Creating a culture that builds loyalty

Creating a culture that builds loyalty

CUNA's Creating Member Loyalty program aims to engage members.

September 1, 2017

Engaging members and maintaining their loyalty is a topic that lies at the core of the credit union industry’s mission. And for almost 30 years, Creating Member Loyalty™ (CML) has addressed that fundamental concept.

“Through the years we’ve always delivered one consistent message: Loyalty comes from an unrelenting focus on member needs, not sales quotas or pushing product,” says Carla Schrinner, implementation manager and senior master trainer with CML.

“Credit union clients often approach us because they want to shift the culture within their organization,” Schrinner says. “They want to be more strategic about engaging their members, and that requires different behaviors from the organization and from staff to see results.”

The program starts with a “deep-dive assessment” of a new client’s current practices. “Sometimes senior management will describe the credit union one way while staff will see it very differently,” says Schrinner. The goal is to bring clear perspective to everyone on where the credit union will realize its greatest gains, and then provide the implementation strategy and training necessary to move the needle.

CML stays abreast of the financial industry’s research on consumer needs and perceptions, Middleton says. “From early on, we looked at the best customer practices of Fortune 500 companies and introduced them into our own programs, as well as continually assessing insights from academia and our own industry.”

Clients often see measurable results fairly quickly. “It can be as early as two months, and many times under a year,” Schrinner says.

“Our partnership with some credit unions has been up to 15 years, helping them sustain a member-oriented culture,” she continues. “It’s a long-term commitment.”