Use Passion and Technology to Engage Members
The U.S. economy, while showing some signs of improvement, remains lackluster. The credit union industry and your credit union specifically are faced with a variety of economic and legislative challenges. Concerns with loan demand and loan quality may be dominating your ALCO discussions. Let's face it; these are tough times to be a strategic leader at a credit union. It makes you wonder why you got into this business in the first place. But we all know it comes down to one word: Passion.
For more than 10 years I've heard credit union executives talk about positioning credit unions as "financial advocates." After all, we're supposed to be about "people helping people." Certainly these philosophies are byproducts of our passion to provide the utmost in member service. However, when you look at sentiment toward the financial services industry as a whole, the gap between what consumers and FI executives think, has widened. And I don't think we can just blame it all on the big banks.
Members are wary of being "sold," so I'm intentionally avoiding the words "marketing" and "selling." What they really need is help; help managing daily finances and reaching financial goals, including living within their means. Your credit union needs to be positioned as a solution provider, but needs to do so through the execution of an experience, not simply through traditional marketing or branding. You need to go well beyond the veneer. This means you need to actively engage members across all channels, through human interaction and technology driven experiences. Remember back in the 90's when we spoke of "high-tech, high touch"?
As reported by the Financial Brand, "People aren't interested in listening to you talk...about you. If you want to see someone's eyes light up, ask them questions and encourage them talk about things that interest them -- namely themselves, their experiences, their questions and their concerns." This is what engagement is all about.