Customer Interaction

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Communicating With the Customer: When Green Shoots May Be Crab Grass

Developing new deposit products and new product/service positioning strategies deftly mirroring the zeitgeist of today's economic uncertainty and the increasing conservatism of consumer financial behaviors is an appropriate proactive response by the battered financial services industry.

Introduction

As some commemorate the One Year anniversary of Lehmann Brothers' failure and others parse incoming economic data looking for signs that the recession is over, commercial bankers face the ongoing challenge of building and sustaining the trust of their customers as both are surrounded by economic and industry-specific detritus; much of which is the banks' own making.

There is a bookshelf stocking instinct that manifests itself in discussions of market conditions, with one bookend marking the beginning of the economic period and the other marking its end. While the media appear determined to neatly package the recession as a single-year phenomenon, the banking industry was suffering multi-billion dollar earnings declines more than a year before the overall economy fell off a cliff and it will take months if not years longer than most industry sectors to recover from the recession's affects on its wounded retail and commercial customers, its fetid real estate assets and the skepticism of its regulators.