4 ways to embrace millennials

Take advantage of the opportunity they present

The exceptionally large millennial group coming of age marks a key moment, as companies scramble to serve them—and get their business. In this environment, credit unions are truly poised to thrive. Here are four key things to consider.

Millennials seek counsel. Even more than previous generations, millennial consumers ask for advice when considering options, especially major decisions like getting a car or buying a home. Generally, they approach their parents first, then managers at work or friends, and even strangers. Comparative websites such as Yelp! and reviews on Google have empowered consumers more than ever. You need to know what’s out there about your CU.

In addition, CUs need to gain credibility as advocates for millennials. This is accomplished by how you communicate (and don’t communicate), how you build and present your products, and how you perform. Each millennial you serve is a resource for the next one, so keep your promises!

Review your lending program. Even though millennials don’t eagerly take on debt, they understand it’s sometimes the only way for them to progress in life. They are younger by definition, so many of them have limited or poor credit histories, and they have incomes lower than you’re used to seeing. The average deposit and loan balance of millennial members is only 60 percent of the average member, based on my experience working with credit unions, and as a credit union CEO.

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