Retail banking training programmes need to be more personable than typical corporate programmes to ensure that employees possess the skills necessary to build long term relationships with consumers.

With a wide range of clients, all of whom with varying financial requirements, effective communication and interpersonal skills can be critical in maintaining repeat business for corporations of any size.

Failing to implement a clear focus on how employees interact with clients on a regular basis as part of retail banking training can lead to a build-up of communication issues which could ultimately lead to lost revenue and the breakdown of key relationships.

To adequately prepare the workforce for specific client scenarios, leaders should be taking the time to ascertain exactly how they want their business to be perceived and reflect this in their training strategy.

What is retail banking training?

Retail banking training will focus on developing the skills of employees who deal with direct customers regularly. Offering a number of services to individuals to best manage their finances, workers in this sector can deal with anything from current and savings accounts to mortgage agreements.

Compared to corporate banking, which typically deals with large and small scale corporations and their business affairs, retail banking is much more personal and direct to the consumer, meaning that communication can be the difference between success and failure in this highly competitive sector.

As financial affairs can be a private topic for many, employees have an increased responsibility to communicate with customers in a way that helps them to feel comfortable with the service they are receiving. Also, due to the personability of the sector, employees need to be versatile and possess an expert level of interpersonal skills, as the business cannot maintain a wide scope of clients without long-standing relationships. 

The importance of communication and interpersonal skills in banking

Employees that are responsible for managing client affairs are ultimately the face of the company; and if these employees are not aware of how managers want them to effectively communicate with those who entrust them with their financial affairs, the business is likely to fail.

It is therefore imperative that training in this industry is prioritised to make it clear to employees at all levels how any client-facing scenarios should be dealt with properly, which will ultimately go a long way in improving consumer satisfaction.

While it may be easy for leaders to focus on other areas of the business, such as ways to increase profit, they are only limiting their future capabilities by ignoring new and innovative ways of connecting with their target consumer base.

According to research carried out by the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business, customers are less tolerant of rudeness than incompetence, highlighting just how important effective communication and long term relationships can be in retaining clients.

Communication in retail banking training: our approach

At MDA Training, our approach to communication and interpersonal skills in retail banking training consists of practical workshops which are designed to improve learning retention. We focus on several key areas of relationship management, including:

  • Effective personal impact
  • Communicating with impact
  • Being at your best
  • Handling difficult conversations
  • Coaching and mentoring

Delivered through a number of experiential learning methods, we are able to utilise virtual learning and digital solutions to create a bespoke retail banking training solution to suit the specific needs of a business.

Unfortunately for business leaders, there is no shortcut to implementing an effective communication strategy for employees in retail banking. To begin seeing actual results in the workplace and to ensure that employees have all of the tools necessary to engage with clients as effectively as possible, retail banking training can and should be optimised.