Re-inventing Business Banking

Category: Banking.

The demand for business banking services is on the rise in the U.S. Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) represent one-fifth of global banking revenues, generating around $850 billion of annual revenue for banks, and there are no signs of them slowing down.

With domestic banks facing increasing competition from international banks and other institutions, their success with SMB services might make or break their success in the long-term. Despite the success of online giants like Amazon and Facebook, SMBs still make up the majority of businesses worldwide, making them a rich source of untapped revenue for banks.

Therefore, banks should really be investing in their SMB relationships. OKRs can help emphasize the importance of these businesses by developing ambitious and focused objectives that reflect their commitment to SMBs. They can then create actionable key results to help improve these relationships and in turn, grow their businesses.

    In order to be able to evaluate the growth of your bank’s business banking, the following metrics will be helpful to use as KPIs:

  • Cycle Time of Small Business Account Opening: This is the number of business days needed to open a checking account for a small business from the day the application is received until it is successfully opened.
  • New Business Checking Accounts Opened per Branch: This is derived by dividing the total number of new business checking accounts opened by the total number of banking branches of bank over a period of time.
  • Commercial Bank Statement Error Rate: This is calculated by dividing the total number of bank statements for commercial customers that has errors by the total number of generated commercial banking statements over the same period of time multiplied by 100 (percentage).

Business Banking Optimizer Approaches

Below are tips for maximizing the opportunities available to you in this sector:

Align Your Branch Managers With Your Business Banking Specialists

Big banks recognize the current market opportunity SMBs provide; that is why institutions such as Citigroup, Bank of America, JPMorgan, Chase, and Fifth Third Bank have announced their intention of hiring thousands of new small business banking specialists. These institutions also recognize that even with the emergence and growth of online banking, physical branches still remain an integral part of small business banking profits.

Therefore, branch managers and business banking specialists must work in conjunction with both sales and service teams to provide a great customer experience.

Make Exceptional Customer Experience A Top Priority

One of the top reasons SMB owners switch business banks is poor customer service. Banks need to prioritize fostering an excellent customer experience to not only retain their current customers, but also to acquire new ones.

The expectation is that banks will make great efforts to train, manage, and motivate their staff members so that they can provide their SMB clients with the best experience possible.

By focusing on the value of superior customer experience and personalization, banking institutions will be better positioned to attract new small business banking clients – turning prospects into satisfied clients – while improving retention with their existing customer base.

Raising The Bar With Automation

The U.S Merchant Automation Survey showed that only 13% of respondents polled said that their bank branch was meeting all of their needs. Processing cash was listed as a significant obstacle for small businesses, who are looking for fast and efficient service.

Banks can drastically improve this with automation technology, which can speed up the deposit process, saving everyone time. SMBs are looking for more direct support, so creating services such as dedicated lines or automated self-service technology will help serve these customers faster and attract new clientele.

Stay Connected

Oftentimes, banks will reach out and send messages to new customers, but rarely follow up with existing ones, aside from alerting them about fees. It’s important that customers know their bank cares about them and their finances and regular communication lets customers know about any new offers or initiatives at your organization.

Email and social media have made it infinitely easier to stay connected and build a loyal customer base. Customers should feel as though they are part of a community that has their best interest in mind and is available when they need them.

Evaluate The Quality Of Your Service Intermittently

To continue to grow as an organization, it’s important to intermittently reflect on the quality and effectiveness of your services. Looking at how your customers are using your services and how you can improve your rates allows you to see how you can better your customer experience. Evaluating your organization and looking at it from the customer’s perspective will help you to better meet their needs and improve the overall effectiveness of your institution.


To focus your organization’s commitment to SMBs, you can create small-business-centered objectives to emphasize their importance.

The following OKR could be used to improve the services your organization is offering to SMBs:

    Objective: Improve relationship with SMB clients

  • KR1: Decrease commercial bank error statement rate from 5% to 2%
  • KR2: Establish an SMB-specific customer satisfaction score
  • KR3: Send at least one email a week about new offers and services to SMB customers

Providing an excellent experience to your SMB clients will only improve the experience you provide to others. For this reason, the above OKR could align with any corporate-level customer service-based OKRs such as “Improve Customer Service”, “Improve Customer Retention”, or “Improve Brand Reputation.”

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