I know what you’re thinking – “I couldn’t if I tried!” But sadly, the financial industry isn’t the upbeat world of an Elton John song.
In fact, community institutions are breaking quite a few hearts lately if data is anything to go by. A 2022 “American Banking Journal” report showed credit unions falling behind bank’s service ratings for the fourth year in a row. And community banks aren’t spared on the financial side. The mega banks are absorbing more than 80% of deposits these days.
What are credit unions and community banks doing wrong? Answer: they’re getting complacent and not aligning all their efforts – branding, consumer experience, leadership development and more.
You can’t pick out a rose here, another there and expect the same effect as a whole bouquet. Or only leave the cream-filled chocolates in the box and expect it to be as delicious. Similarly, you can’t pick and choose where to improve. Your competition certainly isn’t.
Instead, you must perform a full-frontal assault on the competition. Here are some quick tips to help show your foes that hell hath no fury like an institution scorned:
1. Have a Heart-to-Heart: There’s nothing quite as honest as these deep conversations, and you need to have one…with yourself. Assess your strategic plan, assess your organizational alignment, assess your marketing – assess everything. You must find problems if you want to eliminate them.
2.Define the Relationship: To truly succeed, every employee needs to understand why you exist and how you make decisions. Leave the silos behind and establish a unified culture. Because when every staff member rows in the same direction, it makes a positive difference to the consumer.
3. Know Your Love Language: Not every brand message fits every consumer. You have a unique niche, and your members or customers have a unique language. Identify this target audience and craft messages they’ll listen to if you want a true return on investment.
4. Vow to Serve: Your member experience needs concrete vows – excellent service standards practiced during every interaction throughout every service venue. Of course, change doesn’t happen overnight. Employees require training and reinforcement to really serve with all their hearts.
5. Make Managers into Matchmakers: Your managers need to make a love connection between consumers and your credit union or community bank. But to do this, they must become true leaders. They need training that helps them elevate their departments and the people who work in them. Neglecting to pour love into these folks means neglecting your future leadership bench.