There are some great things happening throughout the credit union industry. Overall membership, market share, and loan volume are up, losses are down, and it seems as if the economy is returning to some semblance of normalcy – albeit very slowly!
I have the privilege of meeting credit union professionals from all over the country through my speaking and training programs – opportunities for which I am very grateful. And although there are a lot of wonderful things happening in our industry, there are still some focus areas that are making some credit unions “tired.” Here are the 3 that I hear most often along with some questions for you to answer to help create some solutions:
“We’re tired of not meeting our loan goals.” That is certainly a valid concern. Have you reviewed those goals to make sure they are realistic for your target market? Do you even have a target market? (HINT: everyone in your service area is NOT a target market.) If loan growth is your number one priority, have you removed the “Kid’s Club” banner ad from your homepage rotation and replaced it with one that pertains to your loan products? Is your marketing and advertising centered around lending? Are you offering workshops that educate people on how to build and maintain excellent credit or stick to a budget? Do your loan officers have the information and resources they need to reach the goals that have been set? Are they adequately trained? Do your loan officers actively seek to uncover more lending opportunities for the credit union by having discussions with the members? What does your credit union’s cross-selling program look like? Does your credit union even have a focus on cross-selling? Do your employees understand precisely why loans are so important to the credit union’s bottom line?
“We’re tired of not meeting our membership goals.” Does your credit union have an awareness campaign? Are there enough dollars allocated to your marketing and advertising budgets? Does your credit union really need to spend thousands of dollars on free calendars that don’t result in any more business? Could you allocate the budget for those towards a kick-ass awareness campaign? Does your credit union have a business development department? If so, are the department’s employees trained properly or are they just told that their responsibilities now include business development? Is your credit union active in the community? Do your community’s elected political leaders even know who you are? Have you identified the “centers of influence” in your community? (HINT: These are the people that other people listen to.) Is your credit union active and involved with local business groups? Do the “key players” in those business organizations know about your credit union because your business development people have courted them and educated them about the credit union? Are you using the most effective marketing/advertising channels available in your service area? Are you trying new things or are you sticking to what you’ve always done before while watching your membership numbers continue to decline?
“We’re tired of the employee morale problem at our credit union.” When was the last time you had an “employee appreciation” event? (HINT: the money for this should not be taken from the marketing budget.) Are your department managers or team leaders properly trained on how to LEAD rather than to just manage people and processes? Do your employees understand that they are your credit union’s lifeline and are they made to feel appreciated because of that fact? Is your credit union a fun place to work or is it a place where everyone is always “walking on eggshells?” Does your credit union encourage personal initiative or is making decisions on your own “grounds for termination due to insubordination?” Does your credit union’s management team know what inspires, motivates, and energizes the employees?
We’re excited about 2013 here at Your Full Potential, LLC. We’ll be rolling out some new services and products this year. Be sure to subscribe to our e-mail list or follow us on Twitter for the latest announcements and information!