“Would you like fries with that?” If you’ve ever been to a fast-food restaurant in America, you’ve probably heard this question before and think little of it. But this is the art of cross-selling—selling or pitching an additional product to an existing customer based on their needs. And while it’s a commonplace practice, it’s not always as simple as it seems. Cross-selling involves knowing what your members want and need, and during these uncertain economic times, it’s become as important for credit unions as it’s always been for fast-food chains.
The credit union market was always competitive, but the pandemic has only made it more so. Many branches have felt pressure to look for new members and alternative ways to increase revenue streams and growth. However, recent studies imply that focusing solely on acquiring new members could be the wrong move. Instead, marketing to your current members has a much higher conversion rate and is more beneficial towards retaining your members. Rather than try to expand, it may be wise to re-engage your existing members through a well-planned cross-selling campaign.
Benefits of cross-selling for credit unions
Offering fries with a burger or a drink with a meal seems simple and obvious. However, cross-selling in the financial world can be a bit more complicated. For this reason, there are many techniques and strategies that credit unions utilize for cross-selling, and digital solutions are becoming more popular and effective. In the end, it’s all about maintaining a healthy relationship with your members.
Cross-selling can be one of the most effective ways a credit union can increase their revenues. But to do so effectively, it is important to know what your members want. CU’s must generate genuine relationships with their members by asking questions and listening to their member’s replies.
Here are two cross-selling benefits for credit unions:
- Member retention. Cross-selling isn’t just about selling new products and making a profit. It’s about retaining your current members. These days many people have more than one financial institution, and if you do not maintain contact with your members the odds of them leaving or switching to another institution are high. Members who sign up for new products and services are more likely to stay with your institution.
- Cultivating relationships. Credit unions are built around cooperation and collaboration. Nothing is more important than fostering and maintaining healthy relationships with members. Cross-selling involves talking with your members, asking them what they need and want, and listening to them. It’s not just about making the sale. A healthy cross-selling campaign can help CU’s and members understand each other better and work to achieve common goals and meet shared needs.
Technology and cross-selling
According to the BAI Banking Outlook study, the majority of Baby Boomers and nearly half of younger generation groups (Gen X, Millenials, Gen Z) still prefer to bank in-branch, despite not visiting them as often. However, since the start of the pandemic, people have found more ways to resolve their banking needs through digital and mobile banking solutions. With fewer members visiting branches, capitalizing on face-to-face interactions is more important than ever.
The right technology should facilitate cross-selling, promoting member retention and credit union growth in many critical ways. Cross-selling technology should automate some of the routine, operational tasks freeing up staff allowing for more time to focus efforts on deepening relationships with members. Additionally, cross-selling technology should generate insight or specific knowledge helping credit unions identify which members should be targeted for specific products or services. The right technology should provide time-saving benefits and knowledge for the credit union staff to address member needs through cross-selling.
As uncertain times often call for innovative action, now may be the perfect moment for your credit union to consider or reconsider how your cross-selling campaign is working. While the concept of cross-selling has remained relatively unchanged over the years, the technology that offers and supports its function has evolved. There are many options available for members that are seeking banking products and services and its up to each credit union to ensure that members know what their institution offers before they shop elsewhere.
Credit unions can enhance member relationships by providing genuine and thoughtful face-to-face interactions with members while leveraging the right technology to enable credit union staff to have more time for those interactions while gaining deeper insights into member relationships.
Download the FLEX Cross Selling eGuide to learn more about core-driven cross-selling technology within FLEX.