With Fees in Focus, Share the CU Difference

CUs practice ‘real-time marketing’ as Bank Transfer Day approaches.

November 02, 2011
KEYWORDS bank , credit , growth , unions
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As Bank Transfer Day approaches, credit unions throughout the country are participating in “real-time marketing,” Jeff Rendel, president, Rising Above Enterprises, told a breakout session at CUNA’s Community Credit Union & Growth Conference last week in San Francisco.

By reacting to daily news in the business world—such as the national discussion on big bank fees and banks' recent reversal of some fees--credit unions can tell members and the community how they are different, Rendel says.

Conference attendees discussed marketing ideas and growth opportunities centering on the Bank Transfer Day movement to switch accounts from big banks to credit unions or community institutions, such as:

* Issuing pledges to uphold the credit union people-helping-people philosophy and to provide fairly priced products.

* Training front-line leaders on ways to maximize the potential for strong member relationships during any new-account opening process.

* Using prominent website locations to communicate free checking products.

* Educating member-ambassadors about the credit union difference via credit union websites.

* Sending “status quo” messages to tell members that “this is how we have always conducted business here.”

* Measuring your Customer Effort Score, a predictor of how easy you are to do business with. The easier you are to do business with the more business you’ll conduct with members. Consider services such as switch kits, online banking platforms, and branches.

* Working within legislative and regulatory frameworks so credit unions have tools to absorb deposit growth.

* Setting up member referral programs with incentives.

Your current members may be your greatest resource to tell your story, Rendel points out. “I believe credit unions are the last of the locally-owned institutions in the U.S. How many of your members live in your own backyard?” Remind them how long you’ve been there, he says, and that you want to take the steps to ensure your relationship with them is the best it can be.

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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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