[Welcome back to our Word of Mouth Marketing Lessons newsletter. This is text from the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using this handy form.]

From handing out chocolate with every deposit to the 40 hours of community service every employee serves each year, Umpqua Bank is known for treating their customers more like neighbors than numbers. But it’s not just about the warm and fuzzy stuff, they’ve also grown by over $11.6 billion in assets in six years and have been one of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies To Work For seven years in a row.

Here’s how Umpqua Bank does it:

1. Ask about what’s good here
2. Send them neighborly gifts
3. Have them over
4. Make hospitality a priority

1. Ask about what’s good here

Umpqua Bank's local tweet sign

Photo thanks to American Banker Magazine.

Want to treat your customers more like neighbors? Think about the conversations you have when you move somewhere new. For example, “What’s good here?” is a fantastic place to start. When Umpqua Bank opened a new location in San Francisco, they asked people to tweet what businesses were best in the city and broadcasted their answers by including them on a sign outside their new location. Umpqua tapped into community pride, did something nice for local businesses, and got to know their customers better all at once. That’s way better than the usual “coming soon” sign. (What kind of neighbor does that?)

2. Send them neighborly gifts

Umpqua Bank's doorstep plant gift

Photo thanks to Market Insights Insider.

When most banks open a new branch, they’ll send nearby houses direct mail announcements, but Umpqua Bank sends gifts instead. They do “doorstep drops,” leaving presents like a rosemary plant or everything you need to make a spaghetti dinner. That’s the kind of thoughtful stuff you might get at a housewarming party, not a business’ grand opening. If you want your customers to think of you as a trusted neighbor (and not just another business), these little details matter.

3. Have them over

Photo thanks to Market Watch.

Photo thanks to Market Watch.

Online and mobile banking have replaced a lot of the personal connections customers make face-to-face with their bank’s employees. So how does Umpqua get them back inside their locations? They host community events. In the past, they’ve held yoga classes, Oktoberfest celebrations, and children’s plays. These have nothing to do with banking — but everything to do with Umpqua’s goal: making people feel at home in their local branches.

4. Make hospitality a priority

Umpqua Bank's customer service telephone in their lobby

Photo thanks to Phinney Wood.

Each of Umpqua’s staff is trained by The Ritz Carlton Hotel Co., a business known for their incredible customer service. Plus, if you want to talk to the president of the bank, you just have to push one button on a special phone in their lobby. Great customer service makes each of their stores feel more welcoming and more accessible — the kinds of things that make you feel like a neighbor (and rave about a business).

email

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.

Featured Downloads

Download: “The Difference Map” by Bernadette Jiwa

We’re big fans of author of The Fortune Cookie Principle and TEDx speaker Bernadette Jiwa, who says that good marketing…

Read More

The first chapter of “The Social Media Side Door” by Ian Greenleigh

Ian reveals the best ways to earn the attention of influential people using social media channels.

Read More

9 Things to Share That Start Conversations

Use the examples in this guide to help inspire ways to make your message more portable and shareable.

Read More

3 Must-Use Word of Mouth Marketing Tools

These tools will help you kick off any word of mouth campaign no matter what topic, industry, or budget.

Read More

The Top Four Tips for Multiplying Your Word of Mouth

These tips can help you get your marketing to do more work without a lot of extra effort.

Read More

10 Ways to Turn Around Negative Word of Mouth

The most effective ways to stop negative WOM with examples from Zappos, FedEx, Dell, and more.

Read More
Get our free weekly newsletter

Join 35,000 brilliant word of mouth marketers by signing up for our free weekly email newsletter filled with actionable word of mouth ideas.

You’ll be blown away by just how good you can be at this.

Never display this again