CRM is the relationship lighthouse

While the way we transact has evolved, relationships are still the core of credit unions.

Over 2,000 years ago, the Romans built lighthouses in Egypt to warn ships of dangers and keep them safe, allowing sailors to navigate treacherous waters and carry out their mission. Today, marketers navigate relationships under the guidance of their own lighthouse, the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform.

If there is one takeaway from 2021, it’s the need to recognize relationship warning signals and opportunities that require personalized service. Of course, that’s hard to do without the ability to understand the member relationship, respond to member needs and support their financial goals on an enterprise-wide level.

A CRM captures conversations, monitors transaction activity and displays actionable data, enabling credit unions to connect with members through relevant, personalized communications. It can transform member data into dynamic relationships through an integrated journey. Credit unions that incorporate CRM into their service model develop stickier relationships with their members. As a result, institutions leveraging CRM will experience an increase in sales. But this isn’t about dollars; it’s about increased connections. Better service leads to a stronger relationship.

A key benchmark for all financial institutions is the need to develop a deeper relationship with its customer base and position itself as the “go to“ solution provider for all of the customers’ financial needs. To build trust and confidence, credit unions must present themselves at the right moment with the right solutions and the right advice. An effective CRM system pinpoints those opportunities.

However, most CRM systems don’t account for the nuances of credit unions. Generic CRMs leverage information on age, ethnicity and gender without fear of compliance landmines. The situation is quite different for credit unions and requires a specialized touch, one familiar with compliance risks.

Finding a CRM that takes into account the unique needs of the financial industry will help avoid compliance pitfalls. It’s also important to find a CRM that incorporates industry terms. Using familiar language will help promote enterprise-wide adoption of the system as it integrates service, sales and marketing automation into organized, actionable data.

It’s also extremely beneficial to look for a CRM that gathers and analyzes data to present a household view of the member. This presents the opportunity to present the right offer or service at the right time. For instance, parents of teenagers might need a vehicle loan soon. Members with a large checking balance might benefit from a Money Market account. Financial literacy may be of interest to members with recurring overdrafts or low credit scores. Identifying these factors enables credit unions to deliver an experience based on member needs.

Making data available at the enterprise level facilitates a deeper understanding of member needs and enhances member experience. For instance, the ability to view the most recent marketing communications can help inform and enhance the next member touchpoint.

It’s no longer a matter of whether credit unions will start using CRM, it’s a matter of when. However, while plug-and-play CRMs may work for retail, they may not be the best option for credit unions. And just like members expect a personalized experience, so should you. That’s why it’s imperative to implement a CRM platform that works within the financial industry, is sensitive to compliance demands and works with your credit union’s specific and unique needs. Find a CRM partner that will not only assess sales and service processes to customize a system that enhances both, but will also stay by your side beyond installation and training.

Given the rocky waters of 2021 and the unknown of 2022, you need to consider how to safely sail through the upcoming year. Let a CRM platform be your lighthouse and assist your members in navigating their financial journey.

Ryan Housefield

Ryan Housefield

Ryan is Senior Vice President of Sales at Marquis, overseeing the Marquis sales team, and working with financial institutions looking to implement best in class marketing, analytics and CRM solutions. ... Details