Confessions of a #RealMillennial

A perspective from someone credit unions are targeting.

I have a confession to make – I am a millennial. But I’ll let you in on a secret, I’m not that millennial. The one you read about in online articles. See, despite the fact that I love my ridiculously priced Starbucks drinks or know the whereabouts of my phone 99% of the time, who you are reading about in these articles, isn’t my identity – I’m more than just a buzzword.

What I will tell you is that I am a young professional, I don’t jump from job to job and I’m far from a slacker when I’m at the office. In my personal life, I’m not reluctant to buy a car or a house, I pay my bills on time and I even write checks to do it. The truth is that when I read articles intended to “help” you target millennials…I cringe. I understand that credit unions are looking to attract a younger clientele (the average age credit union member is 47). But then again, the way to attract me happens to be the same way to attract most people to your branch.

What Are My Options?

Growing up in Michigan, I belonged to a credit union. However, when I moved from Michigan down to Florida and went to pull my money from that particular credit union no one talked to me about my options. They failed to tell me that I could still access my money while across the country which was the main reason I was leaving them. In reality it was a perfect opportunity for them to educate a younger person on how their business works and perhaps gain an advocate for that branch. Due to the lack of communication, I left.

Let’s Chat

Admittingly, I’m on my phone a lot so having a website that makes it easy to get in touch with your branch by using whatever I have in front of me is HUGE!

If you don’t have an app or see yourself getting one in the near future, make sure your website is mobile friendly. I want the navigation to be simple and intuitive because I will not spend more than a few minutes looking for information I need. It’s a great idea to keep a FAQ page for questions I may have or perhaps consider adding a chat feature. We all have those moments when we have some quick questions, but maybe can’t (or don’t want) to pick up the phone and call. A chat feature fixes that problem and allows for timely responses and happy customers.

We Want Rewards

You guessed it, like everyone else I love rewards and incentives. If I’m already using a credit card, why not give me something a little extra so that your card will be top of mind? But, I’ll let you know this, don’t just offer me anything. I will shop around for the best offer I can find and if I receive a better offer, later on, chances are I’ll switch.

Pushing “The Future of Payments”

While millennials are notoriously known for being early adopters to new technology I don’t think we’re ready to completely embrace mobile wallets. While the idea is great in theory, many of us have physical cards and ID’s that we use regularly so we can’t get rid of the cards right away. I would recommend all credit unions continue to adopt new technology so we all have the option to use mobile wallets, but wait until Generation Z rises to see a major change in the way that mobile pays are used.

Tell Me About Yourself

I’ll stereotype myself here, but I prefer to shop local. I like going to non-chain restaurants, stopping in boutiques and farmer’s markets over visiting industry giants for subpar food or products. Where I live isn’t going to keep growing and changing if I take all my buying power to big name stores and neglect the small local businesses. Do you know who else helps service local communities? You do! I’m sure your credit union is giving back to the community all the time and I want to hear about that. Millennials cherish their communities so tell us about what you do and let us join in on the fun.

The bottom line is if you really want to learn about millennials, engage us! We would much rather be a part of the conversation than scroll through social media and see articles making claims about who we are and what we do. Chances are you’ll be surprised in how closely we can be aligned.

Alexis Nab

Alexis Nab

Alexis is CSCU’s Marketing Operations Coordinator and a millennial “expert” since 1993. Her current role allows her the flexibility to wear many hats, but you will most likely find ... Web: Details