By Bruce Frankel
Too often we hear financial institutions speak about ‘relationship banking,’ but sometimes the focus seems to be more on the money than the customer. At Piedmont Federal Savings Bank, caring for people always comes first.
Founded in 1903, Piedmont Federal Savings Bank is the oldest bank founded in Winston-Salem still in existence and has stayed steadfast to their original focus of creating sound financial solutions that truly fit people’s lives.
As a well-capitalized mutual bank insured by the FDIC, Piedmont Federal is not publicly held and therefore is not under the same quarterly earnings pressure as stock institutions focused on their shareholders. Instead, the bank is accountable to their customers, employees and the communities they serve and can take a long-term approach in making decisions instead of quarter-to-quarter.
In today’s environment where consumers are overwhelmed with financial options, Piedmont Federal is committed to staying relevant by offering customers simply what they need. Paired with traditional customer service, the bank offers products, services, mobile technology and programs that benefit their customers in today’s world. They take time to develop personal relationships with each customer to understand their individual needs.
No one appreciates this more than David Thornton, the owner of The Cleaning Solutions, a successful local business that services both the Triad and Charlotte areas and has been very impressed with their commonsense business model.
“I have been a customer for over 25 years. I started back-in-the-day with a passbook account when I was in high school and you had to go into the bank to record all your transactions. Since then, I have had a couple of home loans with them and they have always met my needs no matter what they were. I now have my kids banking with them as well. Everyone over the years has been just so personable. I drop in to all the branches and I always get the same friendly response.”
This deep-rooted customer focus is shared by all of Piedmont’s employees who proudly stand by their ‘Customer Bill of Rights’ which clearly outlines their commitment to putting customers first.
“Customers love that we know them by name and are their friends and neighbors in the community,” remarked Tammy Coulter, Assistant Vice President and Kernersville’s Branch Manager. “We are truly connected to our customers. We also hold our mortgages in-house; they are not sold. I will take your home loan application and will be with you throughout the process and beyond. If you have a question about your loan or account, you receive personal service from people you know.”
Rates on all Piedmont Federal products are extremely competitive, and their fees are minimal. In fact, you will find on their Customer Bill of Rights, “You will pay no ATM fees, anywhere in the world,” which is a great convenience for anyone who wants to access the closest ATM when they need it.
A great example of Piedmont Federal’s exceptional service can be found right here in the Kernersville branch that first opened its doors in 1961. Currently led by Tammy Coulter, their commitment to their customers and community has been consistent.
They support many local organizations, both through volunteer efforts and financial support. These include the area high schools, Kernersville Chamber, Next Step Ministries, Rotary Club and the Kernersville YMCA.
In fact, Tammy Coulter was awarded the 2019 Business Person of the Year by the Kernersville Chamber of Commerce. From serving on the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce’s Executive Committee as well as serving on the Board of Cash Elementary School PTA where her children attend, her commitment to the community excels. Her volunteering for local causes is humbling and meaningful. In addition, she has a personal stake in the business community since she and her husband John own two local retail businesses in town as well.
The branch staff has a longer than average tenure and has helped multiple generations of families. Collectively, the team has over 138 years of banking experience with two of the members each having over 35 years of service. That certainly adds to the high level of personalization by the bank.
As Mr. Thornton explained, “I write a lot of checks for my business and I am impressed that if something seems suspicious to them, they give you a call – I truly feel protected and they go the extra mile. They have even called me if they notice an overdraft on one of my accounts because they know that is not like me and I can quickly correct the problem. They do not have to do that.”
Piedmont Federal offers a large scope of comprehensive personal and business accounts, loans and financial products that are all designed to meet the needs of an evolving customer base. As your financial needs change, you can count on Piedmont to offer you a solution. From their Youth Savings Account to their Make$ents program, Piedmont offers unique and innovative ways to help you save.
In addition, their state of the art technology is truly customer-centric and user friendly. “Piedmont Federal undergoes a rigorous evaluation process when considering a new technology enhancement,” explained Ginger Salt, Piedmont’s Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “We consider how will this impact our customers, and will the technology improve the customer experience? Will it provide enhanced convenience, safety and/or ease of doing business? And finally, will the technology complement the extraordinary personal service that our customers deserve from Piedmont Federal? None of our technology replaces the personal interaction with a Piedmont employee; rather it offers the customer the option of banking when, where and how they choose.”
For customer Thornton, “I certainly take advantage of their online services. It has really helped me out with my bookkeeping too. Taking pictures of my checks and utilizing the mobile deposits has been a nice time savings feature I appreciate.”
To learn more about how Piedmont Federal can help you, stop by the Kernersville branch located at 505 Pineview Drive or call 336.993.2156. You can also visit them on-line at: www.piedmontfederal.bank.