SEATTLE -- Credit union research shows the most successful operation occurs when the CU staff engages in the "WOW factor and completely takes the side" of members by focusing all attention on member needs and concerns, according to the head of a Los Angeles agency.
"Where many credit unions fall down is not involving member contact staff in service decisions and processes," maintains Neil Goldman, president of Member Research of Irvine, Calif.
In a featured speech at the annual Marketing Association Conference of Credit Unions, Goldman said one of the biggest complaints of members is they tend to feel unimportant. "'Don't make me feel like a number, like the banks do' is a consistent message," he said.
He told marketers, "When you're present in the branch, you can really focus on and appreciate the member's experience but if you just rush through, you'll miss the little things--the messy desk, the inconsistent messaging, the confusing signage or utility of a greeter."
All those little things "can make an important difference" in how the member views the CU, said the California researcher, stressing that the frontline staff should have a strong say in CU messaging to members.
Frontline staff "knows what works and it will create buy-in and enhanced relationships," said Goldman. "The staff may feel more emboldened to share that brilliant idea heretofore never shared," he said.
Goldman also urged the start of staff focus groups, which allow for information gathering, adding, "The key is for senior staff to act on the information, to create a culture of possibility and enhanced performance."