Member Matters

A clear strategy makes for solid onboarding, but so does valuing members once they're in the fold.


The beginning of a relationship sets the tone, but the strength of a union is defined by the passage of time. This mindset is one way for credit unions to approach potential members. True, getting them in the door and acclimated to the products and services of the cooperative is critical, but maintaining their perception of value is what makes them lifelong members.

Once they’ve crossed into long-term loyalty, other benefits such as referrals and large-scale borrowing relationships emerge. So how can credit unions establish successes early in the relationship to build relationships for the long haul? One way is to implement an excellent onboarding strategy and deliver on your early promises year after year.

First Tech Credit Union's ($4.9B, Palo Alto, CA) — formerly named Addison Avenue Federal Credit Union — comprehensive onboarding campaign yields enviable results. The credit union uses multiple channels to reach out to members during the first 90 days. It de-emphasizes the hard sell and pairs members with personal bankers after the first three months of the relationship. Thus far, its growth numbers are encouraging.

Once a new member signs on to the credit union, cooperatives have to treat them well to clearly and consistently illustrate value. One way is to keep credit card rates manageable despite economic climate. Another way is to battle through challenges and maintain reasonable pricing. University of Iowa Community Credit Union ($1.2B, Iowa City, IA) focuses on efficiency to generate member benefits and a consistently high ROM score, proving the more a credit union helps its members, the more they return the favor.