ACG Member Since: 2017
ACG Involvement: VP Membership
The biggest change has been operating remotely vs. face to face. Working remotely has long been a norm, but not being able to see clients and prospects, for the most part, in person has been a big adjustment.
The biggest piece that I feel has worked well is customer service. The changes that have taken place have also changed how we are able to react to our clients and their needs. Answering calls after hours and emails through the weekend is standard practice. If it is not traditional working hours and I am busy, it might not be as quick of a response, but if I am sitting by the pool on Sunday I don't mind taking a call or answering an email. Clients like this level of response, we are all working different hours now, and it aligns with what they are doing.
What hasn't worked? Client expectations sometimes. We have partnered on a lot of government programs as such clients' expectations have been out of skew. This isn't regular banking, the rules constantly change, and you can't compare any two businesses as to how the process went. A few of these clients have gotten bent out of shape, but we understand this is big to them, and we get through it. I had a client whose loan was taking longer than expected, and it was. He told me he had not seen anything like this in 30 years of business, and I told him we have never seen anything like this, Ever! It is new to all of us.
LinkedIn is huge. I push content out in batches, as I am not on there every day. Social media is another great way to connect. I laugh when I hear about the great relationships we have with clients, but when I ask someone if they are connected on Facebook, they answer, "No, that is private." Really? Then how do you know your client? What they do and who they are?
There is no question that this has changed how we conduct business and live our lives. Zoom calls are going to be an acceptable and convenient way to conduct meetings as a norm. In our world, banking, you don't need physical locations. People are going to be able to bank where they want because of whom they work with and the customer service they are able to receive. They don't have to be beholden to being a nobody and having to bank there. School? Virtual is here. I can only imagine how collegiate online courses are up at a substantial rate. Deliveries to you first hand at your home? Check. So many things have changed, and it is the new Normal. It is not a question of going back to the old way, it is a question of how much we have changed.
Fly. We had a trip planned to Panama for Mid-March. We would love to still go on that trip, but not sure when that might happen. My dad lives in California, and we love going to see him but were not driving there….Ever. I also miss business lunches and Happy Hour Meetings. Working remote was part of the way I conducted business, but I was able to leave at some point every day. I look forward to both traveling and meeting face to face.
Face to Face Events, not sure one stands out more than another. I enjoy chatting with a variety of contacts and have missed talking with my colleagues. I struggle with attending more Zoom meetings due to the volume of those I conduct as part of the business. I am looking forward to seeing all of you again soon!