Credit Union Geek

Marketing, Strategy, and The Force by Joe Winn

Tag: happy members (page 1 of 2)

Are You Creating Members…or Experiences?

Mickey Mouse called. He insisted I return to the parks where I spent so much time as a younger geek. Especially Epcot. Of course, this time, he’s requesting that I run a 10K while there. Through World Showcase? Alright Mickey, I’m game.

It’s easier to stay on resort property for transportation and other logistics, so that’s been booked. What arrived as confirmation was beyond my expectations, but, then, upon thought, exactly what Disney would do.

A fabric jewelry box arrived in the mail, with the telltale embossed Mickey ears. “Guess Disney sent something out…ok, that’s cool.” Upon opening it, an even more prominent not-so-Hidden Mickey. A filler guide fit for a piece of fine art explains I will find a MyMagic+ flash drive as well as my own vacation details. Good thing, because my memory is entirely dependent on outside resources.

Disney Welcome Box USBWait a minute, that’s my family name on the booklet! Custom covers are worth a smile, but certainly they wouldn’t go further. I’m sure it’s the same booklet everyone gets when their trip is near…

Nearly every page is tailored to my hotel reservations, the exact dates I’ll be there, and even what the website will look like with my name on it upon logging in. You cannot help but be excited, eagerly awaiting the moment you get to pass under the Mickey-eared gates.

All they did was create a customized booklet, but by doing so, they created an emotional connection, an experience that leaves you wanting for more. Sure, their solution has high costs, but what can you do to produce the same feelings in your members?

To me, the best part of this package was that it arrived unannounced. Since I wasn’t expecting anything, I was giddy to unbox it, read through the booklet, and connect the Mickey ears USB drive included. There’s no question I am even more excited than before about my visit. In fact, the box is still sitting on my desk, since I’m so impressed with it. You can bet it will be saved as part of a memory collection for the trip!

You’re 1 In 3!

Congratulations to credit unions nationwide…you’re a statistic! In this case, a good statistic: 1 in 3 Americans are members of a credit union. CUNA explains in their press release.

What makes this important? More members is always a good thing, enabling new services and opportunities throughout the industry. Yet, when you look deeper at the numbers, there appears some interesting questions.

Credit unions have garnered 100 million members. In every measure, that’s a lot of people. People with goals, wants, challenges, and more. Members who are well-established in their financial strategies, others who are just getting started. Single college students and retired couples.

Let’s get a better feel for how crazy big a number like 100 million really is. If I handed you a $100 bill every 10 minutes, of every day, whether you were awake or asleep, it would take nearly 20 years to reach $100 million dollars. Or, how about this: If I asked you to count to 100 million out loud, taking only one second to say each number, you would take over three years, and that’s without eating, drinking, or sleeping for a single moment.

You know what comes to mind? This is the song that never ends, it just goes…

Ok, so credit unions have a lot of members. Why aren’t they leading in all financial categories? Their rates are better than banks, the member is the motivation for service, not shareholders, and, guys, there are 100 million members!

The industry as a whole is growing, thanks to perception blowback from some big banks, clever on-boarding strategies, and competitive offerings. Some, but not all, are delivering exceptional results. The ones who are? They’re taking calculated risks, modernizing their infrastructure, communications, and brand, and confronting their competition head-on. It’s a merging of past and future; looking back for culture and values while looking forward to be the best financial solution for their members in the years ahead.

The numbers are there. What are you doing to maximize the relationship and give them every convenience they would get from a larger credit union or even, gasp, a big bank?

I Bet You Weren’t Expecting This

Or maybe you were. Really, it’s all about expectations. For your members, your employees, and even your staff.

We all have in-built expectations for nearly every situation encountered. You arrive at a store and expect to have a representative helpfully guide you to the preferred department. However, another person’s expectations is to never talk to anyone…to shop in peace.

How can we meet both of these extremes, as well as everything in-between?

Sorry, you can’t. Ok, not exactly. But you can create results which satisfy nearly everybody.

In today’s connected world, would it be fair to say we all want everything RIGHT NOW! or, even, FIVE MINUTES AGO!

How many people do you know who operate in this fashion? I’ll admit; sometimes I get that way as well. Ever find yourself trying to finish one last thing on your computer before stepping out, and, of course, it starts to hang? “Of course it does. Thanks a lot. Now hurry up!”

The experience you provide through all of your member venues should never cause that type of reaction. We love credit unions, and your members likely do too, though they still see it as a tool in their life, not a destination in itself. A restaurant franchise used to promote their take out services with a slogan of “Get in. Get out. Get on with your life.”

How are you providing everything your members expect and need (whether they realize it or not)? Does your pre-approval tool provide near-instant answers? Can it be accessed through mobile? What does it take to check online banking? Again, can I sign in, perform common tasks (what are those?), and be done in under 2 minutes?

Yes, some expectations are of technologies: Mobile check deposit, online bill pay, instant pre-approval, “good as cash” share draft from the member’s own computer, etc.

What else are you doing to make your CU stand out and exceed expectations? We’ve seen handwritten thank you cards alongside new accounts (and loans), personal phone calls to welcome members, and even complimentary coffee in the branch.

At the end of the day, you’re holding their money. So can dozens of other institutions. Besides loyalty, how are you making their experience pleasantly memorable?

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