Credit unions definitely don’t want to spam their members, and they don’t want them to feel like they’re being sold something they don’t need.
But in today’s tight-budget times, cross selling as many products as possible, especially the right ones, as efficiently as possible has also become a priority for many.
One big institution–the $1.9 billion, 177,000-member Travis Credit Union in Vacaville, Calif.–has taken on that problem by using a new outsourced marketing software solution from its core processing provider, Fiserv Inc.
Travis CU is one of about two dozen credit unions that have deployed Next Multi-Channel Marketing, using it at branches, online and through audio response.
Here’s how it works. A member contacts the credit union through any channel and that channel uses the Web service to alert the Next service to get offers. That software then goes through the qualifications and checks the member’s history to see what he or she has agreed to and declined in the past and then returns targeted offers through that channel.
The member’s response is then returned to the Next system, which initiates fulfillment as defined by the credit union. That could include an email to staff, the immediate presentment of an online loan application, a product wizard or some combination of those.
The system’s reporting service tracks all interactions and responses and it’s agnostic as to where it pulls and integrates. For instance, Travis CU runs on a Fiserv Spectrum account processing system with MAXXAR interactive voice response and Online Resources for online banking. Oracle provides the business process management software that’s now being integrated and yet another third-party solution is used for MCIF functions.
Business rules are determined by the credit union and in Travis CU’s case, they’re tight, so the teller or member service rep has a high degree of trust that the member qualifies for the product the system presents and is more likely to offer it, the credit union said.
"We have a sales environment, and we want as large a share of wallet as we can get, so the most important thing is to offer the right products to members at the right time," said Craig Beaudry, Travis CU’s assistant vice president of development and operations.
The credit union has been deploying the software in phases and is currently working through making it the sole source of its incentives for staffers who sell to members, and better leveraging the system’s analytics.
"We’ve had kind of a disconnect in the way we’ve been using it, but we’re now moving toward putting all our referrals and sales activity through it and really tracking the statistics, too," Beaudry said.
Virginia Scott, senior product manager for Next Multi-Channel Marketing at Fiserv, said 24 credit unions are now using the solution, which she said was originally developed in 2004 in response to a request from Nevada Federal Credit Union for a way to coordinate offers across all its electronic channels.
"It stayed just there for a while but recently we have made it a general offering across our entire credit union division," Scott said. The system also has grown to include case management functionality and can reach members through 19 different channels, she said.
Keeping clear who’s been offered what and when through all those channels is crucial, Scott added. "People are being bombarded with messages all over the place now and a lot of them are impersonal," she said.
Personalizing messages, along with the ability to rotate product promotions to everyone through various channels, is a key to reaching consumers, including many who no longer are listening to traditional radio stations or reading newspapers, she added.
At Travis CU, both personal and group outreach strategies have been deployed. Fiserv said its client has seen wallet and product penetration increase steadily through such efforts as a Reg E opt-in promo to all its online bankers and an auto loan refinance sale that was targeted to certain members and captured loan dollars from other financial institutions.
To Beaudry, "The most important thing about it is that it allows our employees of focus on servicing members, by doing the detective work that determines what the right product is and what they already have."
He added, "We don’t want to offer our members something they already have, or make an offer to them that they’ve already said ‘no’ to."