Listening is reputation building
Paying close attention to the current pains and needs of the staff, members and community strengthens a credit union’s standing.
In 2020, mostly everything has changed. One constant, however, is the power of listening. We mean really listening to your credit union’s staff, members, and community in ways you never have before. Like you, these audiences have gone through significant changes this year that have transformed the way they purchase, as well as how they think about banking.
Your credit union’s reputation is ultimately shaped by your people, the products you offer in response to members’ needs, and the processes developed to manage the products and people. Members directly and indirectly pay attention to your credit union’s people, products and processes and how they adapted to them over the past 12 months of the pandemic.
In order to assess how your employees, members and community view your credit union, we counsel our clients to launch a “Listening Campaign.” These campaigns are designed to intently put your unbiased and openminded ear-to-the-ground so you can truly understand what your staff, members, vendors, and community are feeling and thinking.
There are new conversations happening daily on how people are responding to today’s difficult environment. The challenge for your credit unions is, are you listening and really hearing what is being said?
To that end, the proposed Listening Campaign encourages a designated person or team to outreach to at least one new staff member and one new member each week (yes, each week!) to ask questions and wholeheartedly listen to their responses. Simple questions such as:
- How are you doing?
- How has your life changed throughout the pandemic?
- What’s keeping you up at night?
- How can our credit union help?
If you take the time to listen and completely understand the responses, your credit union will be in a much better position to improve its products, services, people and processes.
“Talk to someone about themselves and they’ll listen for hours.” – Dale Carnegie
Listening Reveals Your Reputation
At ReputationUs, we say that brand is what you say about your organization and reputation is what others say about you, your credit union, your products and your services. Inside your organization, this includes unfiltered conversations among executives and staff. Outside your credit union, it includes your recruits, members, constituents, media, social influencers and the public.
Whether generating market share, quality employees or remaining competitive, “your reputation precedes you.” Now more than ever, it is mission critical to know what your reputation is by simply listening.
These additional listening strategies are designed to capture your audience’s sentiment, while strengthening your credit union’s reputation as one that listens and cares:
- Surveys: Gather feedback the classic way to identify what your credit union is doing right, and more importantly, where there are vulnerabilities and room for change.
- Focus Groups: Talk about your business offerings and services with a targeted group to get direct feedback.
- Case Studies: Dive deeper into a member’s individual story to obtain insights that may not be readily apparent from just sales or marketing data points.
- Social media: Listening to concerns and building relationships with your members on your own platforms can help identify problems immediately.
- Website forms: Clearly denoting an area on your credit union’s website where members can submit their candid opinions—and your credit union’s follow up—shows that you are engaged in active listening.
“Listen For Hours”
In his timeless book, “How To Win Friends and Influence People,” Dale Carnegie famously stated, “Talk to someone about themselves and they’ll listen for hours.” While your banking competition may be all talk, your credit union can win members and staff by purely listening—and hearing—what’s being said. Your reputation as a listener will precede and reward you.