CUs Exchange Onboarding Best Practices

Empower employees to serve new members during the account-opening process.

October 25, 2012

“The first 90 days is crucial for making or breaking a new-member relationship,” says Kevin Roland, delivery channels director for FedChoice Federal Credit Union, Lanham, Md. Roland was part of a panel discussion of onboarding strategies at the CUNA Technology Council and CUNA Operations, Sales & Service Council’s joint annual conference in Las Vegas.

“We sign up about 125 members per month, but we lose a similar amount,” says Roland. “Our goal is to get new members to sign up for five products or services in the first 90 days.”

Roland describes a 2-2-2-6-1 onboarding strategy developed by cuStrategies:

“We also send a ‘honeymoon’ letter right after members sign up for membership welcoming them to the credit union and asking them to take a short survey on their experiences up to this point,” says Roland. “We’re getting a better response rate now [about 30%] using e-mail for these letters and surveys.”

“We track new members who have only one service,” says Linda Fedrick, vice president of member relations for Anheuser-Busch Employees Credit Union, St. Louis. “In 2008, 64% of new members had only one service. We’ve been able to reduce that to 29% today.”

Fedrick says Anheuser-Busch Employees CU does separate surveys for new and longer-term members. She says her credit union has a net promoter score of 92, while her peer average is 83. New members have an average of 2.43 products and services after 90 days with the credit union. Member households at her credit union have an average of 3.82 products and services.

“You need to move quickly with new members,” says Steve Langley, vice president of sales, service, and training at Travis CU, Vacaville, Calif. “Don’t wait two months to pull credit reports on new members and look for loans they might have with other lenders, and then see if you can convert those loans to your credit union.”

“Go over members’ credit reports with them and teach them how to read their reports,” Langley advises.

Langley said CUs should empower their employees to serve new members during the account-opening process and then hold their employees accountable for earning new members’ business.