The key to making your credit union thrive is to keep members so happy they’ll not only stay, they’ll refer their friends and family, says Maribeth Kuzmeski, author of “…And the Clients Went Wild: How Savvy Professionals Win All the Business They Want.”
She advises several tactics for driving members wild, including:
• Become the media. One of the best ways to gain exposure is through media coverage—but that’s not easy to do on a regular basis. Consider hosting an Internet radio show and becoming the media. Free tools such as Blog Talk Radio allow organizations to spread their desired message with just a computer and a phone.
• Make a charitable connection. Offer to host a fundraiser for a certain charity. Not only will the charity be grateful, it might hand over a guest list of its top donors—potential members.
• Build a better brand. The most successful businesses have a strong brand that can be described simply. Your brand is what people say about you, not your logo or tag line.
• Rake in referrals. Host a member appreciation event solely for members who’ve referred others to the credit union.
Consider rewarding referrals with an item members can use right away, such as a fuel card.
• Do something really out of the box. Engage employees in brainstorming sessions to come up with off-the-wall, creative marketing ideas. Think about what would get your attention if the tables were turned and you were the audience.
There are many ways to set your credit union apart and drive members wild, Kuzmeski says. Pick one you think will work for your company and give yourself six months to a year to try it out.
Focus on the task at hand and execute it well. If it doesn’t work, try a new one.
“The key is to keep the ideas flowing and fresh, and to continue to make relationships a priority,” she adds.