September 1, 2021
Welcome to the first ever all-digital President’s Message! While these memos were previously published on the Community Bank website, they were more of a component of the Community Bank newsletter that was printed and distributed quarterly. This created the challenge (at least it was for me) of trying to keep the content fresh and relevant, knowing that it would likely be 20-30 days from the time of writing to the time of reading. The swift pace at which world events seem to occur now further complicated matters. Additionally, because of the space limitations inherent in a newsletter format, I would have to whittle down the subject matter to around 300 words to make it fit just right. Tricky, although some readers might argue that’s still about 295 words too many coming from me. Either way, it was a quarterly exercise working within a specific set of constraints.
Constraints play an important role in our daily lives. Some are unique to the individual (ex. financial or physical), but many are common enough to be shared by all. In that vein, time constraints are the worst – time passes quickly, and there never seems to be enough of it to go around. Looking back over the last 15 months, it’s painfully apparent that certain limitations can be necessary, but also exceedingly frustrating. Like many businesses across our region, your Community Bank was forced to make operational adjustments in order to adapt to an entirely new constraint: social distancing. A phrase that few folks had even heard of prior to 2020, suddenly governed how people conducted business and interacted with each other. Obligatory avoidance compelled people to seek alternative means of contact. Here at Community Bank, that meant educating our customers on the available banking options that may have been previously unfamiliar to them. Sure, most folks have used the drive-thru lane at a branch and know what an ATM is. But 2020 was an inflection point for a wide swath of our customers who were unaccustomed to accessing their bank via digital channels. The number of customers we introduced to our mobile banking and online platforms quickly grew in 2020. That growth hasn’t slowed down in 2021. In fact, if you’re reading this right now, you’ve likely noticed the upgrades we’ve made to both our online, and our mobile banking platforms. I invite you to explore further; we’re pretty excited about the new look and feel, as well as the new banking capabilities now available to our customers. As always, if you need assistance getting situated, let us know.
Time will tell, but a prevalent shift in how our customers engage with the Bank is well underway. Heavily influenced by events that have recently transpired, some of these changes in service expectations are likely to be permanent, and that’s okay. Change is not right, and it is not wrong. It just happens. Constantly. It would only be wrong to ignore it. Your Community Bankers will continue to work hard at providing the banking services you deserve, through the channels of your choosing. You will frequently be faced with constraints in life but accessing your Bank and your bankers shouldn’t be one of them.
Good luck in the second half,