Happy New Year!
Now that the hustle and bustle of the holidays is behind us, it’s time to focus on the upcoming year and what is in store for credit unions. There can be no doubt that 2013 can and should be a banner year for the credit union industry; however, that isn’t to say that there won’t be challenges. Here are what I consider to be the Top 4 Trends that credit unions will experience in the upcoming year:
Mobile Technology –mobile banking, remote deposit capture, and all of the technology associated with these things will continue to be the fastest-growing trend in our industry. Credit unions that don’t believe this or refuse to accept it run the risk of becoming obsolete in the eyes of the consumer. The marketplace has just come to expect these services and it will be up to credit unions to deliver. That’s not to say that credit unions that don’t offer these services will go out of business; however, they may not enjoy the robust growth that they seek.
Focus on Training – credit unions must endeavor to attract the most motivated and skilled professionals they can find to work for them. These “go-getters” don’t put a big focus on titles; however, what they do want are professional development opportunities as well as the ability to make a difference and demonstrate their talents. They also want to be paid commensurate to their contributions and talent. If you want the best, you have to make it worth their while to work for you. Invest in your best people and you will earn their loyalty.
Cross-Selling – there should no longer be any doubt that an effective cross-selling program is one of the best ways to create and maintain member loyalty and to strengthen relationships. Credit unions will continue to implement cross-sell and up-sell programs in 2013. A word of caution: it is vital that credit unions work with experienced professionals when introducing a new cross-selling initiative or making changes to an existing one. Simply telling your staff that they need to cross-sell without providing the necessary resources for them to succeed at doing so is simply a waste of time. You need to train your employees on how to cross-sell properly. You need to look into scripting. You need to perform some type of data mining or membership analysis. See – there is more to it than just saying “OK – make sure you are cross-selling our VISA cards to the members.”
Leadership Development – credit unions will put more focus on developing their management personnel into true leaders. If credit unions hope to get to the “next level” of the consumer consciousness, then the employees charged with leading the organizations have to get better at what they do. There is a difference between leading and managing. Credit union executives need to know how to do both.
I would love to hear your feedback – comment on this post to keep the discussion going!
Here’s to a fantastic 2013!!