Adrenaline’s client featured on CNN, the New York Times and NPR’s Marketplace for steps he took to calm customer fears in the wake of recent banking news
Tuesday, March 21, 2023 – As news of the failures of Signature, Silvergate and Silicon Valley banks traveled across the media landscape, many financial institutions of all sizes chose to lay low, saying very little to separate themselves from the failed institutions or quell the fears of an understandably jittery customer base. Not so with VeraBank. After a weekend of bad news about the banking industry, VeraBank’s President and CEO Brad Tidwell got to work early Monday to proactively reach out about what was happening in the financial markets and how it might impact their bank.
First, he and his team crafted a communication for all of its 126,000 customers, assuring them that their money is in safe hands, and then he provided his personal cell number to 70,000 via email inviting them to connect directly with him about any of these issues. For a bank built on relationships, this was just something that came naturally to them. “We wanted to communicate directly to our customers,” said Tidwell in his interview on CNN. “We wanted to tell the truth and make sure they knew if they were concerned, they could reach out to any of my 500 colleagues, but most importantly, they could reach out to me and some of them did.”
Of the 100 or so customers he heard from, the great majority called or texted to simply thank him for communicating and making them feel better. “I thought it was really important that we get our story out,” Tidwell said in his interview on NPR’s Marketplace. “[To let customers know] our bank is nothing like these other banks, and, oh, by the way, if you have any doubt about it, call this phone number, and I will talk to you.” In his interview with The New York Times, Tidwell relayed that kind of straight talk was exactly what customers wanted, not some packaged statement with industry jargon that some other banks were sending out. “I’ve been telling everyone, ‘When banks fail it’s a big deal, but that doesn’t mean your bank has the same issues.’”
With lots of innuendo and questionable information being spread, especially via social media, “Tidwell said that time spent working the phones is worthwhile,” according to Marketplace. In reflecting on his conversations with customers, Tidwell said in his CNN interview, “You have to have confidence in the way you have built your bank, the way you’ve managed your bank, and the steps you’ve taken to ensure that you’ve protected your customers. I needed to say that that is exactly what VeraBank has done for many years, and that’s exactly what the great majority of the banks in this country have done also.”
Stay tuned to Believe in Banking as we spotlight VeraBank’s story in an upcoming Sharing Successes. To learn more about best practices in banking, be sure to see Adrenaline’s Insights channel for financial industry thought leadership. To speak with one of Adrenaline’s experts on strategies like proactive communications programs that build banking relationships for financial institutions, contact us at email@example.com.