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A blog addressing issues and topics of interest for Montana credit union board members. Read a new post every week.

Making a Memorable Experience

by Donya Parrish, MCUN  

Jon Bon Jovi sang (You Want to) Make a Memory and said “If you go now, I'll understand. If you stay, hey, I've got a plan. We're gonna make a memory…”

I think our focus in credit union member service should more about making a memory, and less about managing products, fees, and services.

We all have moments in history where we remember exactly where we were when we heard certain news. For me, it includes vivid memories of the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster, and of course the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Those were national events and negative situations, but they made an impact.

Creating a Credit Union Memory ...

Do you have a vivid memory from your credit union relationship? I know I do! The best words I ever heard were “of course we can do that for you, you’re a good member.” Now, admittedly, I might not always be, but feeling valued is important to me.

How does your credit union work to create lasting and memorable experiences for your membership? It might be the excitement at an approved car loan, or successfully using an ATM or online banking for the first time, but these moments can make or break a long term relationship.

As board members, you make decisions each month that impact your membership. Often you look at it from your own expectation and include a financial analysis, as well as maybe discussing whether the staff has the time and expertise to implement it. But, do you ever ask yourself how to create the experience you want members to have?

Look Beyond Your Board

Your membership may be more diverse than your board. It might make sense with young and older members, they may be the most engaged or least engaged, depending on how they perceive a change. And age isn’t the only factor to look at in your membership.

If you haven’t surveyed your membership, you may be missing the boat on providing what they need. It doesn’t have to be an expensive, formal survey to gather input. Maybe tellers ask a question with each transaction or a postcard is sent to gather feedback (of course incentive may need to be provided for return!). You also have the opportunity with online transactions and social media to find out more. Be cautious not to poll only an audience that is already engaged on their thoughts. Find out from those not using online banking what is holding them back.

Lastly, credit unions have an option to create committees made up of members to discuss ideas. This may be the impactful memory for those participating when they see that they are part of the credit union in a critical way. It may also lead to an interest in being more engaged and running for the supervisory committee or board of directors someday.

So, I challenge you to “Make a Memory”, with your membership, in your community, and mostly, for those not yet coming in your door!

Donya Parrish is the VP-Dues Based Services for the Montana Credit Union Network. She would welcome any questions or comments on this material. You can email Donya or call her at 800-745-5546, ext. 122.

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