Boost members’ engagement
Increasing the percentage of active members can be a great strategic move, Myers notes. For starters, credit unions need data about how members use their products and services. They can turn this data into valuable business intelligence.
Big, tech-savvy companies such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook have “treasure troves” of consumer data, which they in turn sell to companies.
“Credit unions have a diﬀerent treasure trove of data on their members and can use it to their advantage: Which members have active loans in good standing? Which members have interest-bearing accounts? Which members are using electronic delivery channels exclusively, thus driving down the cost per transaction?” Myers says.
You also need to create an intelligible definition of “contributing member” to motivate behavioral changes
among staﬀ, Myers says.
Credit unions face three common stumbling blocks in this regard, according to Steven Simpson, vice president of strategy and innovation at $8.6 billion asset Suncoast Credit Union in Tampa, Fla.:
“For any business that wants to have a good shot at remaining relevant and financially sound long-term, they need to become masters of using their own data,” says Myers.
UW Credit Union in Madison, Wis., did just that.
As part of an “Extreme Lending” initiative, the $2.5 billion asset credit union grew its indirect lending business by devoting staﬀ resources to developing dealer relationships. Now, 54% of its $333 million vehicle loan portfolio is in indirect loans.
Recognizing that these members could benefit from additional loans and services from the credit union, an employee built a spreadsheet to identify opportunities to grow business. Tat spreadsheet has evolved into proprietary software used by outbound call center staﬀ to pick up business that has been left on the table, says Mike Long, executive vice president/chief credit officer.
The eﬀort starts with one call and a follow-up email and, if there’s no response, another call and email a week later, and then another round in six months. This led to $50 million in additional loans being made in 2017.
“We found that time of day or weekend vs. evening made no diﬀerence,” says Long, referring to the follow-up eﬀorts. “What makes the diﬀerence is saving members money. If you provide an opportunity to save money, they will call back.”
In the future, UW Credit Union plans to involve branch staﬀ in following up on leads, leveraging the proximity of the branch to develop richer relationships.
Both Long and Myers advise credit unions to begin by using the tools they have and setting small goals.
“Start with achievable milestones that provide a sense of success,” Myers says. “Focus on bringing about behavioral change in both the staﬀ and membership and on making sure your delivery channels are aligned with members’ expectations.”