CUNA Operations Council Releases CRM Strategies White Paper

Jennifer Jackson
CUNA Councils
(608) 231-4102


Madison, WI – Data has become an essential raw material for American business, almost on a par with capital and labor.  It is hard to pinpoint precisely when this digital transformation took place, but it had its tipping point in Y2K when organizations rebuilt technology architectures and prepared for a meltdown that failed to materialize.

One of the more valuable data tools is a process called Customer Relationship Management, which is a sales and service culture enabled by technology. The operative phrase is enabled by technology, as CRM is not a technology solution but a cultural and a people transformation; it is in its true essence a state of mind—held by management and staff—that puts the member first in all interactions.

CRM Strategies is a white paper sponsored by CUNA’s Operations, Sales and Service Council that examines the elements to be considered in developing a CRM strategy. Credit unions that have achieved a high degree of competence in this process are profiled as well. The benefit for the teller and other end users is when all of a member’s relationships with the organization are displayed on one screen or perhaps one or two clicks away.

The preparation for Y2K underscored the notion that financial institutions have more information on their customers than any other industry. This data wealth is a tremendous advantage for those organizations that use and analyze information wisely. Those institutions—typically large credit unions and banks—that use data wisely often succeed in besting their competitors and will likely continue to do so in the near future.

Even though financial institutions have all of this data within their organizations—often at their fingertips—most are not using it efficiently. Marketing decisions made are based on looking backwards in time to past behaviors and placing consumers into demographic groups or subgroups. Demographic data has its place and worth, but it doesn’t provide insight into the frequency of use by the customer of their channel and product preferences, and it does not use these or other variables to ascribe value to its consumers.

To the member, the CRM process is invisible and seamless but the effect can be profound. Members need only tell their story once, instead of each time a new call is made while appropriate products and services may be suggested. Irritating telephone sales calls made during dinner may soon be—and should be—a relic of the past.  This is part of an evolution that the financial services industry is undergoing where a marriage of data, financial relationships and predictive analytics are making assumptions of potential buyers and their future behaviors.

The paper is available online in the white paper section of – select the “OpSS” tab.


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CUNA OpSS Council

The CUNA Operations, Sales, and Service (OpSS) Council is a member-led partnership of operations, sales, and service professionals dedicated to providing education, leadership, networking support, professional development tools, and expertise to its members in order to shape the enhancement of the role and diversity of operations in the credit union industry. The CUNA OpSS Council is one of the six organizations that make up the CUNA Councils, a network of more than 4,850 credit union professionals. For more information, visit or


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