OK, it might not be as easy as the title of this post suggests. But creating more member loyalty at your credit union can be accomplished if you work hard and implement programs and processes to help along the way.
The renowned sales coach Jeffrey Gitomer says, “customer satisfaction is worthless, customer loyalty is priceless.” I agree wholeheartedly. The reason is simple: satisfaction only lasts for a short while but loyalty can last a lifetime.
In order for your credit unions to grow and thrive, you must be able to not only satisfy your members but you have to make the lifelong fans. Think about this example: I am an avid New York Yankees fan (I can hear the boos and hisses already!) The Yankees can satisfy me with a big win, hitting a big milestone, etc. But those moments of satisfaction come and go. But I will be a lifelong fan of the Yankees because of the culture of excellence that has been instilled in the organization from the top down. The late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner often said that when a baseball player puts on a Yankees uniform, he is, in effect, agreeing to adhere to the values and ethics of the organization. These things have helped me (and millions of others) remain Yankees fans when they’re winning and losing.
So how can you create and maintain loyalty at your credit unions? Here are 3 suggestions to get you started:
Implement a formal Cross-Selling Program – This is so important. Cross-selling is not a deceptive or intrusive practice (if done properly.) And credit union employees should not be afraid to cross-sell because doing so helps to build relationships with your members. It’s all about engaging in dialogue and making your members feel valued. Think about it – what member is going to say “no” to a credit card balance transfer if you can show them (with raw numbers) that you can save them hundreds or thousands of dollars in interest costs if they switch?
Have an intense focus on OUTSTANDING member service – There is no excuse for bad service – period. Train employees on how to deliver outstanding service. If they do it well, reward them. If they don’t, re-train them. If they still can’t seem to serve the members properly or don’t seem to care about doing so, well….
Become solution providers instead of product pushers – credit unions exist to provide viable and sound solutions to their members. There’s an old saying about becoming successful in business, “find a need, then fill it.” That’s what credit unions have to keep doing for members. Members need their credit unions, now more than ever. The recent Bank Transfer Day was successful because credit unions across the country recognized that people needed an alternative to fee-hungry banks and they aggressively offered a solution to that particular dilemma. So position your credit unions as solution providers. If you do that, the product usage will take care of itself.
Now get to work! Your members are waiting.