Building connections in new member onboarding

Credit unions are becoming an increasingly popular choice, with 132.6 million members throughout the U.S. and counting. Credit unions have many opportunities to expand their member base and operations, but to reap the benefits of growth, they must ensure a smooth and enjoyable onboarding experience for new members.

This guide will cover six vital practices credit unions should include in their onboarding strategies to create good first impressions and promote long-lasting loyalty.

1. Communicate Early and Often

The first few months with a new member are critical in forming a meaningful relationship with them. Prioritize communication with new members by establishing several touchpoints throughout their onboarding process and their first few months with a credit union.

Welcome members warmly and offer assistance in setting up their accounts. Creating a positive experience and first impression helps a credit union appear accessible and makes new members feel supported.

Once members have completed the onboarding process, businesses should keep up regular communication. Each message must contain relevant and valuable information to increase member satisfaction.

2. Create Personal Connections

Member onboarding should focus on building a strong foundation for a long-lasting relationship. Companies should take the time to learn about new members, discover their financial needs, preferred methods of contact and future goals. About 86% of consumers prefer to receive personalized offers, indicating the importance of customized messaging.

Other ways to help new members feel welcomed and valued include:

  • Sending a personalized message when they open their account.
  • Asking questions and providing support.
  • Initiating sincere conversations and interactions.

Create a personalized approach to ensure credit union members feel valued and connected. Adapting messages based on data about members allows businesses to send content related to specific touchpoints.

3. Set Goals and Analyze Results

A company needs to determine what success looks like before declaring its onboarding efforts a success. Set specific goals to accomplish, such as a certain number of new members or product rates to reach within a time range.

Understanding data allows credit unions to better optimize their efforts and satisfy members. Evaluate goals frequently and make necessary adjustments to the onboarding process to achieve desired outcomes.

4. Be Authentic

Members often expect transparency from the businesses they work with, including their financial institution. A credit union should be open about its unique history, mission and values. Inviting members to join a company in fulfilling its core purpose helps them feel a sense of belonging.

The more personalized connections members form with a credit union, the more likely they’ll use those products and services for years to come. Creating good relationships with members leads to stronger communication when it comes to selling more products, managing concerns and collecting delayed payments.

5. Improve the Member Journey

Many members expect a smooth, quick and easy onboarding process. Delivering on their expectations makes a good first impression and encourages future engagement. Credit unions should strive to anticipate members’ needs and provide the assistance, answers and tools they need to engage.

A few ways to improve the onboarding process include:

  • Maintaining consistency in design
  • Simplifying application navigation
  • Creating a seamless process across platforms
  • Using clear, easy-to-understand language
  • Offering support and tips
  • Utilizing cloud-banking platforms
  • Optimizing for mobile users

Accessing accounts should be straightforward, and setting up online or mobile banking should be intuitive and seamless. Processes that are unclear and confusing can cause distrust and even lead to complications with missed payments — which is an outcome both members and their credit unions want to avoid.

The easier it is to onboard with a credit union, the more reassured members will feel they made the right choice.

6. Use Multiple Channels

Utilizing an omnichannel approach is essential to reaching and satisfying new members. Each channel offers different benefits and increases engagement across various member demographics.

Some members may prefer to ask questions over text, while others may want to speak with someone over the phone. Many members prefer to manage their banking online, with 71% of adults in the U.S. preferring to use a desktop or laptop rather than meet with someone in person.

Meeting members where they are and providing the communication channels they prefer helps credit unions meet member expectations and improve their satisfaction.

Enhance Your New Member Onboarding Program

Credit unions that apply these tips will enjoy greater member loyalty, retention and satisfaction. An improved onboarding process can drive more revenue while also building foundations for lasting relationships with members.

Evelyn Long

Evelyn Long

Evelyn Long is a writer and the editor in chief of Renovated. Her work has been published by the National Association of REALTORS®, Training Journal and other online publications. Web: Details