LAS VEGAS (11/5/14)--Kicking off the Credit Union National Association's Community Credit Union & Growth Conference here Tuesday, keynote speaker Jeff Rendel explored the conference's 2014 theme and told credit unions that a key to their future is "Looking back to look forward."
Rendel, president of Rising Above Enterprises, riffed off of the late George Carlin's comedy routine "The Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television." He said there are also seven words you can't say in your credit unions: "We have always done it this way." A sea of heads nodded agreement.
"Credit unions should have the equivalent of a 'cuss jar' for anyone who ever uses this phrase," he joked. Rendel's company works with financial service providers to improve results in leadership, sales and strategy.
He congratulated credit unions on having reached 100 million credit union memberships earlier this year and said, "We are just getting started." He urged credit unions to adopt the mindset of all successful entrepreneurs--those who worry every day and all night long that not enough people have found their great product or service.
Rendel asked his audience to think back to the credit union beginnings in this country--noting that the Federal Credit Union Act was signed into law in 1934. Rendel reminded attendees that was the time the Queen Mary launched, the first commercial TV was produced in Germany, new house prices in the United States averaged $5,970, and the American public were introduced to Shirley Temple and, in a bit part, Donald Duck. Things have changed.
|Jeff Rendel tells his audience at CUNA's Community CU & Growth Conference that there are seven words that should never be spoken at a credit union: "We have always done it this way." Rendel, the conference keynoter and moderator, is president of Rising Above Enterprises. (CUNA Photo)|
Now is the time to create a reinvented movement propelled by timeless credit union principles, Rendel said, and challenged his credit union audience to think about what it is in their history that they would not be willing to leave behind as they chart out their future.
One representative said his credit union wants to "think big and act small," bringing together innovations members want while keeping the personal touch to service. Another said she never wants her credit union to lose "the family environment" even as it works to grow. Serving the underserved, honoring the seven credit union principles, and believing in people also were highlighted.
Rendel underscored that it is just that kind of dedication to maintaining historic values while pursuing service excellence that spells out the credit union future.
He reminded that surveys say 70% of consumers want to do business with a local financial institutions. He added that credit unions are the "heroes of local financial services."
Credit unions should, however, remember that member loyalty does not necessarily mean visits to branches: "Mobile banking has been taking off like a rocket since 2005," Rendel said. Also, creating a personal touch to mobile service has a cost efficiency associated with it, he said. The in-branch cost per transaction is $4 as compared with the same transaction costing 8 cents through mobile delivery.
"Focus on the unique individual with your marketing, in your technology--in everything you do. The personal touch--that's our focus," he said.
The Community Credit Union and Growth conference continues through Thursday.