The short answer is yes. But to do so they’re going to need to stop acting like robots, and start putting a personal touch into everything they do – and this includes all things digital.

While inside community bank and credit union walls personalities bubble over, outside these buildings a contradictory story is being told. The financial services industry has been summed up as dry, dull, boring, and self-serving.

But we know better…

So how can FIs be human? Start here.

1. Care About Humans

While we know that community banks and credit unions donate to charities and care about the communities they live in, it’s time to start to move away from cutting a check and move towards using modern tools (social media) to highlight the good you do!

Take for example, TD Canada and their #TDThanksYou campaign. While they could have simply written checks to these people, they decided to forego that option and highlight their good deeds using video. The video went viral and because of that a lot more people care about what they’ve done.

2. Listen To Other Humans

Customers and potential clients are using so many digital platforms to voice their opinions and needs. Value those opinions. Use monitoring tools to listen to what they have to say and solve problems. Human brands use analytics and data to really listen to their audience and potential customers, in order to convert a touch-point into a sale.

3. Talk Like Humans

Labor Day is just around the corner, and we’re ready for banks and credit unions to post their branch closings very soon. Unfortunately, many of them start with the generic, “XYZ bank will be closed Monday September 7th in observance of Labor Day.” But what if they were to go along the lines of, “Our branches will be closed on Labor Day. But, we doubt you’ll notice because you’ll be too busy enjoying the sunshine and BBQ!” What sounds more human to you? Leave speaking in 3rd person behind. Please.

4. Don’t Pretend You’re Perfect

Humans aren’t perfect, and therefore a brand (which is made up of people) can’t be perfect either. There’s also no reason to pretend. So if you get a bad online review, acknowledge it publicly and do something about it. If online banking crashes, take to Twitter. Let people know and they will be more than understanding. What consumers want more than anything is to know that people are working towards solving their problems. It’s when they get ignored that more problems arise.

5. Make Yourself Available

While there may not be someone inside your branch locations at all times, in today’s modern world there are many ways in which consumers want to contact you. Make yourself available to them in the best ways possible.

CEO at Citizens of Edmond, Jill Castilla does a great job at this. She is constantly on Twitter interacting and engaging with her audience. She become a staple of the Edmond community and continues to make being available a priority for her business.

When push comes to shove, people want to do business with people. Social media and digital platforms are just new places that your audience is spending time. So while they once walked through branch doors and interacted with tellers, they now like to Retweet your posts on Twitter, or know that when they have a question or concern they’ll be heard. That’s not going to happen if a brand doesn’t feel human.


So ask yourself, are you banking human?