Make Your Credit Union a Member’s Primary Financial Institution

 

Did you know that only 24% of credit union members currently view their credit union as their primary financial institution? Here are some strategies for making your credit union your members’ primary institution.

Push Your Member Experience Support to the Digital World

“Just Google it” is the motto of an entire generation. Rather than asking questions and being satisfied when they hear, “I don’t know” as the only answer, Millennials and Gen Z are tech-savvy and ready to use their internet connection to help them tackle anything that life throws at them.

This also means that customer service is now digital. Does your credit union have a dynamic member services FAQs page (with text and videos)? Are you hosting webinars for financial literacy and creating chatbot interfaces to help give your members support every time they come to your website?

The big shift to digital services that took place during the coronavirus pandemic is now set to be the primary method for getting anything and everything done.

Products and Services Aren’t Enough – You Need to Be Engaging

Today’s members aren’t looking for just a service, they’re looking for brands that want to understand and engage with them. They want to be able to contact your credit union or jump onto your website and find the best possible advice for their situation and needs. It’s no longer about facilitating a transaction but carrying on a conversation with your member’s needs.

Success in this engagement comes, first and foremost, through your employees. With the right training and data, your team can be the determining factor in making your credit union your members’ primary financial institution.

Personalization is Paramount

Part of that employee training needs to be based on how to incorporate personalization as often as possible. There is a reason that members are called “members” and not “customers.” Mass banking and automation are not the cornerstones of your business. The ability to make every member feel like a “regular” in your establishment is.

But having your staff try and remember the preferences of everyone who comes in your doors or uses your online services is impossible. But data storage and analysis can do that heavy lifting for you. You can look at trends in a member’s banking behavior, personal meetings or loan needs, and so much more when you have a solid data collection and storage process.

Going Digital Doesn’t Mean Forgoing Face-To-Face Interactions

With the focus on cutting-edge digital solutions, it’s easy to start thinking the physical aspects of your credit union – your lobbies, teller desks, and meeting rooms – will soon be obsolete. But in fact, many financial institutions have seen an 80% bounce-back of in-person transactions after they reopened their branches.

Members still crave in-depth conversations with your knowledgeable and professional teams. That face-to-face time is often how you, your teams, and the members learn incredibly important information about products, services, and how to best serve your members.

CUInsight has an incredible example in part 2 of their three-part series on increasing the number of members who consider your credit union their primary financial institution. In Scenario 1, a credit union team member pulls up the account opening checklist when a new member wants to sign up. Depending on what the checklist includes, the member may or may not get the things they need from their new account. But in Scenario 2, the credit union team member has been trained to see this new member’s presence as an opportunity to gain insight into the products and services the member needs right now, and possibly even discuss some things they will need in the future.

Great data solutions and training can help show members that your credit union deserves to be their primary financial institution.

IMS Has the Data Solutions

IMS is a leading provider of enterprise data protection solutions for credit unions. We can help you with everything from core hosting to disaster recovery, IaaS, and more.

Contact IMS for more information.


4 Ways to Leverage Credit Union Data

 

Credit union data is one of the best tools you have to serve your members. And data analytics are opening lots of doors for reaching select audiences and maximizing your business and marketing efforts. But like any tool, you have to know how to use it effectively. Here are four great ways to leverage credit union data.

Evaluate Your Segments

According to the Financial Brand, there are two main segmentation categories to prioritize: transactional data and behavioral data.

Transactional data, the largest for credit unions, includes everything from loan balances to account activity and can be captured through multiple channels like mobile apps, digital applications, and even in-person transactions. When assessing this data segment, it’s important to keep in mind the differences between your audiences – their preferences in transaction mediums (digital and otherwise), the breakdown of products and services being used by specific age groups, and more. If your transactional data segments aren’t producing the desired results, it might be time to re-evaluate, especially in light of the massive shift to online services since the coronavirus pandemic.

The other main segment to prioritize is behavioral data, which includes everything your members do that isn’t tied to a transaction – this includes things like spending habits, member experience touchpoints, things they need and want, and more. This data is typically captured on a customer relationship management (CRM) platform. Just like with transactional data, take a look at your current practices to see if you can better leverage your credit union data.

Understand Your Data Systems

More than just looking at the data you are collecting, you also need to understand how your data is being collected and stored. A core system is a hub for your credit union data.

As mentioned above, your digital and CRM data, which are stored in your core system, are great assets. CRM data can give you insight into current member experience trends. You can use those trends to enhance and streamline your services to accommodate them.

Digital banking data across banking institutions have been showing a huge trend upward in the use of mobile banking services. This means a large amount of your data is now digital, and it should be standard practice to analyze this data on a regular basis so you can implement new and more efficient ways to service your members.

