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4 posts categorized "May 2012"

May 30, 2012

Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood? Four Good Ideas for Getting Locally Known

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by Ron Daly 

Album.peopleneighborhood

[image via the Muppet Wiki]

It's time for you to take down that big, scary, Lex Luthor-esque map of the world you have in your office. You know, the one with all the big push-pins in it showing how you're going to take over the world?

If you're reading this, you're a credit union person. Global domination should be off your agenda. Why?

  1. It's a tad bit frightening and we're not necessarily a terrifying bunch.
  2. It's impractical
  3. It's improbable

I've seen credit unions with extra-inclusive fields of membership. I've seen credit unions that have branches in far-flung corners of the globe. But let's be realistic - where are you?

Where Are You? 

It's a big question. For years, we were trying to puff ourselves up to seem big and impressive. Now, we need to recognize that "local" isn't a bad thing - it might be our saving grace. 

Many CUs are repositioning at this moment, trying to remind locals that they have alternatives to their community banks and the big banks. "If you live, work, or worship..." covers a lot of ground, so get out there and show people what you're doing in, and for, that area. 

How? Here are four "good start" ideas: 

Continue reading "Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood? Four Good Ideas for Getting Locally Known" »

May 24, 2012

GUEST POST: Mark Arnold on Becoming Your Members' PFI

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Mark Arnold, CCUE, is an acclaimed speaker, brand expert and strategic planner. Mark speaks regularly to audiences around the country on branding, marketing, strategy, leadership, personal growth and generational issues.  With over 20 years experience in the financial services industry, Mark’s breadth of knowledge covers areas such as marketing, business development, human resources, training, and sales. You can follow him on Twitter [@jmarkarnold] or via his blog at blog.markarnold.org

_______

 

BEYOND A SAVINGS ACCOUNT: BECOMING YOUR MEMBERS PFI

“Credit unions must see themselves as relationship managers. As relationship managers, credit unions better position themselves to become members’ primary financial institution.”

—CUNA E-Scan 

While there is a big rush today to get more new members, one marketing strategy your credit union may want to focus on is getting more from your existing members. Most marketing experts estimate it is eight to ten times easier to expand a relationship with a current member than it is to acquire a new member. Just think about it: what would happen if every one of your members just added an additional product or service per household? Odds are, your net income would skyrocket.

Credit unions must get their members to go beyond just having a savings account and strive to become their members’ primary financial institution. “Financial institutions that make retention one of their top three priorities often enjoy deeper relationships, steadier growth and clearer focus on the core business,” says CUNA’s E-Scan.

According to CUNA, here are the odds of your credit union losing a member based on product usage:

  • 2 to 1 of losing a member if they only have a saving account
  • 10 to 1 of losing a member if they have savings account and a checking account
  • 20 to 1 of losing a member if they have savings account, a checking account and a loan
  • 100 to 1 of losing a member if they have savings account a checking account a loan and any fourth product

Product penetration and member retention are directly linked together.

Two steps your  credit union can take to going beyond just having your members’ savings account are:

1)      Offer relationship pricing

2)      Get sticky products in their hands

Continue reading "GUEST POST: Mark Arnold on Becoming Your Members' PFI" »

May 10, 2012

How Often Does "Co-Op" Come Up?

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by Ron Daly 

I was at a meeting the other night where Randy Smith from CUinsight was the speaker. He was talking about the importance of local relevance and community building for CUs. One of the things he brought up was the idea of the credit union as a cooperative. With more and more people buying into the idea of a local economy, why not talk up your virtues as a cooperative institution? After all, you're likely serving a certain small area in your state...you're as local as money gets. 

2012 is the International Co-Operative Association's  Year of the Co-Operative. I've read a lot about this in the trades and I've heard a lot about it from the "Net-Set" (my nickname for social media savvy CU folks). But as a credit union member? I haven't heard that much about it. I only know what I've gone out of my way to find out. 

I've tried to look at this from two sides, as I do with most topics here. One part of me says this is a worthwhile talking point. The conversation about what "membership" is takes a while, but the kind of folks that buy Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares and shop at farmer's markets are already keen to this concept. What would stop an enterprising credit union from setting up outside a farmer's market, or even better, HOSTING a farmer's market at your branch (parking lot permitting, of course)? Why not talk to a crowd that you know will listen? 

