The following is an article written by Trellance Product Manager, Amanda Emery. It originally appeared on CUInsight.com.
As the financial industry braces for continued continuing interest rate hikes and a potential recession, Credit Unions have a unique advantage in continuing to engage members. Credit unions are known for putting people first, which is a key differentiator from other for-profit financial institutions. However, with consumer confidence likely to decrease and incoming volume of organic growth in loan applications possibly declining, credit unions need to take a more calculated approach to navigating this challenging time. This article discusses strategies credit unions can use to continue engaging members in a rising rates environment while maintaining their focus on putting people first.
Build or Buy a Data Warehouse
People and data are a credit union’s most critical assets. While data management and ownership are typically centralized, building a data team that includes data champions in each department is essential to create a seamless data culture. This collaboration can help bridge the gap between business use cases and technical ownership, allowing credit unions to focus on engaging members. Utilizing a data warehouse is an excellent way to centralize data and provide the structure and framework needed to engage members.
Create Digital Marketing Campaigns that are Data-Driven
In a rising rates environment, campaigns that worked in the past may not be as effective. Targeted and precise marketing campaigns created using member profiles that meet members where they are can help retain members and attract new ones. Benchmarking in your competitive landscape can help credit unions understand where they stand and identify opportunities in relation to their peers. This is where your data team can help! Encourage collaboration between different teams within the credit union to create campaign ideas based on the data in your warehouse. To start, credit unions can get campaigns into the hands of employees who work with members on a daily basis, such as branch officers or the call center. Good data champions are naturally curious, engaged employees who are passionate about improving the member experience.
Engage Credit Union Staff
Credit unions can also make use of gamification to make engagement fun for their employees. Using data to bridge the gap between technology and business strategies can help execute campaign actions more effectively, leading to better engagement. Regular data quality/cleanups, and incentivizing employees to help, can make this an ongoing effort. Celebrating successes using dashboards can also help motivate staff and improve employee retention.
Engage with Your Local Community
Finally, community outreach can be an effective way to differentiate credit unions in times of need. Using transaction and branch geolocation can help identify low-penetrated areas for account and product usage to focus outreach efforts. Bringing energetic, smiling faces from your credit union team into these areas of need will show your local communities that you care about their well-being. By putting people first and focusing on community outreach, credit unions can continue to strengthen and empower communities through access to fair banking services.
In conclusion, credit unions have a unique advantage in a rising rates environment by putting people first. By building a data team to champion the internal data culture, running targeted marketing campaigns, using gamification and engaging in community outreach, credit unions can continue to engage their members and strengthen their communities. It’s important to remember that this is a journey, not a destination, and credit unions must continue to evolve and adapt to meet their members’ changing needs.
Amanda Emery is a product manager at Trellance.