Kansas Air Guard Credit Union has figured out a way to be social without taking the traditional route of Facebook or Twitter.
The $5 million Topeka, Kan.-based credit union has recently unveiled CoyoteList, its twist of online classifieds like Craigslist. With Wile E. Coyote as the official mascot for the 190th Air Refueling Wing, the name further reinforces the credit union’s relationship with the Kansas National Air Guard community. CoyoteList has been positioned as a way for members to do everything from buying and selling products and services to posting rentals and local events.
“It’s business the old-fashioned way. We may never be on the technology forefront or be able to offer some of the other services provided by other financial institutions,” said Becky Razak, manager of Kansas Air Guard CU. “But serving a closed field of membership we do have an opportunity to help reinforce our relationship within that close-knit exclusive community.”
She added that CoyoteList has also been a way to drive more traffic to the Kansas Air Guard CU website.
“I’ve been wanting to do something like this for many years. Most of our members work nine-hour days, so every two weeks they have a day off, and they’ve many talents,” said Razak. “I always tease that if ever we need anything, we can always call in the National Guard because there is someone out here who can do whatever is needed.”
With so many members running home businesses ranging from car repair and construction to event cakes, Razak said having a place on the credit union website where their talents can be featured seemed to be a natural fit.
“It works out well because basically they are paying their coworkers and that element of trust is there that who they are hiring will not only do good work but do it at fair prices,” said Razak. “So we see it as just another way people can advertise their business or hobby. It’s something our members want and helps the credit union as well. In fact, we've financed the same car as many as three times, bought and sold from one member to a co-worker.”
She added that given the amount of trust members have in CoyoteList over Craigslist, members must be in good standing to post their listings. The credit union’s web hosting site maintains all the listings include graphics which generally stay live for 90 days.
“That assistance has been instrumental,” said Razak. “We run a small shot and we can’t put all hats on at once so that our web host can input, monitor listings and graphics is such a help. It’s only been about three weeks but the member response so far has been extremely positive. Our focus is offering members loans and savings, so anything we can do to deepen our relationship with members so we’re their first choice, whether it’s posting pictures on our website photo album or giving them a place to barter and trade services. My ultimate goal with this would be if I heard others saying they have been to our website to see what’s on CoyoteList today.”