I’ll admit that I was already an Amazon lover when my daughter’s calculator arrived the same day I ordered it. I wasn’t the first person to have this experience—probably more like the thousandth or millionth Prime customer to gasp at the wonderful efficiency. There was no escaping it—I felt “pretty damn special” (PDS). Though customer service continues to improve as most companies realize that social media can magnify the damage a distraught consumer creates, PDS moments remain rare.
Credit unions have an unfair advantage here—they’re PDS institutions. Owned by members. Serving communities. People helping people. Despite this upper hand, how many PDS moments do your members experience each year? Hint—your latest loan rate promotion isn’t PDS. Your 1.35% dividend rate? Nope. Not PDS.
One great area in which you can create PDS moments is a well-run, character- and content-driven youth savings account program. Whether you just started a program, have one in place or might be looking to develop one to help you connect with kids (as well as parents and families), here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Going Mobile
When most folks think about going mobile at a credit union, they immediately picture an online banking app. But just as loan rates aren’t going to create a PDS moment, a mobile banking app is now just the cost of doing business. The potential for a PDS moment certainly increases (e.g. my first mobile check deposit was pretty exciting), but most of the wow factor has been played out by now.
If you’re aiming for a PDS experience, then you need to offer something more. Why not consider a mobile app for the kiddos that introduces basic money-smart concepts? Here are a few of ours to get your wheels churning. (Scroll down to find our four apps, or just search “Money Mammals” in any app store.)
Now put yourself in parents’ shoes, and think about what it might mean to them when the mobile device not only holds the attention of a rambunctious child but also enriches him or her. Take a look at our “Needs vs. Wants” app, in which our intrepid star, Joe the Monkey, walks you through learning the difference between the two concepts. It’s a fun, educational way to teach your kids one of the core money-smart skills
- Parents Want Help
I have yet to run into a parent who doesn’t think teaching his or her kids about money smarts is a good idea. However, most parents don’t implement a plan of action. Or if they do, it’s not particularly well thought out. Imagine if your credit union could help bridge that gap between “yes, what a great idea” and actually doing something about it. Do you think that step might help differentiate you from other institutions in your area? You bet it will! And again, think about what being the institution that helps parents accomplish something so important means. PDS.
- PSA for PDS
One of our terrific partners, Service Credit Union, smartly reached out to its local PBS station to provide PSA-style commercials that not only promote its program but also provide some enriching food for thought for kids. Take a look at this example. Consider placing a call to local TV or radio stations. Many have competitive rates. Think about the difference you can bring to your community and to your brand when everyone else is touting commodity products and you’re aligned with your mission—“people helping people.”
These are just three ideas you can use to set yourself apart as an institution looking to make a difference in your community. Most institutions just talk about being the Amazon of their particular niche. Start thinking of what folks might really want and how you can create a PDS experience.