Letters From Leton: It Will Be a BLU Christmas Without You!

Scouring through the various sites that list ideas for Christmas, I came across an article about technology products. Not unusual in itself given tech in our lives.

What surprised me about this article is that it was a list of fairly recent tech that we used to buy – but do not anymore!

There on the list was the Blu-Ray Player – successor to the DVD player – which was the successor to the VHS tape player – which was the successor to the Betamax tape player – which all came after live TV – which came after radio… Well you get the point – there is always something coming next – especially in technology.

I thought about this (not day dreaming) during our last Board meeting as Tonya Buchanan reported to our Board on ACH and Remote Deposit services. The Board was energized and had many questions about our services. It was another example to me of the futuristic approach your Board brings to its oversight of the Bank.

It is likely that 50% of the transactions that come through our bank are now electronic (I see a query coming). Stop and think about that. One half of our transactions do not involve human interaction.

Take a minute to think about that.

Now, let me tell you why the statement about lack of human interaction is not correct.

You see, without CSRs who open accounts and issue debit cards and tellers who can unlock customers’ online banking accounts or increase debit card limits, these transactions could not occur.

Without the Tonyas, Roys, and Rachels going out and setting up customers for remote deposit and troubleshooting, there would be no electronic deposit of checks. And without Joe and Angie pulling in the files every evening, the checks would not get deposited.

ACH Payroll files don’t just happen. Prospective customers have to be vetted, set up, and files monitored to make sure they are legit and fit the specs for what the company has told us they want us to do, plus annual reviews performed by loan officers.

In my mind, “human interaction” with customers is more important today than ever! As the Wizard of OZ might say, we are confusing “seeing people in our lobbies” with “helping people”.

So don’t get BLU about folks not coming into our offices. Yes, we will need to find new ways to interact with the public (Santa at the office, Christmas letters to kids, tailgates at high school ballgames – and dare I say – getting out of our offices and going to where the customers are), but we will not forget the value of those behind-the-scenes interactions.

Now where is that remote to my Blu-Ray player? Where did Tammie put the Blu-Ray player? 

Humm… Guess I will just have to watch Netflix or Amazon Prime.

Merry Christmas!

– Leton

“Letters From Leton” is a blog series comprised of the weekly updates that Leton Harding – President, Chairman, and CEO of Powell Valley National Bank, shares with the Bank’s team members. These newsletters are full of uplifting anecdotes and intriguing insights that are applicable beyond the Bank, so we want to share them with you.