Appreciating Customers and Employees

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Coffee County Bank
Manchester, Tenn.
ROAA in 2015: 2.58 percent
ROAE in 2015: 20.33 percent
Assets: $140 million
Retail locations: Two
Employees: 36
Founded: 1976
Website: www.coffeecountybank.com

By B. Rush Bricken

We believe our community bank has been successful because: 1) we try to provide excellent customer service; 2) we ask for business; 3) we price our loans and services appropriately; 4) we watch where and how our resources are used; and 5) we communicate with our team members, who are valued and rewarded.

At Coffee County Bank, we pride ourselves as being the Home Town Bank. I think a lot of community banks try to make this claim but fall short in achieving it. At our bank, we accomplish this “hometown” relationship by emphasizing customer service and knowing our customers. We also know our customers have many choices in choosing a bank or, as in our case, a monster credit union. So we must deliver great service, and we must show we want to help our customers with their financial needs.

We work with a lot of customers who may have less-than-average credit. However, we feel this allows us to meet the credit needs of our community. We know our customers; we understand their background and are in a good position to help them without taking on unreasonable risk. We try to hold to our pricing schedule, but we also look for opportunities to sell extra products and services to our customers.

We have a very successful retail investing and wealth management operation and secondary residential mortgage operation. Both of these services add relationships, value and earnings to our bank.

Our directors take a very active role with our community bank. They know our customers and our market area. They meet every Wednesday for a lunch meeting. Each week we review large loan requests, but most importantly we discuss what’s going on in the bank and opportunities in our community. We try to have all staff periodically attend these weekly meetings. This helps keep everyone in touch, on board and appreciated. Annually, management prepares a strategic five-year plan with detailed goals for the next year. This keeps us focused, and it is always exciting when we achieve our goals.

Our success still comes down to knowing what our customers need and having a great staff of people all willing to work hard together to serve them.


B. Rush Bricken (rbricken@coffeecobnak.com) is executive vice president and CEO of Coffee County Bank.