The other side of this seems to be a perception issue. If you talk about how "local" you are, you risk scaring away people who want you to be easily accessible out of town. There are ways to counter this: ensuring you're a part of a shared ATM network; having reliable, easy-to-use online banking; call centers; and so on. But how do you stradle the knot? "Use your money anywhere - it'll still be here." Kinda confusing, but I'm no copywriter. Is there a fear that members will choose a big bank because they believe it's more convenient?

What do you think? Is being a co-op important to your credit union? Is it important to you personally? Which way do you lean? Any great examples of people maximizing this local synergy? 

Tell us about it in the comments. 

 

May 01, 2012

Still don't have a social media policy? Bet you'll write one after this...

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by Ron Daly 

Yeah, I know. You're tired of getting poked and prodded and constantly reminded that you need to hurry up and implement your social media policy. After all, you don't even use Facebook or Twitter or YouTube or Pinterest or FourSquare or...whatever else there is. How important could it all be? 

What if an employee was shooting videos of your member's feet? 

You balk. That's ridiculous, you're thinking. What kind of person would go around shooting videos of people's feet

A credit union employee, that's who. From the Financial Brand:

The Financial Brand first learned about this series of shocking and offensive videos when one popped up on an automated Google Alert for “credit union” + “YouTube.” Someone under the YouTube handle marajohn1123 had posted an odd video of a female credit union co-worker’s toes. When a similar Google Alert was triggered for another video, this time of a member’s toes, it was clear that a credit union somewhere had a serious problem with a serial voyeur.

Presently, there are over 100 videos of women’s feet, all shot spycam style without the knowledge and approval of the victim. Based on information revealed in the videos, the videos were likely shot in and around a suburb of Atlantic City.

The credit union employee appears to be a loan officer or similar member service rep, but that doesn’t stop him from leaving his desk to film members’ toes at the branch ATM.

This is a gross abuse of trust. The emphasis in that last passage is mine - Jeffry Pilcher did a little detective work around which credit union might be employing this voyeur. He's narrowed it down to a few possible places. I'm hoping at least one employee there has the intelligence to figure out who this might be and bring this to the attention of the management. Because where does it stop? 

Think about it for a minute. Most of the videos in that story appear to be shot on a smart phone. What happens when it's not feet they're recording, but credit card and debit numbers? Checking account numbers and balances? Still not seeing a problem? 

I don't want to dismiss what's being done here - taking video of someone without their knowledge is wrong. Add to that the fact that these are being used to feed a fetish (one assumes), you're talking about not only a breach of trust, but serious damage to the CU's reputation. This employee should be fired, full stop. 

"On what grounds?", you ask. 

And THAT'S why you need a social media policy. Now. Today. 

As Jeffry said in a comment further down on this same post

If you don’t have one yet, this kind of situation should illustrate the gravity of need. If an employee posted something that you wouldn’t want on social channels — not necessarily stuff as bad/potentially illegal as what Marcus did, but bad just the same — a social media policy can give your organization the legal leverage you need to deal with the problem swiftly and without complications.

But where to begin? This article from Credit Union Magazine is a great resource to get you started. Their list of best practices covers a lot of ground. 

  • Define social media usage expectations clearly in your policy;
  • State that employees may only access social websites consistent with the credit union’s security protocols (i.e., they may not circumvent information technology security protocols);
  • Educate staff on the risks of exposing confidential information about their employer, other employees, volunteers, and members;
  • Monitor social media use via credit union resources;
  • Outline expectations for reporting policy violations;
  • Enforce policy violations in a nondiscriminatory manner;
  • State that retaliation for reporting violations is not tolerated; and
  • Define personal off-duty use of social media. For example, supervisors should not “friend” their direct reports due to the potential sharing of personal information.

A word on the "monitor" part of that equation - the employee who was shooting these videos was, as I said above, most likely doing this via smart phone. That doesn't use the credit union's data network - that's technically external use. If you aren't watching out for threats internally and externally, you're doing yourself - and the members who might be at risk - a disservice. 

Click here to sign up for a free webinar on social media monitoring.