3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Jeff Rendel Jeff Rendel, Certified Speaking Professional, and President of Rising Above Enterprises works with credit unions that want elite results in sales, service, and strategy. Each year, he addresses and facilitates … Web: www.risingaboveenterprises.com Details During a recent discussion, nearly 50 credit union CEOs deliberated that consumers may not seek a primary financial institution (PFI) for all financial services needs. That prompted further discussion on delivery, marketing, pricing, products, technology, and service. “If PFI status is elusive,” they debated, “How might credit unions refine their strategies to develop wide-ranging relationships with members?” Reaching out to an expanded set of credit union leaders, from various asset sizes and markets, the answers proved thought-provoking and action-based. Let’s explore.Don’t expect financial monogamy. While people like to be loyal, price and convenience are significant drivers in consumer decision-making. Having multiple financial relationships didn’t seem that big of an inconvenience. While many credit unions measured products per member, most realized that producing a mass of “triple product members” wasn’t especially reasonable. However, constant life-stage and -cycle marketing allowed credit unions to have some grade of relationship (some years more, some years less), over a long period of time. The focus on retention and an elastic relationship led to top of mind status and a greater probability of sales.Be incessantly uncomfortable. “Your member’s last experience is her next expectation,” shared a CEO. “Continuous improvement drives our commitment to ensure members remain.” Many leaders revealed that they endlessly observe the retail experience at other retail establishments. “Banking is retail,” voiced several CEOs. “As consumers, members have a set expectation level of service; it doesn’t vary from one business to the next.” Watching the retail experience, and fine-tuning their own, allowed credit unions to integrate different angles of the member experience. In the end, the credit unions formed a more pertinent experience aligned with members’ expectations. Deliver on digital. The rise of the omni-digital member is here. “A good price, mobile access, and a local presence will bring members in, but digital ease will keep them here,” stated one CEO. The consumer swing toward “all things digital” necessitates that credit unions have a mobile-first philosophy in all aspects – marketing, new accounts, underwriting, funding, engagement, delivery, service, and the list goes on. “We want ease for our members; hassles lead to attrition. Thus, our capital investments focus on mobile delivery, business intelligence, and digital marketing,” replied a member experience executive. “We’re moving at the speed of members.” Bulk up on soft skills. Where members will choose digital engagement first, there are times when an eye-to-eye or ear-to-ear conversation matters. Leaders expressed that when digital capacity is exhausted, or a complex matter is involved, members expect (and rely upon) a skillful professional. “When the time comes for a live conversation, our service leaders must deliver trust, empathy, communication, and leadership,” articulated several executives. “The soft skills that, often, seem old-fashioned are more vital today; we’re still in the people business. When members do reach out, it’s a matter of great importance to them. The connections we reinforce lead to long-term business.” Build community in your branches. Branches still matter, but their emphases are changing. “Branches prove your permanence to members and the communities you serve,” held several CEOs. They voiced that branches certainly show long-term commitment to a community, but they also provide ideal leadership opportunities. Be it an onsite community room or staff involvement in home-grown initiatives, branches put the “local” into the big business of financial services. “Branches show we’re there, branch involvement shows we care,” voiced a CEO. “Pinpointed community leadership, through each branch, helps members – current and soon-to-be – see our values in action in places that matter to them.”From the insights of this set of leaders, perhaps the “P” in PFI is better redefined as “permanent.” Permanent in the sense that a measured retail relationship may ebb and flow, but a credit union’s place in a member’s mind – awareness, marketing, sales, service, community – can be long-term. “Once a member, always a member,” the motto goes. Perchance the strategy for member relationships should always go beyond the onboarding phase and continue through the many periods of a member’s life and financial services needs.