“[The credit union] has been great for my car loan. The initial process was a bit slow to get a response, but they did keep me in the loop the entire time. While my car loan is the only service I have, I could see myself returning to them for other products at later dates.”
— jamesonv, WalletHub.com
“I get my direct deposits quicker than just about anyone I work with, which is a plus. The low rate I got quoted for my car loan was great but when I went to sign the papers my final rate was actually lower because I got -0.25% for stuff like having direct deposit.”
— adams359, CreditKarma.com
Competitive rates are a great tool to get members in the door, but for long-term relationships, invest in the user experience. For example, open communication during the loan process, speedy service delivery, and behavior-driven discounts all resonate with consumers. A combination of these differentiators can make up for areas where the credit union might not be as strong.
“[The credit union] offers a savings account geared toward kids. While opening the account, the financial representative asked if I wanted online banking. This would have been the perfect opportunity for her to mention “this will result in a $5 charge every three months to get paper statements,” but she didn’t. In mid-July, we realize (when paper statements arrive) that each kid has lost 10% of their savings balance.”
— EricaA, Yelp.com
Few credit unions can afford to be entirely fee-free. Plus, in many cases, fees help prod members to move from financially damaging behaviors to mutually beneficial ones. But choose wisely when and where the credit union will implement a fee. If a fee requires impractical or illogical actions, such as requiring a minor to use online banking, or targets vulnerable demographics, the credit union runs the risk of cashing in at the expense of a PR nightmare.
“No bank was willing to take a chance on me but [the credit union] did. I promised to take care of certain things and in return they gave me a limited checking account. I fulfilled all the promises I made to them, and I have been given full checking account privileges. Additionally, I opened a secured credit card. Just today, I took the chance and applied to convert it to an unsecured card. Not only did I get approved, but [the credit union] congratulated me on my 70-point increase since they last checked my score.”
— Bmg4eva, Creditkarma.com
It’s easy to serve the cream of the crop, but those who require a bit of risk — hedged by proper product and pricing considerations — often turn into loyal members. In this case, the credit union didn’t just save someone money, it strengthened their financial footing.
“They thought they were ‘with it’ by hiring a SVP of Talent, but he only lasted a year. Now they want a Chief People Officer — as if the title presents a different picture of the real-life atmosphere.”
— Former Manager, GlassDoor.com
Fixing deep-seated HR issues requires more than a new hire with a trendy title. If the credit union wants to effect real change, it should consider an honest, complete audit of culture, processes, and organizational design to identify weak spots.
“Ask yourself, do you want to be on the phone for three to five hours every day soliciting the same products (car loans, Visa credit cards, and checking accounts) to a short list of the same customers who already know why you’re calling and will ask you to stop calling them. Even the customer knows you won’t last at this place, they’ll ask if you’ll be here long or say things like, “You guys always have new faces.””
— Member Services Representative (Former Employee), Indeed.com
Credit unions are a different kind of financial institution; their outreach and solicitations should be different, too. Dig into the credit union’s data analytics to target members who realize the product is relevant even if they don’t want it at this time. And don’t let a poor training and incentive atmosphere create a deep cultural malaise that even the members notice.