If your membership is growing by the single, double or triple digits, then you must be doing something right. In today’s economy, not many credit unions or membership driven organizations are having such great luck at attracting new members. In fact, many of them seem to be losing members and closing their doors. And while it’s always a good thing for your membership numbers to increase, you must make sure that you are growing too as an organization.
There are two ways to look at growing memberships. There are those members who add little or no value to your organization, and then there are those who do see the value you provide and turn into loyal members. Yes, you heard correctly. Some members are nothing but a number on your membership list and they provide little if any ROI. They tend to be the members who either have only one product/service with you, and sometimes, they are even the ones who continuously default and are hit with NSF fees or don’t have an active participation with the organization.
You may find yourself saying, “I don’t see any problem with either of those types of members.” And you would be perfectly right in saying this. Both segments provide you with consistent revenue streams, but the question is for how long and which of the two is more sustainable? Let’s take a quick look at what I mean.
No Value Members
These are the members who have only one product with you. Why would a member like this add no value?
You have to consider the opportunities lost by servicing such accounts. These are accounts that internally are incurring you incremental transactional expenses. At the end of the day, when you service that account by mailing their NSFs or trying to provide them with financial literacy to help them get their accounts in order, you have to consider whether or not their account value is significant enough to make a profitable difference.
On the other hand, you also need to consider opportunity gain by cross-selling to them. If they only participate in one product/service, most likely they can be presented with other financial options that could add revenue to your bottom line. You must look for ways to convert your ‘no value members’ into ‘high value members.’
High Value Members
These are your members who have a checking, share, and direct deposit account with you. They tend to use online banking and are signed up for e-statements. Wouldn’t it be nice if each of your members fit this profile? You have to agree that these members are at a different level than your ‘no value member.’
The key to keeping your ‘high value members’ happy and loyal is to provide them with continuous communication and top-notch customer service. Word of caution, though–continuous does not mean you should smother or overwhelm them. A member with such a high profile should generate enough transactional data for you to understand their behavior and their relationship with your credit union. Your MCIF and CRM should optimize your ability to keep information about this member fresh so that your communication efforts are consistently relevant.
Now, consider what type of communication this member will prefer. Are you going to send them more and more offers through direct mail? You could. How about financial literacy materials? This may be a nice tough, but once again, these members are probably at a different level. In fact, your higher-profile members probably don’t need a lot of education on being financially savvy. How about talking about your commitment to your community and your members? After all, at the end of the day, your communities are what make your organization strive.
The Take Away
So, what I’m getting at is that you always need to be smart about what you communicate to your members. If you are growing your membership, make sure that you evaluate who your members are and what type of relationship they have with you. Some of those relationships are not sustainable for future growth. If you have any comments or feedback about this post, I would love to hear it. Feel free to contact me and don’t hesitate to let me know if I can be of help.