FI FOCUS: CS Bancshares, Inc.

State Bank customer service representatives Lisa Hobbs, Vicki Posch, Terra Allen, and Shelley Tate show off the bank’s new checking account features.

For years, Chillicothe State Bank, State Bank of Missouri, and The State Bank have passed along a rich tradition of community banking, service, and values to residents of five cities in North-central Missouri. 

But to become the leading financial services organization in the communities in which they serve, bank leaders knew their ability to provide quality financial products must continue to be as important as delivering excellent, personalized customer service.

“We had been offering our deposit customers a large mix of traditional checking products designed toward generational needs,” said Cindy Campbell, VP and marketing officer of CS Bancshares, Inc., the independent holding company of which Chillicothe State Bank, State Bank of Missouri, and The State Bank are members. “When we looked to transition to a more streamlined and value-added product offering, we contacted regional director Chris Garrelts to see how StrategyCorps could help us get there.”

StrategyCorps got to work quickly. Armed with its proprietary CheckingScore analysis, organizational leaders began laying out the groundwork necessary to help Campbell develop a new checking account lineup that appealed to more customers and helped CS Bancshares boost its bottom line.

“When we met with Cindy and her team, they were looking for a strategy to help them move forward in terms of product innovation and customer engagement,” Garrelts said. “Our CheckingScore analysis was a perfect way to show them the relationships each customer had at their bank. This allowed them to make fully-informed, risk-managed decisions, and upgrade and simplify their retail lineup with our BaZing benefits.”

CS Bancshares’ new product pathing and pricing proved successful in helping the company optimize its retail checking performance. Today, the three banks offer a no-frills Basic Checking account, a mid-level, fee-based Value Checking account that offers desirable customer benefits like cell phone protection, roadside assistance, local and online savings, and ID theft aid, and a Premium Checking account, which allows customers to avoid monthly fees when they maintain a minimum balance of $1,500.

The Premium and Value Checking accounts are both powered by BaZing, a powerful, customizable, subscription-based service that helps CS Bancshares differentiate its products from those offered by competitors — especially when it comes to cell phone coverage and special promotions from small business customers in the banks’ collective footprint.

The results? Well, they speak for themselves — the year after implementation, deposits rose more than 12%, monthly debit swipes were up 23%, and recurring fee income increased by a whopping 280%

“It’s been amazing,” Campbell said. “These benefits, along with our new account structure, have helped us become very successful in upselling new customers from our Basic Checking account to a more engaging account.”

For marketing officers like Campbell, information is critical — and the ongoing data she receives from StrategyCorps goes a long way toward helping CS Bancshares stay ahead of the competition. Monthly and annual reports are compiled in a professional, easy-to-read format, making it helpful for future planning and performance reviews.

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“The outreach from StrategyCorps has been phenomenal,” Campbell said. “From initial project meetings with our management and Board and updating the app based on customer feedback to scheduling additional training and strategy sessions, StrategyCorps is truly present and has been available to us every step of the way. I would highly recommend a partnership with StrategyCorps.”

StrategyCorps has spent the last 20 years helping financial institutions grow core deposits, fee income, and overall retail checking relationships with innovative and energizing solutions to differentiate their checking products and enhance profitability. Today, nearly 350 banks and credit unions employ our analysis tools, white-labeled reward products, and mobile solutions for checking success. 

When you’re ready to become the bank or credit union with the modern touch, call 888.577.6933, email us, or download our latest white paper, Accessorizing the Checking Account. We look forward to helping you meet and exceed your FI’s goals.