Credit unions are on the rise. More people all over the country are recognizing the benefits of using the services they provide. However, keeping those customers for the long term can be a challenge. With such competition in the financial marketplace, how can credit unions persuade members to remain with them?
These charts below show how non-bank servicers have increased in popularity over the last few years. Yet, they also show clearly that banks are still significantly more likely to be the first choice for a person getting a mortgage.
This means that credit unions must work hard to find ways to increase their member numbers to stay competitive. Not only that, they need to build on the great work they’ve already done by keeping their existing members.
With this in mind, here are 5 tips to get customers for life:
1. Employ A Greeter
Offering members and potential members an excellent in-branch experience is essential. One highly effective way to do this is to employ a greeter to be the face of your branch.
Simply welcoming members into the branch gives the right impression from the very first moment of contact. A greeter can offer advice and information and direct customers to the most appropriate person. While this is a simple, it’s something that can make a big difference to the member experience.
Do you already have greeters in your branches? It’s important to make sure you’re using them to their best potential. Are they standing or sitting when customers arrive? Standing always creates a better impression.
What is their attitude and demeanor toward the customers? Do they appear annoyed, frustrated, tired or bored? A greeter that is not friendly and engaged with the customer can cost your credit union in the long run. So train your greeters to ensure they are providing value to everyone that walks through your doors.
To create the right impression, greeters should have a positive attitude. They should be smiling and actively greet each customer as if he or she was the most important person.
2. Maintain Consistent Communication
While considering the importance of the customer experience for long-term retention, it’s important to pay attention to how consistent you are when communicating with your members.
This chart shows the key areas a business should address when dealing with customers personally, either by phone or online.
How are you communicating with your existing and potential members? It’s vital to communicate effectively via every method. Body language, web content, and customer service helplines are all essential areas for review. Consistency is key, and it’s important to examine the communication approach you’re taking across all areas.
Is the overall message you’re giving your members consistent in all areas of your credit union? Is the same tone apparent no matter how customers come in contact with your institution?
Are your systems and processes consistent right across your branches, helplines, and website? If they aren’t, it’s time to address this to ensure customers are enjoying the best possible experience every time.
3. Keep Consistent Engagement Through A Blog
Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, it’s easier than ever to maintain customer engagement on an ongoing basis. Blogging is a highly effective way to stay in contact with existing and potential members. Blogs can enable you to achieve a wider reach and to reinforce your brand in their minds.
How can blogging help? The most important thing is to know who your target audience is. Identifying who uses or would benefit from using your products and services is the first step. Next, you need to determine the problems and issues they are having.
Your blog posts should revolve around solving those problems with one of your products.
Adding a subscribe button to each blog post page is another essential step. This helps to consistently stay in touch with your target audience.
Once readers have subscribed to your blog posts, they’ll automatically receive an e-mail when you’ve published a new post. This keeps you top of mind week after week, or month after month, depending on how often you post something.
At the same time, they’ll learn more about your products and services. And possibly become a new member. Or an existing member may get another product with you.
You can take your engagement a step further by linking your credit union website to your social media platforms. As you can see from the chart below, a key connection exists between your website, blog, and social media pages.
When you share your posts on social media sites, you broaden your reach even more. People who like your social media sites but who haven’t yet subscribed to your blog can still see each post.
4. Improve Staff Engagement
Unengaged, dissatisfied staff will not genuinely encourage customers to remain with your credit union for the long term. Employees act as a frontline for your institution. This means they require the correct resources to supply a high level of customer service.
Do your customer service team members have all the essential tools to do their jobs effectively? Without them, employee morale will drop, productivity will be lower, and customer attrition will occur.
Disorganized and inefficient systems confuse people. If your frontline staff members struggle to find the information they require to help customers, it will affect their confidence, and, not to mention customer confidence as well.
Every employee should have access to consistent, up-to-date, and accurate information. This ensures they can respond to customer questions in a timely and efficient manner.
Supplying effective training, providing opportunities for professional and personal development, and working on team-building skills are all essential. Credit unions must also listen to their employees and consider their opinions.
Consulting staff about decisions that affect them is key. When workers feel as if they’re listened to and respected, they are happier and more productive. Subsequently, they’ll portray the institution in its best light and work harder to retain customers in the long term.
5. Enable Self-Service for Customers
People are becoming more and more self-reliant. They want independence to manage their financial affairs. They may be searching for services or products, signing up for them, changing account settings or handling banking transactions. Evidence shows that users rather tackle it themselves then go to a branch.
As you can see from this chart, fewer consumers than ever before prefer to use human interaction channels for banking. This is a huge opportunity to make a difference in how you attract new members.
Providing excellent self-service support is a great way to retain customers. The omni-digital approach is becoming increasingly popular.
Support content to assist members with self-service options across credit union websites, mobile sites, and online platforms can boost customer satisfaction. It can also increase conversions and improve customer retention.
Shondell Varcianna is the founder of Varci Media. A content writing agency that writes content for financial institutions. She can be reached at email@example.com.
For more blog writing tips, check out The Ultimate Blog Content Checklist – 10 Keys to Blog Content Success at www.varcimedia.com/checklist