Service CU Tuning in all Channels to Bring in New Members

This New Hampshire credit union looked to extend their reach to members through every possible channel. Their initial focus was on indirect auto lending and enhancing their efforts through online seminars and innovative dealer promotions.

 
 

When state law allows open fields of membership and 25% of the population already are credit union members, Ray Springsteen, vice president of marketing for Service Credit Union in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, looked to extend the CU's reach through every possible channel.

Joining the $700 million-in-assets, 75,000 member CU last Fall, Springsteen realized he had seven marketing or "touch points" with which to make contact with members, and sought to exploit them all, but decided to concentrate first on the Net and Indirect lending.

Service CU held its first interactive online seminar for members, "Exploring Service Credit Union Through the Internet," a 25-minute presentation and 30-minute question and answer follow-up on training members to use the CU's home banking and bill paying services early in April. The first seminar, accessed by members through an 800-toll free number for the audio portion and the CU's Web site (www.servicecu.org) for a slide presentation, drew some 30 members, said Springsteen. The seminar walked members through applying for a loan online, how to pay bills online and how to use home banking to manage accounts. A second seminar, "Tips on Auto Buying" was held on April 25, in tandem with an Indirect Lending program SCU has with some 55 local auto dealerships.

"We rented out "Water Country," a water theme park on April 27, and our joint promotion involved four dealerships with six different car models including Chevrolet, Mitsubishi, Toyota, Ford, Dodge and Subaru. We filled the parking lot with over 500 cars and sold 100 autos that day," Springsteen said. Several buyers had participated in the online seminar, while other members were preapproved through the dealership channel, he said. New members are signed up through the dealers, who are incented for A and B paper up to 115% of the car's NADA value. Loan applications can be approved within ten minutes Sprinsteen said.

"We're trying to tie our marketing efforts together whenever it makes sense to do so, and we've seen great results with the indirect lending channel and the Net." Said Springsteen Service CU wrote $2.5 million in April, of which $1.1 was Net-driven, while keeping delinquency rates in check through conservative policies, he added.

Sprinsteen hasn't neglected the other five marketing channels either: A program to incent branch managers has boosted SCU's low Visa check card program; some 45 select employee groups were recently signed-up; ATMs represent 10% of the SCU's transactions; direct mail efforts include statement stuffers and an educational newsletter and the CU is a regular user of print media for advertising.

 

 

 

 

 

May 20, 2002


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