Today, credit unions compete for customers with the big banks and rapidly growing FinTech companies. At the same time, many credit unions do not have the significant marketing budgets that big banks and tech companies have. As a result, credit unions must learn to directly engage the community with their marketing to attract new customers and increase membership. Below are four ways to do so.
1. Make it about community engagement
One way to differentiate is by making your credit union more like an extension of your community. Organizing events such as reserving a community park, hiring food trucks, extending special offers to participants, and holding contests can be great marketing tactics. Sponsoring charity events or volunteering opportunities can connect your team to community leaders. Likewise, building partnerships with local businesses whose customers need financial assistance, such as realtors and auto dealers, can develop automatic leads for your credit union. Another way to engage your members and local businesses is by providing local discounts to your members to boost the local economy and cultivate partnerships with local businesses.
2. Use financial literacy to strengthen community ties
Customers often need help understanding financial topics such as credit scores, online security, investment, or a fast-paced housing environment. Credit unions can develop a series of free educational outreach methods, from videos to classes around such financial topics. From proper budgeting to a series on navigating a complicated housing environment, you can craft your educational outreach around the products and services you’re trying to grow. Identify the product you want to pitch, analyze your customer base to figure out the best demographic for that product, and then brainstorm a series that speaks as directly to that group as possible. By educating customers, you become a trusted resource and stay top of mind as they consider services they need.
3. Leverage the power of emotions across the social media channels
Social media can help banks create emotional connections to finance. For example, you can connect loans to positive events like buying a new car or home and savings accounts, to family and children, retirement, or college. Social media also allows you to target your ads and posts more specifically by finetuning the messages for the given audience. For example, Facebook and Instagram ads enable targeting based on location, age, gender, career, education, and interests. Such social media strategies leverage the emotional aspects of the product rather than the product itself.
4. Create a great customer experience strategy
Credit unions must make it about the customers first. You can use core community values and embed those values into your culture, including being humble and embracing change. Every team member should know these principles and be embedded into all areas of training and development. You will need to continue providing a more seamless customer experience to stay competitive. That can only be achieved by an appropriate commitment to setting channel priorities and investing in infrastructure. Invest in technology that provides every employee access to accurate, up-to-date, consistent information, immediate answers to their questions, and an easy way to search for information. Identify the training needs of each member of your customer support team, and track team development through coaching, eLearning, and group training.
Customers have choices with so much competition in the retail banking and credit union space. With a greater focus on community engagement and customer experience, credit unions will positively impact customer loyalty, higher retention, and increased revenue growth.
- Make it about the community engagement
- Use financial literacy to strengthen the community ties
- Leverage the power of emotions across the social media channels
- Create a great customer experience strategy