C&F Bank’s Refer-a-Friend program is a simple but important way to encourage conversations with new customers and thank our valued existing customers. “It occurs when a current customer of ours who has their primary checking relationship with us refers a friend or family member who does not currently bank with us to move their primary relationship from another bank to C&F,” Retail Market Leader Teresa Weaver says.
Explaining the thought process behind this, Teresa points out, “If you have a friend who trusts us enough to refer you, then that testimony is important and hopefully carries some credibility and weight. It allows us to have a conversation with a potential new customer to find out what’s important to them and make recommendations that best suit their needs—if, in fact, it is most beneficial for them to move their relationship.”
“Although referrals are common with business relationships, consumers are less likely to move an established relationship without a compelling reason,” Teresa says. “That’s why we value the opportunity to talk with them. So it’s not just asking someone to come and open up a checking account with us. It’s really about saying, ‘Let’s identify what financial wellness means to you, see if we can put together a plan and work with you to make sure that happens.’”
In return, there’s an incentive! Both the customer who refers AND the person who asks to be contacted by C&F will receive a $25 retail or restaurant gift card. Online registration is in place to facilitate the process and ensure that proper credit is given. Individuals earning a gift card will be notified to choose a gift card within 30 days of all qualifying requirements being met. The $25 gift card will be mailed within 30 days. Accounts must be open and must have a positive balance at time of issuance of the gift card reward.
To qualify for the gift card reward, the new customer has 60 days from online registration to open a checking account. Then, within 60 days of opening, C&F is looking for three or more debit card swipes, along with eStatement enrollment to protect against mail fraud.
“These basic parameters are in place because we want to make sure that we’re not just opening accounts, but that they are true relationship accounts needed by that customer,” Teresa says. “We want to make sure that we’re making the right recommendations.”
The requirements to qualify for Refer a Friend have been purposely relaxed by C&F in recent years. “We take customer feedback very seriously,” Teresa says. “Prior to the program being as simple as it is, there were more qualifiers, so it was less straightforward. There was a bit more confusion about how customers could qualify, so we took their feedback and simplified the program.” Since then, it has been well received.
“We offer this reward as encouragement, but also as a thank you,” Teresa says. “We think it’s a tremendous compliment for our customers to recommend us to other people, and we want to show our appreciation for that compliment.”