For years, banks have tried to migrate customers to low cost, electronic channels to reduce costs.  Strategies range from “save the environment, go electronic” to cash incentives for paying bills online.  Because most banks focus on migrating entire customer relationships online, they miss the opportunity to increase the profitability of specific transactional behaviors.  For example, teaching customers to withdraw money at the point of sale rather than at an ATM to eliminate the fees customers’ pay, but reduce bank costs as well.

Wen Bank (pseudonym) is one of the few institutions we have seen that consistently teaches customers how and why they should use specific channels for their transactions.  The bank identifies transactions where customers benefit from lower fees and the bank benefits from lower costs.  Branch bankers at Wen then teach customers about these opportunities to reduce their fees at the start of the sales process – staff use these teaching moments to “earn the right to sell,” especially when transitioning from a service to a sale.  However, in order to do this, banks must: