3 ways to improve your credit union during Self-Improvement Month

by Ashley LaBombard, Sharetec Systems, a CUNA Strategic Services alliance provider

September is Self-Improvement Month. When you think about self-improvement, your initial thoughts may surround exercise or diet, but how about improving your financial institution, and thus improving your member experience? Here are some ways you can improve your credit union during Self-Improvement Month!

1. Start with your staff

Yes, member satisfaction should always be at the forefront, but having employees who feel appreciated and informed will lead to better interactions among coworkers and with members. It can also increase employee retention. So, how can you improve staff relations this month?

  • Show appreciation: Start implementing regular “thank you” emails to be sent to each department, showing appreciation for specific accomplishments or a general ‘job well done.’ This will boost morale and make employees feel acknowledged for their role.
  • Encourage self-care: September is also self-care month. When work and home life get busy, people tend to neglect caring for themselves properly. If your credit union hasn’t already, consider creating regular reminders to staff pertaining to self-care. These tips could be included in your monthly employee newsletter or be a separate email from your Human Resources department. Example self-care tips include reminders to stand up from your desk and stretch, the importance of drinking enough water, the health benefits of walking for at least 20 minutes daily, and time-saving healthy meal preparation ideas.
  • Increase training opportunities: What better way to help your staff improve than to provide more educational and training opportunities? Have your department managers subscribe to relevant resources to keep them informed about upcoming events and training so they can share them with their department.

2. Looks DO matter

We don’t mean to sound superficial, but when it comes to your credit union and what your members see when they visit a branch, it absolutely matters! Credit unions are known for standing out amongst financial institutions for cleanliness, aesthetics, and convenience. Here are four ways you can improve your credit union’s appearance this month:

  • Be current: Ensure all branches have the most current printed materials in the lobby areas. Don’t keep last quarter’s member newsletter out where the newest one should be! Are you running a back-to-school special? Make sure it’s advertised in optimal locations inside and outside of the branch. Did your summer loan special just end? Make sure all advertisements have been removed! This also pertains to your website and other digital mediums; keep them current!
  • Be consistent: Members know your credit union by the way you brand it. Your colors, fonts, images, logo, tagline, etc., are what differentiate you from competitors. Make sure all your branches have consistent branding so that the impression a member gets is the same no matter where they do their banking.
  • Be clean: This should be a given, but we’re not just talking about having streak-free windows and sanitized public restrooms. The greeter station should be neat and only include current advertisements or other member-related materials. This also goes for the check-writing station, waiting area, teller line, staff offices, and all other member-facing spaces.
  • Be convenient: Where is your coin machine located? How about your ATM? If you’ve had complaints from members about getting to certain services, you should reconsider their location. Get member insights by sending an email survey and base your changes on their responses. After all, your credit union is also your members’ credit union, so any adjustments should be a collective decision.

3. What’s on the inside matters most!

No, we’re not contradicting ourselves. Looks still matter for credit unions, but what’s on the inside – the core of your credit union – matters the most! Your members want the most up-to-date, fast, convenient technology for their banking needs. While you may not be able to improve your core overnight, here are some ways you can begin the process this month:

  • Review your current core: Take a thorough look at what your core offers, what your members actually use, any issues you’ve run into in the past year, frequent tech issues or member complaints, and what services your core lacks. Then ask yourself, is your core meeting the expectations and needs of your membership? Can your members accomplish all their banking needs via your credit union, or do they need to use other financial institutions or services?
  • Research new cores: Although you may be in a contract with your current partner, now is the time to consider where to go when that contract ends. Do a thorough Google search of core software companies that work specifically with credit unions. Look at customer reviews and see how many credit unions are currently using each core. Compare the products and services offered, and narrow your choices down based on what best fits the needs of your membership.
  • Reserve a product demo: Luckily, most core processing companies offer free demos to help you decide if they’re the best choice. Schedule a demo with your top 2 – 4 core processing choices and be ready to compare their products!
Ashley LaBombard

Ashley LaBombard

Ashley LaBombard is a marketing professional with over a decade of content writing experience and over 3 years of credit union specific marketing experience. Web: https://www.sharetec.com Details