When Marketing Cards, Don't Forget the Staff
Credit unions seeking to promote their cards to their members would do well to promote them first to their own front line staff that will, in turn, introduce them to CU members.
The $244 million Complex Community Credit Union, headquartered in Odessa, Texas, wanted to double the number of new credit card accounts it opened each month from 18 to 36. But the credit union soon found that their own staff's ignorance of the details of their card program stood in the way of reaching their goal.
"We polled employees about our card to identify the barriers to cross-selling it," said Lisa Wyman, vice president of marketing for Complex Community Credit Union. "We found our employees didn't realize the value of our card compared to the competition."
Working with its card processor, TNB Card Services, the credit union developed a card training program that, among other things, compared the CUs card to nationally distributed competing cards. The program also suggested ways the staff could introduce the card to CU members.
Complex Community also launched a three month incentive program to help drive new account creation. Incentives were offered at the individual and branch levels and found strong success by more than tripling their original goal for accounts opened, increasing them finally by 13% for the portfolio overall.
"The branch is the most cost-effective sales channel to acquire new cardholders," said Mark Fenner, senior vice president, TNB Card Services. "The national issuers recent changes to their card programs have frustrated many of their card holders. Smart credit unions are encouraging branch employees to educate members about the value of their credit card offering."