Bold Statments For A Bold Mission

The Maryland & DC Credit Union Association annual conference offered a platform for exchange of strategic ideas. reporter Bailey Reutzel attended the Maryland and DC Credit Union Association annual conference in Ocean City, MD last week. Credit unions associated with the league discussed business while learning from experts in the industry. Bailey was looking for credit union best practices to share. Below is a synopsis of last Tuesday’s sessions.

Out With The Old

“The plastic card has no future.”

The poignant statement was made by Mark Sievewright, president of CU Solutions at Fiserv. He sees the plastic card as a dying product, but believes while it’s still in use, U.S. financial institutions needs to catch up to other countries in adopting EMV chip card technology. Many credit union board members, executives, and staff at the conference agreed.

Sievewright, speaking about the digital transformation of financial services, offered Blockbuster as an example of a company that didn’t look toward the future and suffered as a result. The video rental chain was surpassed  by Netflix. Credit unions have to stay current on technology issues and consumer habits and innovate its products and services accordingly. Waiting to see what the future looks like is a bad option.

While 60% of individuals bank online and are demanding more products and services offered, Sievewright does not discount the importance of tangible branches either. Individuals still prefer to get advice, loans, and small business processes face-to-face.

What Kind Of Reproduction?

Many companies, especially credit unions, participate in homo-social reproduction, says Janie Warner, a HR consultant and advisor for Region’s Insurance Group. The process involves hiring people that look, sound, and act a lot like the people hiring them. In a perfect world, she says, we’d hire people without seeing them first, based on their personality in phone interviews.

“Hire for personality, train for skill,” says Warner.

She raised several intriguing questions: Is your board of directors as diverse as your membership? Are there demographic populations underserved in your community and, if so, can you target marketing to capture them? Is experience pertinent or necessary when hiring for certain positions?

“We don’t want to be our members’ primary financial institution – we want to be their only financial institution,” says Warner.

Loyalty Vs. Satisfaction

Member Loyalty Group’s Net Promoter scores measure growth and member experiences and loyalty, as Michelle Bloedorn, CEO of the CUSO.

Net promoter provides surveys to credit unions’ new members and existing members getting new products, and asks for feedback about contact centers, remote channels, physical branches, and the relationship. Its scores rank member engagement.

The perception vs. performance gap is significant, with 80% of companies believing they provide a superior experience, but only 8% of those company’s customers agree.

Most companies, including credit unions, have measured satisfaction for years. But Bloedorn says, there is a “big difference” between loyalty and satisfaction.

Credit unions don’t want members to just be satisfied. Satisfied members are passive, unenthusiastic about the service they receive and easily enticed by other companies. Credit unions want promoters, which are members that are more likely to give feedback and positive referrals.