It’s what every credit union hopes for…an existing member is interested in another product or applying for a new loan. Often, there is a hand off that is required from one employee to another. That hand-off is crucial not only to a successful sale, but also to building a stronger relationship with your member. Too often, that hand-off isn’t handled as well as it could be.
Let’s look at a real life situation.
A member calls and says she is in the process of buying a car and would like to get an auto loan. She reached out to Joanne in Business Services since the member already had her business accounts with Joanne and had a relationship with her. Joanne said, “Terrific, come on in and I’ll introduce you to Daniel who handles auto loans.”
So the member comes to the branch and is greeted by Joanne. Joanne chats with the member about the car she’s looking to buy until Daniel finishes with his customer. So far so good. When Joanne sees that Daniel is done, she rings him and he comes out. Joanne says, “Daniel, this is member, member, this is Daniel. Great to see you (member).” Daniel shakes the member’s hand and walks her back to his office.
Joanne and Daniel just fumbled the hand-off.
There were three missed opportunities. Did you spot them? All had to do with a lack of transfer of trust.
Missed Opportunity #1 – Transfer member relationship information (and say something nice)
Joanne has a lot of information about the member and thanks to their chat, information about the car she’s interested in. Joanne had an opportunity to share two key pieces of information with Daniel
One was to acknowledge the existing relationship and say something nice about the member. “At (credit union) we’re a big time fan of (member). She runs a successful sales consultancy right here in (town). She has all her personal and business accounts with us.”
You may be thinking, but Daniel will likely see that information on his computer screen when he starts the process True, but it’s important to publically acknowledge and thank the member (in the hand-off) for being such a great customer. If you can share something nice about the member as well, even better.
Missed Opportunity #2 – Transfer member situational information
The second piece of information that should have been shared was about the car. Members traditionally hate having to repeat information. If information is shared with someone, in the hand-off a synopsis should be shared with the person the member is being handed to. In this case, Joanne could say, “(Member) is looking at a Honda Accord she likes at (dealership). She found a 2013 special edition and is ready to move fast. She’s already got an estimate for her trade-in.”
It was great that Joanne had the time to talk to the member. Sharing the information not only shows Joanne was listening and paying attention, but also helps the member who doesn’t have to start all over at square one with the new loan officer.
Missed opportunity #3- Transfer of information about the employee the member is being handed to (and say something nice)
This is the most common missed opportunity I see in my work with credit unions. In every transaction, the member has initial contact with someone. Whether that person has known the member for years or minutes, a bond is created (providing that employee does their job right). It’s important for that “trust” to be transferred to the next person.
In the case of Joanne and Daniel, Joanne could say, “(Member) I want you to meet Daniel. Daniel is going to take great care of you. He’s probably helped more members buy cars than just about anyone I know. He’s also just a great guy. I understand you want to move fast so I know Daniel will do everything he can to expedite the process.”
Note that she also shared the member’s key concern – moving fast.
Bonus: It would also be nice if Daniel has something nice to say about Joanne.
When you build in this transfer of trust you’ll have more successful hand-offs and better results for your members and your credit union.