SAN DIEGO — Members’ financial needs generally run deeper than the purchase of a single product, and credit unions need to tap into those opportunities or competitors will, attendees of America’s Credit Union Conference were told during a breakout session.
“Research shows members are looking for financial reviews and money management tools from their credit unions,” said David Polet, CUNA Mutual Group’s Voice of Customer program manager.
“Credit unions can’t be passive about making members aware of what they offer. Given that two out of three dollars members spend on consumer loans are being borrowed elsewhere, it behooves credit unions to aggressively make members aware of what they have to offer,” he told the Tuesday session at the San Diego Convention Center.
Polet said a single transaction with a member can provide credit unions with indicators of other needs the member might have.
“For example, if they purchased life insurance in the last two years, research shows more than 60% of those new policyholders say they would be open to advice from their credit union on eliminating debt,” he said.
Member data can be used by credit unions to discover key information, like if a member has a loan elsewhere, and whether it might be worthwhile to initiate a loan recapture program to retrieve it.
“By accessing that data, it provides you with fodder for conversations on how to gain a bigger share of their business,” he said.
Polet said key to identifying members’ additional needs are front-line employees.
“Employees who ask the right questions of members can provide a multitude of opportunities that will benefit the member and credit union,” he said.
The era of when a consumer announced what he or she needed, and credit unions then fulfilled that need, has passed, Polet said. Today, credit unions must understand members’ propensities and proactively engage them in conversations to that end.
"If you aren’t having that conversation with them, someone else is,” he said.