Analyze In-Person vs. Online Behaviors

Banks, and credit unions especially, still attract a lot of in-person business. In fact, it is one of the hallmarks of successful credit unions. Using your transactional and digital data, you cannot only optimize your members’ experience, but you can also use the insights to train and inform your staff so they can transform that data into more personable, targeted experiences for your valued members.

Enhance and Assess Cross-Selling Methods

Improving cross-selling processes is a great way to better engage your current customers, a crucial process in your credit union’s business.

We found this 4-step process for improving cross-selling:

  1. Define cross-selling and measure its effectiveness: Sell more products and services to existing customers by defining the goals and areas you want to target and improve.
  2. Establish clear metrics for measuring performance: Your employees will be the primary point of access for cross-selling. Leaders or managers must clearly define the goals and performance expected.
  3. Make marketing and cross-selling communications better and clearer: Customers are savvier than ever, and your credit union’s response to this should be to increase transparency when it comes to cross-selling. You want to offer personalized campaigns and protocols to increase engagement and selling.
  4. Reward employees who perform well: Your staff wants to serve your members, and if they do an exceptional job, you should reward that. Offering cross-selling incentives for your employees can also boost the effectiveness of cross-selling programs.

Leverage IMS’s Continuous Data Protection

Get rid of complex legacy backup systems and integrate multi-system solutions, such as data orchestration and catalog management, into a single software platform. With continuous data protection from IMS, your credit union can minimize downtime, scale-up architecture and save costs.

Contact us for more information.


5 Community Outreach Marketing Ideas for Credit Unions

 

Credit unions are unique in their positioning – they are financial institutions with a community-centered vision. This hometown, local feel is something that should be included in your marketing efforts. Nothing satisfies customers more than knowing a business can walk the walk. Here are 5 community outreach marketing ideas for your credit union.

Offer Helpful Free Content

The coronavirus pandemic has done a great job showing us all that we aren’t as financially savvy as we should be. With this in mind, you can create and tailor your free resources and tools to target areas of need in your community.

For example, lots of people are refinancing in the wake of the pandemic, trying to save money and take advantage of the economic market for themselves. Your credit union could create, partner with, and share resources like a free mortgage or rent calculators, budgeting templates and tools, and helpful videos on a wide range of financial topics.

Providing and promoting free resources is a great way to build brand trust and give back to the community – both local and global.

Host and Highlight Contests

Social media contests are a great way to boost your followings and generate buzz and revenue for your credit union. And you can definitely do that as an individual business, but why not reach out and get involved with local or seasonal causes as well?

Hosting and highlighting contests that are true to your credit union’s mission, or dear to the hearts of your members, is a fantastic way to showcase your financial and professional empathy as an organization. You can run giveaways, creative or arts-based contests, social media and video contests, and more.

You can also reach out to other business owners and community leaders for inspiration.

Talk to Local Leaders – Find Out What Community Needs Aren’t Being Met

And speaking of talking to community leaders – why not let them give you ideas for your next community outreach event?

Many times, we create a marketing plan that works, and we want to keep running similar efforts because we know they were successful in the past. But there are lots of things that may seem less catchy or glamorous that still need the attention of the community.

A great example of this is prevalent in a story Scott Harrison, founder of Charity: Water, often tells. His charity, which helps bring clean drinking water to people in developing countries, was built on a model of transparency – everyone who donates gets to choose where their money goes – to operations (the daily expenses like paying employee salaries, buying office supplies, and the like) or to projects (this money goes toward the trips that actually build the wells).

While this transparency is amazing, Scott talks, in an episode of the Armchair Expert podcast, about how his “projects” bank account had nearly $800,000 in it, but he was on the brink of having to shut down his charity because there were no funds in the less-exciting “operations” fund.

This illustrates a great point about community and business needs: sometimes, certain needs can be abundantly met, while others are being ignored. The best way to combat this is to reach out to community leaders and talk with them. Figure out what they need. We see this all the time with homeless shelters, animal shelters, and food pantries – often, the most needed items or help are the least given.

Finding these gaps – and helping fill them – is a great way to raise awareness for certain issues and position your credit union as a trustworthy and helpful business.

Sponsor Seasonal Teams and Events

This trick is an old one, but still a good one. Having your credit union sponsor a local team or event continues to be a great way to give back to the community and boost your brand locally.

Additionally, you can choose to partner with another individual or business to sponsor certain events. And with so many events being hosted online, there are more and more interesting ways to get involved with local sports, celebrations, and more.

