Is your CRM getting left in the dust?

Managing member relationships is the most important thing a credit union does every day. So why is it that many credit unions are still using the generic CRM provided with their banking systems, instead of a best-of-breed solution that would make life easier for staff and members? That’s a bit like driving an older vehicle past its use-by date, instead of considering a sleek new ride.

My hunch is that this happens because credit union leaders are always pressed for time and money, and continuing to use an older CRM, like some of those from a core banking system provider, seems like a simpler solution than going through a requirements process and issuing an RFP. But just to shake up that thinking a bit, here are some ways that your current CRM, like an aging car, can be quietly nickel-and-diming you and slowing your organization’s growth.

When just “getting from point A to point B” doesn’t cut it any more

Sure, it’s been a long time since you drove your CRM system off the lot. But it still does most of what you want it to, at least as far as member service goes. Look a little deeper, though, and you may find that your current CRM lacks the features you need for business growth.

As I work with our credit union clients, I hear the same concerns about older CRM systems again and again. Many indicate that their legacy systems don’t include the following must-have capabilities. Perhaps you have the same wish list?

  • Sophisticated omni-channel marketing capabilities
  • Campaign automation and tracking
  • Member issue escalation workflows and tracking
  • Cross-sell opportunity identification and creation
  • Strong reporting capabilities including dashboards and custom reports
  • The ability to integrate with multiple core systems to facilitate M&A activity

What do you mean nobody services this model?

Another issue credit unions often experience with legacy CRM is that updating the software is rarely a priority for the vendor. As we all know, changes in the financial industry happen at the speed of light these days, so you really need a CRM solution with an ambitious roadmap that will allow you to keep pace. Is your vendor thinking about AI, biometrics, and innovative ways to interact with big data? If not, you are running the risk of getting left behind.

These aftermarket parts are getting pricey

For some credit unions, the idea of integrating supplemental CRM functions into a sub-par central system is less frightening than upgrading the whole system. For example, you might consider setting up a custom interface between your CRM and an email marketing tool. But this approach can get pricey, and brings certain shortcomings you may not have fully considered.

Building custom integrations between solutions costs your IT department time and money, and maintaining these links is an ongoing drain on your budget. Plus, as your business grows, you can end up with a very complex network of integrations and redundant systems. In fact, one of our clients was able move to enterprise-wide CRM and eliminate a dozen secondary systems that performed CRM functions!

An additional concern is that quite often, there can be a lack of true integration between CRM modules, which can in turn create a need for duplicate data entry, or a poor user experience as your staff move between systems. Without a fully integrated CRM solution, your credit union may experience high error rates in data entry, poor access to actionable data, and low CRM adoption rates.

Good quality data fuels CRM success

Did you know that data quality problems cost US businesses more than $3 trillion annually? For your CRM to provide the best quality information to staff members, it needs to be hooked into as many sources of clean, recent data as possible.

A link to your core data isn’t enough anymore – top credit unions access and use data from every third party you can imagine (loan origination, online/mobile banking, Credit Card Files, ACH files, call center systems and more). Many older CRM systems can’t accommodate these data access needs, which means staff are only seeing part of the member engagement picture.

Don’t wait until the transmission drops!

Upgrading your CRM can seem scary, but you need to keep in mind how far the field of CRM implementation has come over the last decade. Gone are the days of big budgets, endless implementation cycles and delays.

Today’s best CRM systems can be installed in only 8-12 weeks, so you can start realizing ROI sooner than you might have imagined. Plus, they are designed to evolve with the financial industry, keeping your credit union at the head of the pack now and in the future. Maybe it’s time to take one out for a spin?

Susan Ginsberg

Susan Ginsberg

Susan has spent the last 20 years helping CUs advance. Susan’s technical background encompasses both EFT and SaaS solutions. She partners with credit unions by taking a deep dive ... Web: Details

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