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MADISON, Wis. – While new members continue to join credit unions at a steady clip, industry experts say retaining those relationships is the critical next step. Several key components of an effective member retention program do a number of things, according to The Point for Credit Union Research and Advice, a CUNA publication. The program should consider the initial 90-day window for a new member as a key opportunity to cross-sell programs that are relevant and easy to understand. Looking at mature members more closely can help to determine methods for strengthening those relationships even further, the publication said. An effective retention program also empowers employees to take action at the point of contact so the minor kinks that happen in the course of normal business don’t become the justification for members moving their money elsewhere, according to The Point. Credit unions can also account for how they attract members and make sure the value proposition is in sync with long-term goals. Above all, the publication reported, the first step in implementing a retention program is remembering to put it at the top of the strategic to-do list.

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