Every credit union wants to be their members’ primary financial institution. So how do you get there? With great member service followed by a strategic onboarding campaign. When you combine those two components not only will you be your current members’ primary financial institution your new member growth will significantly increase as well.
It starts with great member service. I did not say good member service I said great. How do you go from good to great? The people servicing your members in person or on the phone have to want to be there, and enjoy what they are doing. They have to know how to read between the lines, listen for clues, and not be afraid to offer solutions to your member’s needs. Listen to your member service representatives on the phone; do you hear sales people or order takers? Watch your employees hard at work; are they smiling and engaging or straight faced and quick to the point? Depending on how you answered the above questions is going to determine just how much work you have ahead of you. Is it time to do some inside sales training, start some incentive programs, or customer service skill sessions? Make the changes you need inside first. Without great member service skills to back up your campaigns you are just letting money walk out the door.
If you have not already, you need to start an onboarding program. Getting your message out to new members is vital. The first ninety days of the relationship is where you can either sell them or eventually lose them. When onboarding you are not just selling your products and services it’s about selling a relationship. Starting a successful onboarding program from scratch can take months to develop. Here are some of the questions you want to ask yourself. What messages do you want your members to hear? What products and services do you want your members to sign up for? What forms of communication are you going to use? What type of communication schedule do you want to use? How are you going to measure the results so you can make changes if necessary? While you are answering those questions keep everyone involved and get “buy in” from your employees early. This may be the time to start an employee incentive program if you do not already have one. It is difficult to change the order taking mentality to a sales attitude so have patience and be ready to move your people around. Not everyone is cut out for sales, and to make your onboarding campaign a successful one you need people who want to sell speaking to your members. You may be surprised to find out that your loan servicer could be your best sales person.
It’s no longer a “banking” attitude that is going to get your members to choose you over the next institution; it’s a service and sales industry now.