For 2020, the Check is Decidedly NOT in the Mail

By Preston Packer |

Jan

09

It is time to say so long to that limitless void created when a check gets dropped in the USPS. It's a long goodbye, but not one to cry over. ACH has finally overtaken check usage in the United States. The Federal Reserve published a study in December 2019 analyzing the consumer, business, nonprofit and government payments from 2018, and for the first time, ACH debit transfers have exceeded the number of check payments in the US. The transition to ACH is welcome for both members who realize its convenience, and for credit unions, who can see the opportunity in leveraging ACH data from their core to meet more of their member's financial needs.

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Your CU is Not a Theme Park so Ditch the Lines Already!

By Preston Packer |

Dec

11

It's a hot summer day in 1999, the latest roller coaster ride looms in the distance, you jump in line ready to experience the thrill in person. Then you wait... and wait... and wait. After an hour and a half filled with countless weaving back and forth, you arrive - only to find the ride is shut down for a repair. A crushing disappointment and a waste of precious time. Do your members have that same experience at your credit union? Long lines during peak hours? Driving to the CU to meet with a loan officer, only to find they are in a meeting? Amusement parks have introduced Fast Passes to combat this issue - what can your CU do to give your members a better experience

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Make Your Member Service Shine this Holiday Season

By Preston Packer |

Nov

21

Perception and Reality are oftentimes two different things. You may think your member service is fantastic- certainly better than average. But is that really true? Outstanding member service is something that every business knows is important and stresses the concept in their value statements, employee training, and mission. There are certainly many brands that make exceptional service a priority, such as Apple, Disney, and Amazon. They set the new level of standards for companies that want to provide the best experience possible. Just as perception and reality are two different things, saying and doing do not hold equal weight.

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Philanthropy's Role in the Credit Union

By Preston Packer |

Oct

01

Credit unions have an important role in the community in which they reside, and their identity is often associated with a certain organization, entity or field of employment that has a recognizable presence. Organizations such as the city’s fire fighters or police department, an educators’ credit union or a trade credit union that represents one of the city’s largest employers, like the local steel workers. Sometimes the city itself has its own credit union open to its residents. Along with proudly displaying the name of these organizations on their brick exterior comes an equally visible presence and responsibility to support that community. It goes even beyond the Credit Union Difference, which places importance on personalized member service; a great credit union also has its ear to the ground in order to support the community as a whole through philanthropy and community service.

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The Great Generational Divide in Service Priorities

By Preston Packer |

Sep

26

Not surprising, Millennials have different priorities and expectations from a financial institution than older generations do, according to a recent report compiled by a CA-based payments firm, Marqeta. Millennials, recognized as the first generation to grow up or come of age with digital technology like cell phones and the internet, are comfortable using modern technology, and have come to expect its availability for use in their every-day banking needs. Baby Boomers, on the other hand, place less importance on having the newest and most cutting edge tech, instead preferring a more personable and hands-on on approach in their banking. The challenge for credit union executives is how to service these divided members.

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How the Net Promoter Score Tells Credit Unions Just OK is not OK

By Preston Packer |

Sep

19



AT&T's new commercial series is a humorous take on the saying "Just OK is not OK." From the boy bands that don't dance declared as "Just OK," to the tattoo artist who eases the nerve of his client by assuring him he will deliver an "OK tattoo."  Every credit union wants to know how they’re doing and looks for ways to measure their success, and just OK is not OK. Are their members happy? Are they satisfied? Would they refer others to come in and bank there? They'd also like to know if there are services that are missing that a member would like to have, and what can be done to provide the ultimate experience. The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is one way to get an idea of how your credit union ranks with your members. It is a scoring system that takes members' responses and organizes them into 3 scoring ranges and provides a snapshot of where most of your members rank your credit union.

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You Can’t Make Every Member Happy... You're Not a Taco

By Preston Packer |

Sep

04

Ricky Nelson hosted a Garden Party and informed us "Ya can't please everyone, so ya gotta please yourself." John Lydgate, a 14th-century poet, is credited with "You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” And 21st century phenom giphy.com has given us "You can’t make everyone happy.... you're not a taco.” Try harder, do more. While we all have a grasp on the concept, it’s very hard to put into practice in real life, let alone your credit union. The idea that we can appeal to everyone is difficult to let go of, as we see the value in the value prop: Serve every member your best, and then the credit union will have excellent growth. This sounds wonderful but, history has shown us, is not possible. In order to matter to the people you’re talking to, you have to show value. And value can be defined very differently depending on the person. So one generic message will never be the right message for all.

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How Much Does a New Member Really Cost?

By Preston Packer |

Aug

08

The calculation is not a complex one: credit union growth is imperative for long term survival. Retain your current members while at the same time adding new ones. While marketing budgets often focus on the amount of money you are willing to spend to build your member base, how do you actually determine that number?  When budgeting for member acquisition, the options for marketing programs are endless - print, digital ads, social media, email campaigns. Where are marketing dollars best spent? What is the "right" amount to spend on each medium? To begin to answer that question, you must determine how much it costs for you to earn a new member.

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The Business of Businesses: Future-proof Your Credit Union

By Preston Packer |

Aug

08


The need for financial services for businesses is constantly growing. Therefore the market potential for new business for your credit union is as well. Unfortunately, the competition for that market share is growing at an equally strong rate. Credit unions have traditionally provided their business members with a wide range of services at affordable rates and set themselves apart by giving more personalized member service. However, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to compete with the larger institutions in today’s digital world. Here are more ways to future-proof your credit union by focusing on new business members.

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On-line Reviews - An Opportunity to Build Your Member Base

By Preston Packer |

Aug

01

Who reads online reviews before making a purchase?  EVERYONE! A picture is no longer worth a thousand words in the realm of online shopping... words of others are worth a thousand words and more. The influence of online reviews and commentary, both positive and negative, has become increasingly critical to a product or brand's success. Reading the experiences of others is now one of the most impactful resources for potential customers. In fact, a recent study indicated that 90% of consumers consult online reviews before transacting with a business. During Amazon Prime Days earlier this month, for example, Amazon sold over 175 million items in two days. Each item has its own star rating review and some are labeled as a Prime recommended product... a bonus for that particular company, who no doubt saw a boost in sales due to that recommendation. A review can hold the power to make or break a business relationship in any industry where the consumer has a choice to make, credit unions included.

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