Members are the lifeline of your credit union. Showing your members they are valued is a crucial piece of your marketing, both in person and with digital interactions. Keeping your members happy is a great way to develop advocates within your community that will help spread the word about your credit union, helping grow your membership through word of mouth.
You may not view these small interactions as marketing, but they absolutely are. How you treat your members or the messaging your send out to them is important to maintain the culture you have worked so hard to establish.
How do you make your credit union members feel valued? Here are 10 ways you can positively impact your members' experience with your credit union, both online and in your branches.
We're starting you off with something really easy. This may seem simple but 93% of communication is non-verbal, and a smile is the easiest way to show someone you appreciate them and you are invested in the conversation you are sharing with them. If you're talking with a member online via email or a chat function, smile through your copy. Most people assume a negative tone already when reading an email, so you'll need to very intentionally make it sound positive. Be as friendly as possible and personalize your interactions as much as possible by using the member's name, asking how they're doing and more. More on that next.
2. Personalized Communications
If your credit union does any kind of email automation, take the time to include the member's name in the email. You may even be able to use branching logic to provide each member with specific content based on their financial needs or life stage. The more personalized your marketing is, the more each member will feel like you're speaking directly to them rather than a sea of members.
3. Referral Incentives
To help jump-start a referral-based campaign, offer a reward or some type of incentive for referring a new member. Maybe it's some extra cash deposited into their checking account, or additional rewards points on their credit card. Members appreciate these benefits, and if they love your credit union anyway, they'll be happy to refer the people in their life.
4. Above-and-beyond Customer Service
The great Maya Angelou famously said, “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” And that couldn't be more true. Take the time to train your staff to offer excellent customer service.
5. Product Kickbacks
This strategy is used by almost all credit card companies. The more you spend, the more you receive. Think about the financial products you offer and which ones you could create a rewards program for. Maybe it's a checking account that gives a little back for debit card usage; maybe it's a member-only interest rate; maybe it's an incentive for hitting a certain amount of money in a unique savings account. Get creative here!
6. Birthday or Special Emails
For every member you open an account for, you're provided a date of birth and more than likely an email address. Why not send out automated birthday emails as a way to say thank you for being a member? Consider partnering with a local business to offer a small gift card or coupon to make it even more valuable. It's just one more thing that will make members feel known and valued.
7. Stop Selling
People no longer want to be sold. They want someone who genuinely cares about their well-being and their future. Build relationships with your members so they look at your credit as a resource instead of a money-sucking bank. Take the time to learn a little about them and provide suggestions that will help them. On the digital side, don't bombard your members with emails about new offers and upsells. Instead, send them educational content, with financial tips that are relevant to the products they use and their stage of life. When you give to your members instead of constantly asking, they'll begin to trust your intentions more.
8. Respond to Comments & Reviews
In a time where Google or Yelp reviews can ruin your reputation and remain online forever, you can't afford to have bad interactions with members. It's important to communicate with members when they leave reviews or comments on social media as part of your customer service strategy. When you receive a negative review or comment, respond with a way to make it right or help solve their problem. Other members will also see this and appreciate your efforts.
9. Give Back
Get involved in your community. The more you give the more you will get in return. Partner with local organizations to raise money for charity, volunteer for community projects and serve on local committees. It's a great way to do something good and spread positive brand awareness at the same time!
10. Enjoy What You Do
Take a step back and appreciate that your credit union provides an important role in your members' lives. Don't take that lightly. Enjoy helping your members. Get to know them. Invest yourself in their future. This type of attitude is infectious and won't go unnoticed. Your members will appreciate your staff's help and start building loyalty to you.
Making your members feel valued doesn't take a lot of time or money. It's as simple as integrating thoughtful, personal touches into everything you're already doing.
Need guidance in retaining members or growing your credit union? Download our free guide on Digital Marketing for Financial Institutions below, and reach out to us if you have questions about partnering with a digital marketing agency to help your credit union grow.
If you enjoyed this edition of PRIME Pulse, take a look at some of our other related articles:
- A Financial Institution's Guide to Compliance in Digital Marketing
- Social Media for Financial Institutions: What's Relevant?
- How to (Effectively) Gather Feedback About Your Financial Institution