Is your core conversion missing this one thing?

There is a lot to be excited about when upgrading your credit union’s core system. You likely have all sorts of fancy reporting dashboards with queries so robust you can target members by what they had for lunch last Thursday. Now that your data processor is entering the 21stcentury, your staff will be able to do their jobs more efficiently. You can’t wait for your members to have access to an online banking platform that trades in clunky for intuitive.

To make certain the transition goes off without a hitch, leadership will likely focus on the logistics of the migration, and employees are probably hard at work training on the new system. But in these weeks and months navigating how this huge change will impact you and your organization, how much have you communicated to your members how it will impact them?

In recent weeks, COVID-19 has taught us a ton about our credit unions and ourselves; one of the lessons we can take away is the importance of consistently communicating big changes to members, so they know what to expect. We’ve also seen how chaotic it can feel to have that communication be reactionary and unplanned. When we have the luxury of knowing what we need to tell members and by when, we should take full advantage of it. And not just once or twice. Credit unions often see member communication as a checkbox on the list of rolling out a new system – “We did it! We sent them a letter. Now they know this is happening.” But the old Rule of Seven marketing adage teaches us that because things are SO noisy in today’s world, members need to see something about seven times before it really sinks in that something is going on at the credit union that might require their attention or action. By the time you feel like the next email you send out will result in a mass unsubscribe, members are just starting to take notice. This is especially true when communication is sent out over a long period of time over a multitude of different channels.

Since your credit union will be living with this core processor for years, perhaps even decades, making a switch is a BIG strategic decision to make. And ultimately, it’s one you’re making for the benefit of your members, so they feel like they have a strong financial partner offering them the tools to make their lives easier. Your hard work and impact of this decision is immediately lost if the beneficiaries don’t feel like they’re seeing a benefit. It’s also lost on employees when on what should be a celebratory day, they’re stuck flooding confused and irate calls and visits.

If members’ first impression of your new system is that they feel blindsided, breaking that trust will lead to resentment and potentially the end of the relationship. Talk to your members about the timeline and advantages of this decision early and often, and even if they have questions, they can’t say you didn’t let them know.

Liz Garster

Liz Garster

Liz Garster is AVP of Marketing & Client Services at TwoScore, a firm dedicated to helping credit unions achieve their strategic goals through marketing. Working in credit unions for over ... Web: Details