Service - 1We often ask our clients, “What makes your credit union or bank different?” Whether it’s the front-line, management or board here’s how they tend to answer:


“Serving our customers.”

“Member service.”

“Helping people with our service.”

Enough already! Just using the word “service” is lame, lame, lame. Service is incredibly generic. Service is boring. Service is NOT different.

Have you ever driven down the highway and seen a billboard that says, “Come to ABC Bank—We’re Terrible at Service!” Why? Because EVERY credit union or community banks says they are about service. Or in some cases they’ll use other canned words like “people,” or “community.”

Please note I’m not saying service is unimportant or that service doesn't matter. Clearly it does. However, when building your positioning strategy or your brand you must go deeper. You must avoid the generic. And just using the word service is extremely generic.

So how do you go deeper? Here are two ides:

  • Describe your service—This is “peeling the onion layer back.” Rather than go with the generic (service), what is it about your service that makes you different? Is it fast? Is it convenient? Is It personal? Is it extraordinary? Is it over the top? Look for adjectives to describe your service.
  • Tell stories about your service—People don’t remember overused words. But they do remember stories. So rather than answer “service” when asked about what makes you different, answer the question with an illustration. Perhaps something like “When one of our customers/members was working two jobs and taking care of their sick parents they didn’t have time to come by and close on their loan. So we took the papers to them and closed the loan after hours at their home. That’s the type of service we give.” Looks for stories that illustrate your service. 

What is your remarkable difference? Unfortunately, answering that question with the word “service” just does not cut it anymore. You must describe your service and your must tell stories about your service.