This can be done strategically – again, look for those gaps. Concentrate on building a balance between larger, multi-sponsor events and smaller events where one or two sponsors could make a huge impact in the event or team’s success.

Include Your Audience in the Decision-Making

Social media makes it incredibly easy to increase audience participation. It seems like almost every year, the Columbus Zoo is asking fans to help them name their latest animal babies like they did in 2020 with a new polar bear cub. When it comes to choosing between which events and charities to support, why not give your members and social media followers a chance to help make the decision?

This does two things. First, it gets them invested in the community outreach marketing that your credit union is doing. And secondly, it also shows you and your CU what causes and charities are closest to your members’ hearts.

Don’t forget about including your community when you are planning your next community outreach marketing events!

Is Your Head in the Cloud? Let IMS Help.

Credit unions are built for communities. So why not let IMS help you focus on yours rather than worrying about your cloud data?

IMS can take care of some of the behind-the-scenes solutions so you can focus on your next community outreach marketing effort. Browse our private cloud services like backup, core hosting, IaaS, and virtual desktop – or contact us today!


4 Tips for Marketing to Gen Z

 

You may be thinking, why should my credit union already be marketing to Gen Z? Aren’t they a little young to be financially independent?

Many news articles and social media jokes paint Gen Z (the first demographic group born after the internet was commercialized) as children or young teens. But the reality is – the oldest Gen Z members (born between 1997 and 2012) are nearing their mid-twenties. And credit unions will miss out on their share of the generation’s estimated $44 billion in buying power if they don’t tailor marketing efforts to capture this audience.

Why Marketing to Gen Z Will Be Different

Gen Zers, like millennials, are more conscious of debt than previous generations. As children of the Great Recession, Gen Z is generally more averse to accruing debt as the cost of living, college, and having children continues to rise.

As a general rule, Gen Z is also much more purpose-driven in terms of engaging in discussions and activism surrounding social, political, and environmental issues.

And of course, as the first fully digital generation, they are more comfortable on the internet than any other generation before them. Your credit union needs to be aware of and cater to these characteristics in order to be successful in marketing to Gen Z.

Pay Attention to Gen Z Banking Preferences

47% of Gen Zers are big bank customers, but they don’t like it. Big banks are not in line with many of Gen Z’s socially conscious ideologies, but they have more advanced and diverse technology. So what can credit unions do?

The first logical step is to augment your digital offerings, which we’ll talk more about in the next section.

Other creative solutions for pulling attention away from big banks and towards your credit union include rethinking loyalty and account features. For example, Gen Z is less likely to be enticed by a loyalty program – but offering savings or checking accounts with zero overdraft fees is a huge draw.

Boost Digital & Mobile Banking Services

Gen Z is very tech-savvy, and they do most of their banking from their phones and other smart devices. Credit unions can optimize their online offerings to include mobile apps or mobile-friendly web design. Part of the draw of big banks, for Gen Z, is the ease of their online processes. Digital natives base more of their brand loyalty on the brand’s commitment to providing easy and quick solutions.

Another trend Gen Z prefers is the personalization of websites and services. They expect the websites they visit to include their personal preferences through targeted ads and other dynamic content that will lead them to the best product or service for them. Credit unions can do this by including more things like quizzes or other infographics that give visitors a clear path to their preferred solution.

Provide Dynamic Financial Education Resources

Here is another example of how Gen Z preferences perfectly line up with credit union offerings.

Gen Z spends so much time online, both for education and entertainment. Credit unions can take advantage of this by creating more online access to financial education resources. Many Gen Zers head to YouTube when they want to learn how to do something, look up product functions or reviews, and more.

Creating a robust and dynamic financial education blog or YouTube channel is a great differentiator that will really cater to the youngest generation as they try to navigate and learn about the current financial landscape.

Make Your Brand More Vocal about Community & Social Issues

A brand’s product or service is important, but the brand’s purpose is just as important to Gen Z. When marketing to Gen Z, it’s wise to remember that members of this group tend to choose brands and products that are committed to a purpose they see as valuable.

Credit unions are generally more socially responsible than big banks, as they feel a responsibility to serve the communities they do business in, which is a great cause to tout on your website, in your branches, and on your social media channels. Gen Zers want to support businesses that care about their customers, in outwardly authentic and genuine ways.

We’ve Got Your Back(up)

The great thing about credit unions and Gen Z is that many of the things your credit union is already doing can be easily updated to capture more of this audience.

IMS can take care of some of the behind-the-scenes solutions so you can focus on marketing your credit union services to Gen Z and beyond. Browse our private cloud services like backup, core hosting, IaaS, and virtual desktop – or contact us today!