While it's no secret that member onboarding is a critical stage in credit union membership, how to do so effectively is a far lesser known. Here we outline five tried and true keys to a successful member onboarding process.
1. Select a Point Person
A solid onboarding program needs a central hub, a person that structures, executes and oversees the strategy, while being the face of the onboarding experience. Keeping this role with a single lead ensures that every new member will have the same experience from the start, instead of the inconsistency that can come when each division reaches out separately and without organization. This role can coordinate what is needed from each department and deliver it seamlessly to the member. It is recommended that member onboarding is allocated its own budget as well, not sorted by product or service, but solely for the execution of the onboarding process.
2. Vary Channels But Stay on Brand
Every time a new member has an interaction with a CU, that is considered a touchpoint. These can be emails, direct mail, texts, direct message, phone calls, or a face-to-face meeting. You don't want to send members the same message five different ways, nor send five totally different messages all through the same channel. You need to use all the channels you have, in an orchestrated manner, to remind them you are there while showing what next steps they may find of interest.
Every communication should have a purpose, add value for the member, and convey the image and mentality of your CU's brand.
In sales, it's said that the average number of touchpoints to get a new customer is seven. You need to establish the number of touchpoints that make your members feel engaged and heard, without feeling overwhelmed.
3. Reach Out Early
The earliest days of the onboarding process are a lot like dating. You want to show your enthusiasm for the new relationship and assure them you are in this for the long haul--all without being a creep. Digital onboarding can be an incredible asset at this stage. By utilizing an automated new account activation platform, members get the messages you want them to, when and where you want them to, in an automated workflow. It's a tremendous efficiency driver for CUs. A thoughtful strategy of relevant messaging delivered in the first two weeks of the relationship can add a lot of value for the member as well.
4. Keep the Conversation Going
It's easy to fizzle out communications once you have a new member on board, but that initial 90-day period is critical to cultivating lifetime memberships. It costs most credit unions over $400 to acquire a new member. But with a 25% member churn rate in the first year, and an average attrition rate of 11%, more than 40% of new accounts will leave before they become profitable. So keep the lines of communication flowing. Use your core processing data to trigger the right communications in response to their behavior. Getting tailored offers or incentives can be a boon to customer satisfaction. On the other hand, getting offers for products they already have can be a turn off, so be mindful!
5. Assess and Adjust Regularly
This is not a "set it and forget it" activity. This is an ongoing development process that needs to be modified as member interests develop and change. Your onboarding messaging needs to recognize what's happening in the economy, the impact that has on your member's lives, and show how you have financial solutions that can add value to them today. This global pandemic is a great example of a time when messaging needs to share that you have products available to members that are struggling financially.
The main focus of member onboarding should not be cross-selling, but relationship building. If you earn the trust of your new members and lay the foundation for good communication, you'll find many opportunities throughout the life of the membership to show them what else you can do. Check out our member onboarding eBook for more great tips.
FLEX & Digital Onboarding Webinar
FLEX has partnered with Digital Onboarding, a digital engagement platform that makes it easy for credit union members to adopt additional products and account-related services. By leveraging Digital Onboarding within FLEX, credit unions can provide members with personalized emails, SMS messages, and step-by-step digital guides to simplify the adoption of services like online and mobile banking, direct deposit, eStatements, and much more.
Join FLEX and Digital Onboarding Thursday, June 11th, at 1:00 p.m., Eastern Time for a free, live webinar demonstration and learn: