From the Desk of Kathy Anchors-Budd
As our nation slowly opens up over the course of 2021, are your members missing going to the credit union branch like they are missing going to their favorite restaurant, church or school? Maybe, that isn’t really a fair comparison, but the point is…what are they missing by not being able to go to the credit union branch? What is the Credit Union missing by not having members in the branch?
I was talking to a colleague the other day in the meeting planning world. We were exchanging notes. When she found out our organization serves credit unions she said, “Oh! I love my credit union. I really wish they would hurry up and open; so, I can go back into the branch!” Interesting perspective, right? We often hear I love being able to do everything online, so I don’t have to go into the branch. We are focused on the online experience more than ever. Members have become more dependent on the remote experience, but how do we make the branch valuable to them as well? What are your touchpoints with members?
NCUMA was able to have three conferences in 2020, but we did miss out on seeing a lot of our members that regularly attend each year. The reason we decided to start “NCUMA Touchpoints” is because we have missed face to face interaction with a lot of our members over the course of 2020. Just like credit unions, have missed face to face interaction with many of their members. We wanted to create a touchpoint with you!
How do we, as organizations, create touchpoints, build interpersonal relationships, and loyalty if we only do it electronically? Or we rely on the way we’ve always done it?
I’d challenge those of you with open branches, and those starting to open up more branches --Invite members to the branch again. Make it a BIG, hairy deal! Show them you’ve missed them. Give them reasons to connect with you on a personal level. Connecting personally is our jam! - A known strength in the financial sector.
In an age where technology leads us on data touchpoints, let’s not forget to humanize the interpersonal experience that technology can never satisfy.
Find creative ways to make your COVID tired members feel special!
Here are 5 suggestions:
Offer free financial assessments. In this season, finances are at the forefront of people’s minds. Helping them create an action or evaluate their current plan can be a opportunity to build brand loyalty.
Reach out to a struggling “Mom and Pop” restaurant and have them cater an office lunch for your staff or an event. Offer to open a free checking account for their restaurant employees kicking in $25 on the credit union as an incentive to start an account.
Pick an industry that has been affected specifically by COVID and do target marketing. Here are just a few that come to mind…
Local small business vendors you know are personally struggling.
4. Your branch employees wearing masks are no longer able to flash a winning smile at members. Come up with other ways to make your members feel welcomed when approaching the counter or desk from a cold 6ft distance away.
5. Lastly - Three V’s
Be Virtually Communicative – Keep them updated on what is happening in the branch – even if they aren’t ready to come in just yet.
That’s my two cents! What’s yours? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear your thoughts or touchpoints your credit union has already put into place!