First of all, let me say that I would rather the title of this blog entry be “How Major League Baseball is like Community Banking.” However, my reality tonight was a quiet (and very enjoyable) evening hanging out in the living room with my wife, the laptop, and ANOTHER season premier of “The Bachelorette.” For those of you not up to speed on reality TV, this particular show tries to help one lucky gal find true love by bringing in 25 eligible bachelors and letting her sift through the pretenders to find her soul mate. Without giving you the impression that I actually like this show by giving you all sorts of gory details, I’ll just skip to the part where I try to compare community banking with the show. The entire premise of the first show tonight was the bachelorette whittling down the field. With only one chance to make a first impression, many of the contestants tried to set themselves apart by doing something unique.
This may be a bit of a stretch, but there are so many ways for people to get their banking services in today’s electronic world. There are national banks, community banks, credit unions, and online banks. There are companies like Wal-Mart that provide banking services. Companies like State Farm Insurance also do banking along with providing their standard offerings. With so many eligible banking options out there it is more important than ever to make an impression that demonstrates why community banking is invaluable. At First National we try to make memorable first impressions every time we see you. For example, our phones are answered by people and not machines, we try to greet you by name and with a smile when you walk into our lobbies, and we make every effort to be your local banking experts.
Bigger banks and organizations are likely to send you through an automated phone maze to find a live voice on the other end. Online banks may have good rates but lack any sort of personal or local touch. Companies that offer banking services as an additional service may not have the expertise you expect and deserve from the place you entrust with your financial resources.
Ultimately, you should be able to visit any of our branch locations and find a community banker that knows banking and your community. Our goal is to keep making great first impressions so you know how much we much value you as a customer. You don’t have to give us a rose (a la “The Bachelorette”) but we’d love to have your business.