Drive Your Members Wild

Five ways to drive members wild

December 29, 2010
KEYWORDS brand , ideas
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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.

Become the media...

mike lawson
January 04, 2011 2:34 pm
Great advice. Really like the first one: Becoming the media. Create your own content through your expertise. More credit unions need to become financial resources for their members. Creating a radio show, video show, etc. is the perfect way to enhance your exposure in different channels.

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory ( will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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