Dear Annie Analytics: My bank forgave my affair—now what?

Analytics Advisor, IBM

For all the questions you’ve been too afraid to ask, Annie Analytics has the answers. Today, Annie Analytics advises Distressed in Baltimore regarding an on-again/off-again relationship with a bank. Banks need to provide personalized customer engagement and deliver customized actions to succeed in today’s competitive banking environment. But what can a bank do about an uncertain customer? How can a bank retain loyal customers and bring that extra bit of added value to the table? Keep reading to find out.

Dear Annie Analytics,

I’ve known my bank for ages; it’s just like a member of the family. But I’m not in love. There was no spark even when we met. It was, well, more of a commercial transaction. Now I’m 40, with a current account and some savings.

Recently I met another wonderful bank that made me feel very happy, and I left my original bank to be with it instead. But things didn’t work out, and now my original bank tells me that everything is OK and says that it wants me back. Do I go back? And what if I meet someone else?

– Distressed in Baltimore

Dear Distressed in Baltimore, are clearly struggling with a heartbreaking dilemma.

The first thing I notice is that from the outset is that you weren’t sure that you were in love with your bank, yet you decided to form a relationship anyway. You need to take a hard look at your own history of attachments and relationships, thinking about how they have shaped you into the person you are today. Psychologists describe “secure attachment” as being confident that the focus of attachment will meet your needs, so it’s important for your bank to have a really good idea of what you need from it going forward.

You also need to think about why your relationship with another bank you’ve described as “wonderful” didn’t work out. Was it just a little fling on your part, or was the bank offering some kind of fantasy service that just didn’t live up to your expectations? Was this fantasy based on fragments of your past relationships with your insurer and telecommunications network provider?

How much have you shared about yourself with your bank? What does your bank know about you, where you shop and the sort of holidays you like? Is your bank friendly with you on social media? At least now your bank knows that if it doesn’t look after you, you might leave it again—so perhaps your bank will take better care of you this time.

Nowadays the best banks think about how you behave, and they look after you as an individual. Sometimes they even give you nice little surprises, such as telling you that you might overdraw if you don’t take care or suggesting better ways you can save your money to meet your individual needs.

Going forward, you need to re-examine what you need from your bank and perhaps even get some advice. Banking therapy will help you better understand what you need from your provider, how your provider will meet your needs and how the two of you can have a long and fulfilling relationship.

– Annie Analytics

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