“If you can’t create an emotional connection with members, you’re going to lose them,” says author Patrick Henry.
He addressed the CUNA HR & Organizational Development Council Conference Wednesday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
To create that connection, Henry says, give members a “re-memorable experience,” a phrase coined by his nine-year-old daughter after a family trip to Disney World. He says a re-memorable experience is how you make members feel special and valued.
There are three mentalities people must have to build a re-memorable experience for members:
1. Extra inch mentality. Don’t merely meet expectations when completing your job. Go beyond the minimum.
“The extra mile is easy to identify but it's not easy to do. It’s not the extra mile though, it’s the extra inch,” says Henry, author of "The Pancake Principle: 17 Sticky Ways to Make Your Customers Flip for You.” “We are judged on how meet expectations, but you’re evaluated by how you exceed those expectations.”
2. "Cheers" mentality. “Is there a better feeling in the world that walking in a room and everybody turns around and smiles because they’re genuinely glad you’re there?” Henry asks. That’s the “Cheers” mentality, which refers to the long-running TV series.
Interact with members in a way that differentiates you from other financial institutions. Do this by knowing your members’ names or forming a connection with them.
Service is the technical delivery of a product or service while hospitality is how that delivery makes you feel. Credit unions are in the hospitality business, Henry says.
3. Lead the way mentality. When a member is in an unfamiliar or uncomfortable situation—such as applying for their first mortgage or wanting to talk about tackling mounting debt—don’t be annoyed with their questions. Instead, reach out to them and guide them through the process.
“When you point the way, you get one-time results. When you lead the way, you get lifetime results,” Henry says. “Credit unions create opportunities to serve as resources to their members.”
Keeping these three mentalities in mind will allow your credit union to provide re-memorable experiences for your members. As a result, they’ll likely be loyal members of the credit union.
“It’s the people within your walls who truly give your credit union value to your members,” Henry says. “We’re just people serving people, not people serving a number.”
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