employees: if they buy-in to the project, if and how we adapt to the new change, whether we are able to build better relationships with customers. After all, employees are the face of the bank, our behavior shapes the majority of each and every customer experience. If those behaviors are not aligned with the new brand strategy, customers will have no reason to believe anything has really changed.
In late January, CEO Brian Moynihan sent a letter to its nearly 270,000 employees telling them they had to make it easier for customers to do business with the bank. The bank received a slew of media attention around this outreach, with most of the focus on the how he decided to communicate. We must admit, we were surprised as well. Was a somewhat scolding letter sent to each employee’s home really the best approach to delivering such an