You say you want a home? Oh, have I got a car loan for you!

While cross-selling isn’t a term credit unions use too often, isn’t that what is happening when members ask for one thing and get offered another? In order for members and small businesses to develop trust and establish a long-term relationship with their credit union, they must have confidence that their CU advocate will be focused on helping them and improving their financial condition. Cross-selling/wallet share often puts the financial institutions priorities first, rather than the member or small business, right? 

Here is a new way of thinking. Think more along the lines of “deep selling” – an alternative approach that focuses on discovering the needs and circumstances of individual members, educating them about alternatives and making recommendations to improve their financial well-being.

Consider this: members are no longer prioritizing speed when it comes to service. They want the experience to be personalized. According to Gladly 2020 Customer Experience Report, 79% of those surveyed said personalized service is more important than personalized marketing. Unfortunately, the same survey revealed that 64 percent don’t want to be just a number due to lack of personalization. This can be detrimental for a credit union, especially today in the everything digital and virtual world where members and small businesses need financial help and guidance the most. Members are seeking to have their needs met. At the same time, front-line employees want to meet member needs. The challenge is that many CU’s have no way of knowing or understanding what those needs are. Historically, financial institutions have determined those needs based on the goals of the overall CU’s needs or product of the month, such as prioritizing auto loans or CD’s.

This is where cross-selling can go awry – in situations where there is no real known member need the financial institutions “PUSH” products that are most profitable for them. This strategy is no longer acceptable. Frankly, it never really was. Instead, CU’s must provide their employees with the right tools to help them discover and then meet the member’s needs. Enter, “deep selling.”

Deep selling offers a more personalized experience. By leveraging AI-driven technology infused with behavioral economics, CU agents can provide members a full scope of accurately recommended products focused on the member’s needs.

Not only does this help the CU grow much-needed deposits, but member satisfaction improves. In fact, CU’s that are deploying a member centric, needs based engagement strategy are seeing as much as a 40 percent improvement in member loyalty.

How are credit unions achieving this deep selling?

With the right tools, deep selling can be an elegant solution resulting in a seamless and satisfying member experience. Customer Engagement Management (CEM) technology uses AI and advanced analytics to guide conversations with members that lead to a perfect match of their needs with the CU’s products and services.

“It is no longer enough to simply offer accounts, savings and loans, if we want people to be more broadly served financially, then we need to engage them in a digital dialogue … and be more proactive in helping customers achieve lasting financial well-being.” – Ernest & Young

CU’s using CEM technology personalize the experience by gathering real-time information from the member. They simplify engagement and streamline the decision process by revealing member needs while also educating the member about making financially sound decisions. Simply put, CEM technology is your CU’s best friend.

With the right dialogue, empowering CU agents with powerful member engagement tools will lead members to solutions that more seamlessly meet their needs and improve the experience. This is good news, seeing as CU’s that offer a top-notch member experience grow revenue faster, drive higher brand preference and see higher satisfaction levels with members.

Better addressing member needs also improves retention, further driving deposits. Why? Members are more likely to stay with a CU that is focused on helping them achieve their long-term financial goals.

Needs based member engagement can be a successful strategy for CU’s, especially those looking to grow deposits and improve retention. Allowing the member to take control of the sales process may seem daunting at first, but it can bring a tremendous payoff.

Are you ready to make the switch from cross-selling/wallet share to deep selling?

Whitney Loe

Whitney Loe

Whitney Loe is the Director of Business Development for Credit Unions for Ignite Sales and joined the team in 2019. Whitney began her career in financial industry in 2007 working ... Web: Details