What Happened

9menoutThese days, many community bankers are expending valuable resources evaluating current product suites, launching, or planning to launch new products, including mobile deposit services, remote deposit and anything that the bigger banks have in attempt to play “catch-up.”

Are you doing or thinking about doing this? And are you one of the many who find the process exhausting – just thinking about the decision to do it, finding the right resource to oversee the project, choosing the vendor (if needed), developing compliance procedures, integrating it into your core system, testing, developing risk management procedures, training staff, etc., etc.

There’s a never ending list of tasks to do. No wonder you’re tapped out when it comes to sharing the good news with current and prospective clients!

And so you know what happens – everyone feels disappointed and frustrated after all that effort when results are inevitably less than expected and – sales are dismal.

Congratulations – you built it but they didn’t come.

So what went wrong – or more importantly, how can you fix this or avoid it from happening next time?

Before you launch a new product or service, you should first define a launch team – the people who represent the appropriate functions in your institution and who will be critical to a successful launch.

Build your strategy for the product or service with this team. To start, a few essential questions to answer include:

* Your goals: Why are you doing this – how important is this product to your global goals and strategies? What results will make you happy and make the effort worthwhile?

* Your customers: Which customers and prospects do you think will be attracted to this product or service and why? How will this new product compare to your competitors’?

* Your staff: How will you help them develop confidence selling this product and sharing information with prospects to answer their questions?

Now think through how you’re going to share the good news:

* Is this product designed with existing customers in mind to enhance their relationship with you or is it also a great way to attract new customers?

* How should you tell your customers and the market about this new product/service? What media and communication channels should you use – and how often should you get the word out?

These are just a few of the necessary questions to answer in advance – do your strategic planning for the product launch before you dive in and choose the vendor, etc. and that will help create ownership throughout your institution as you get the team together and plan the project. If it’s not worth the time and effort to develop an appropriate plan, then it’s certainly not worth launching.

Build it so they will come – and enjoy the benefits of offering the right products to the right customers with the right messaging and execution.

And, as always, if you want help building the marketing strategy to launch a new product, or assistance with the implementation, or a fresh perspective on why it
didn’t go as you expected, please contact me at 303-795-3539 or lauren@oconnellconsultinggroup.com.

CSI: Customer Satisfaction
Strategic Planning

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