I Love Choices
I’m the kind of person who rotates between five brands of orange juice (I live in Florida and this is a perfectly normal thing here).
As a tech geek, I also dive into Settings menus on all products to see what I can personalize, edit, or tweak.
Even Choice-Aholics Want A Clear Decision
But even for me, a choice-aholic, there are things I’d rather be decided ahead of time. If I plug it into the wall, I want it to be UL listed. Don’t give me the choice of 6 highly similar products with varying degrees of regulatory approval, safety certifications, or otherwise.
Offer one. One “just right” option.
Variety comes in actual aspects of the product or service. Let the provider whittle down the “backend” complexity. That’s why I’d buy from them, because they did the work so I don’t need to.
Which brings us to you. The smarter choice, the only decision your member should have to make.
Oh Boy! A New Member!
Wonderful, you’ve welcomed a new member to your credit union family. Let’s help them get set up with a checking and savings account, talk about refinancing loans, and perhaps see if a credit card makes sense (use that credit pull to position the conversation around rewards, interest rate, or balance transfer).
Shouldn’t be too hard. That’s only 4 things, and, more than likely, 3 are pertinent to the member. So let’s get that checking account opened first, because it can help make you their PFI. You have more than one? Ok, no problem, we’ll help them decide.
So, should they go with Advantage Checking, Premium Checking, VIP Checking, Rewards Checking, Rewards Plus Checking, Free Checking, Senior Checking, Youth Checking, or…wait, there’s more?
Just like those famous droids, “these aren’t the choices you’re looking for.”
It’s checking. Not choosing your preferred model of F-150 (if you aren’t aware, there’s oodles of options). You only need one. Maybe two. That’s it. If your board insists upon the old and boring free checking, keep it.
Providing Immense Value
You’re about value. So make your checking be something your members smile about having (and even paying for…yeah, seriously). Add a clear monthly fee Premium Checking with more benefits than your members can believe.
Since you’re getting a small monthly fee, offer everything:
- Dividends (though low, offer higher rates up to a certain dollar amount at very low cost and high perceived value)
- Rewards on debit transactions
- All your standard services
- Plus, value-adds like ID theft monitoring, mobile phone insurance, and more
- Budget-conscious members, whether young, rebuilding credit, or some other life journey, always have the option of your free checking.
Basic and free or Premium and small fee. Simple.
When’s Too Many Too Many?
Some credit unions have 5 or more checking accounts. That’s. Too. Many. And then you can become eligible for other benefits through achieving a series of Reward Levels. These are based on the depth of a member’s relationship.
Maybe it means lower loan rates or higher dividends. Sometimes it adds ATM fee reimbursement, or other value-adds. I’ve written about this before.
Once we’ve made it through checking, maybe the conversation migrates to an auto loan. How many LOS platforms do you have? Exactly. One. Because more would be unmanageably complicated.
Yet, how many “car resources” do you offer? Find one which offers the best overall experience for your members, and you’re done.
It’s A Trust Thing
Your members joined (and continue to bank with you) because they trust you with their money. That’s saying something. Believe me, if you explain that the credit union has determined “so-and-so” is your preferred option for members, they won’t question it.
They trust you’ve done the work to select only the best solutions. They could search Google. And, most likely, they already did. Then, they asked you.
Your member just wants a place to easily manage their finances! Keep it simple. Then you can focus on improving your members’ lives. Which should be your driving force in every decision.
Disclosure: My company partners with a firm which offers a comprehensive checking solution. It’s in hundreds of CUs and is loved by staff and members. My company also offers a Car Buying platform for CUs. Knowing when members are in the market saves everyone time and money.