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Learning, Innovating, and Mastering the Basics
Wednesday, June 8, 2016 6:35 AM

David England

By David England, Senior Research Analyst, Cornerstone Credit Union League

How many times have you heard that mastering the basics is important? Of course, it is so true, especially in serving our members. While consumers have multiple financial institutions to choose from, top performing credit unions win the battle in their members’ minds for important basics such as:

  • Trustworthiness;
  • Quality of service and support;
  • Delivering value;
  • Ease of doing business; and
  • Providing products and services that meet their needs. 

How do they do it? They say it takes hard work and a commitment to their members beyond what the competition is willing to make. For example, they pay attention to their members, using systematic approaches to understand how members define quality, value, and "easy.” 

Key to winning these battles is that these successful credit unions learn and innovate continuously. They generate and develop new ideas and act on the good ones. This helps them build an adaptive, flexible culture in their credit unions. 

Considering the increasing competition, credit unions have to step up their games. These five performance dimensions are critical to long-term success. 

If members (and potential members) were to rank you highest in these dimensions relative to your competition, your financial performance would improve significantly. The growth comes through capturing more of your current members’ business and bringing in new members via marketing and word of mouth. These are the basic facts, and they are incontrovertible. 

  • Experience informs us that successful credit unions gain the following benefits;
  • Increases in loyalty (higher NPS, more promoters and fewer detractors);
  • Increases in the number of products and services used per member;
  • Increases in the number of new members referred from existing members—and these new members are proving to be more profitable than existing members;
  • Increases in profits, based upon the above.

It's hard work, and it requires exceptionable commitment to members, but these are practices at which credit unions excel. Keep learning those basic facts about your members and winning more of those battles.