Recently my daughter and I decided to dine at a local restaurant, one of our favorites.
We soon realized that nothing can ruin a good dining experience faster than poor service. The visit served as a reminder about the importance of providing excellent service at your credit union.
A few weeks prior, I ate at the same restaurant, and the owner mentioned business was slow. I took to social media to rave about how wonderful the food was and encouraged anyone who lived in the area to try it.
Flash forward to my recent visit. The dining room was packed. I was hoping my social media outreach generated some of this increased interest. We sat down and expected to have a great meal.
That wasn’t the case.
Almost from start to finish, my dining experience was less than grand. My daughter and I ordered several items from the menu. Soon, a trickle of items came out one by one, in odd succession.
When I asked why the food wasn’t coming all at once, the server replied, “because it’s not all ready.”
Just like at the restaurant, the experience you deliver at your credit union is critical and can leave a lingering effect on members. So, what lessons can we take away?
►Focus on members and understand their needs. Don’t set up your members with high expectations and then fail to deliver. Much like the experience at the restaurant, poor service at the credit union—whether it’s a lengthy, confusing process or an interaction with a unfriendly employee—can leave a lasting negative impression on your members.
Remember, members will take to social media to spread the word about their experience, whether they receive outstanding service or an experience that leaves them taking their financial business elsewhere.
►Explain the timing requirements of their request and the potential impact of the outcome. In other words, communication is key. Be up front with members about the complexity of their issue, and how much time you need to address it.
If they ask questions, be helpful and friendly when answering. Making sure the member understands what’s going on. And being courteous will go a long way toward making a good impression.
►Follow up with your members to ensure the credit unions is handling their requests satisfactorily. It’s a courtesy, and sometimes it’s unexpected, but you’ll develop closer relationships with your members by taking that step.
JOHN MACDONALD is a business development manager for CUNA and performance consultant for CUNA Creating Member Loyalty™. Contact him at email@example.com.
This article initially appeared in Credit Union Front Line newsletter, the monthly sales and service newsletter for branch staff and their managers. Subscribe now to the print edition or PDF version.