A strong communication plan is vital for credit unions to develop long-lasting relationships with their members and reach prospects. Connecting with your members and ensuring you're connecting with them at the right place at the right time and with the right messaging will help you build your business and assist in developing generational membership. Here are seven strategies to strengthen your credit union's connection to members.
Start Text Messaging
Pew Research Center found that 97% of Americans own a cellphone, meaning that’s a foolproof way to reach your members. Third-party integrations with your credit union core processing software, such as Eltropy, will assist you in reaching, engaging, and serving your members. Your credit union can blast out text alerts about lending options, have one-on-one conversations with members about their concerns, and send out collections messaging to help with that process. Because these platforms integrate with the core you already have, you do not need to worry about bringing on an entirely new messaging system.
Be Personal, Not Just Transactional
A lot of the correspondence that flows out of a credit union is transactional – and doesn’t elicit any emotions in members; however, there are different times when your credit union can make communication more personal.
For example, when trying to sell a new product to a member, your messaging can sound more conversational and consultative versus aggressive and pushy. When sending sales emails to your members, you can try the following:
- Writing a subject line that will pique their interest, including an offer that is personalized to their specific interests. Hubspot also recommends avoiding these “spammy” words in your subject line.
- The opening line of your email should directly address the reader. If you noticed that a member had a high-interest rate on their auto loan from another lender, you could start your message off with, “I noticed that your current auto loan….” This automatically personalizes the content and shows you took the time to look into their current financial situation(s).
- For your email signature, try avoiding adding in any promotional banners/images that might not be applicable to the member you’re emailing. If they already have their mortgage with your credit union, you shouldn’t be including a banner about mortgage rates. It doesn’t solve any of their pain points and looks too “one-size-fits-all.”
Use Social Media
Social media is essentially cost-free and a highly effective way to reach your members, especially Gen Z targets. Some social media platforms that are critical for Credit Unions to leverage include:
- Google Business Profile (GBP): While it may not be thought of as a traditional social media platform, there are several features that allow it to function just like your other social profiles:
- Messaging: You can turn on Google Messaging and receive inquiries directly from your members and prospects; however, make sure that you have a response plan underway. Almost 80% of consumers expect a business to reply on social media within 24 hours and Sprout Social found that a majority of companies respond around five hours later. Make sure you have someone to respond to these inquiries.
- Posts: Have a fantastic new interest rate? Looking to showcase your new member application? You can post a promotional or sales message directly on your Google Business Profile and link it to a landing page on your website. This is also an ideal place to post updates about your credit union, such as having to unexpectedly close due to inclement weather.
- It's also advantageous to create a Business Profile since “near me” searches have increased over 200% in the last few years. If a new member is looking for a credit union or bank in the area, yours will display in the Local SERP – and these new members are more likely to check out the messaging you’ve added on your GBP feed.
Install a Chat Widget
Are your members chomping at the bit to get in touch with you? Is your team unable to handle support calls that are flowing in? A chat widget for your website may resolve these issues. You’ll be able to get in touch with your members in some form at any time of day and give them peace-of-mind that their requests are being handled.
Financial situations vary significantly from member to member, so a standard FAQ section on your website might not address all the nuances of your members’ finances. Live chat widgets, which show in the form of a popup chat box on your website, are easy to embed in your website’s code. Your team can utilize the live agent feature, bot/AI, or both.
There are a few ways to determine which model will fit your credit union best. If you experience a lot of unique questions that involve complex answers, you will want a live chat feature so an agent can appropriately respond. If your questions are very generic, but you need more than just an FAQ page – or you do not have the staff to respond to chats - a bot may be the best choice. If you’re somewhere in between or want to ensure your members have access to some sort of answer 24/7, a hybrid widget (live and bot) is optimal.
Survey Your Members
One way to build member loyalty and show you care about their opinion (and improving their experience) is by sending out customer satisfaction surveys. Additionally, you can send out customer feedback surveys to elicit information on what products/services they like best and what they think your credit union could offer in the future to be more competitive with other CUs and banking institutions.
Say Thank You
It is essential to show your members that your credit union cares about them and their financial success. There are a multitude of ways to say thank you and the method you choose may be dependent on your member size and budget. From handwritten notes to thank you cards to anniversary date emails (thank someone for being with you for ten years!), it is critical to show your members some appreciation.
If your core offers eServices, like Sharetec does, you can use target marketing to send targeted marketing messages to your members’ accounts. They can directly access these messages from their browser, whether it’s on a desktop or from their smartphone. Choose which messages are applicable to each member, so that they’ll only receive notifications that address what they may be looking for.
You need to keep in touch with your members – and you also need to provide them with the latest in technology so that they can have access to all the banking features that they need. At Sharetec, we develop innovative credit union core processing solutions that make it simple for your members to access the financial info they need. Along with our partners, we provide various credit union software features and integrations that will make your life, and your members, easier.
To learn more about Sharetec and how we can assist you, whether you're interested in knowing more about our core processing software or are a long-term customer looking to learn more about ways our core can help you communicate with your members, contact us at 844-802-4441 or by clicking here!