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BAI Study: 79% of Business Owners Use Same Firm for Personal Needs

Survey on trends and issues in business banking also finds majority of business owners prefer online account opening and loan applications for business needs

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  • Written by  Banking Exchange staff
BAI Study: 79% of Business Owners Use Same Firm for Personal Needs

What is a zoo hunter? A zoo hunter is a derogatory term on Wall Street for those in “sales” that tend to “sell” companies that are already doing business with the firm. The zoo hunter simply convinces the client to do something else within the company, and thinks that he/she has attained a new customer.  

Apparently much of the business for banks coming from business owners, tend to fall into the category of zoo hunting.  BAI’s new study  (BAI Banking Outlook: Business Banking Insights) shows that business owners tend to do banking in the same institutions where their personal business accounts are based.   

The study focused on business owners under $20 million in revenue.  This poses quite a challenge for the non-zoo hunters, those seeking out new clients specifically from small businesses.  When asked what would make them switch, business owners said they would need to be convinced that they would receive lower fees, better rates and an institution that proves it has an understanding of their needs.  

Business owners, according to the survey also differ from traditional customers in that they would prefer to open a deposit account online as well as other online banking.     

The top four customer experience improvements business owners would like are:

1. Improve the omnichannel experience,

2. Transform branches for better in-person experiences with experts to help achieve financial goals,

3. Deliver tools and options to customize solutions, and

4. Provide more useful real-time content to manage day-to-day banking.

“One of the most important priorities we uncovered is that business owners expect a smooth omnichannel experience, which they are not receiving today,” said Karl Dahlgren, managing director of research for BAI. “Businesses need their financial services provider to make their banking experience easy, so they can focus on running their business.

By listening to and understanding the voice of the customer, financial services leaders can seize an opportunity to stand out amongst the competition and provide unparalleled service offerings.”

So what is the take away if you are in charge of gaining new small business customers at your bank and you want to go beyond zoo hunting?  A small business owner needs to feel like you are offering more than their bank does, but with less hassle and very strong technology.  Chances are if the bank can draw the small business owner in, his/her personal assets will soon follow.  

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