Community Service

Unite for Good

Follow seven steps to enhance service excellence, CUNA CEO says.

May 05, 2013
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Cheney Think

Standing behind the "Unite for Good" shared vision for the credit union movement means "we can achieve great things together," CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney told THINK Conference attendees this week in Chicago.
To achieve this vision—where all Americans choose credit unions as their best financial partner—credit unions must:
  • Remove barriers by actively participating in credit union grassroots activities and the political process.
  • Create awareness by expanding your credit union's outreach and image in the community.
  • Foster service excellence by offering a complete set of forward-looking and constantly improving financial services to members of all backgrounds and life stages.
Fostering service excellence might be the most difficult but the most important, Cheney says. 
It's difficult because credit unions already deliver outstanding service, and surveys repeatedly support this. But consider these seven action steps:
1. Provide convenient locations.
2. Offer and promote reasonable fees and free checking.
3. Make easy online access and online banking services a priority.
4. Reinforce helpful, friendly, personalized service.
5. Provide and promote access to many ATMs.
6. Be competitive on loan and savings rates.
7. Develop a variety of loans and savings products.
The THINK Conference, sponsored by CO-OP Financial Services, concludes Thursday.

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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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