5 Ways Credit Unions Can Thrive in Any Economy 

Ira Brooker   March 13th, 2024

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As financial institutions built around the concepts of member owners and service to their surrounding communities, credit unions find themselves in a unique position in the modern economy. Fluctuations and shifts in the market that can be tricky for traditional banks and financial institutions to navigate don’t have the same impact on credit unions. That allows credit unions to weather any financial climate and excel regardless of market factors. Communication is a key element in that success. Generally speaking, credit unions are able to communicate more directly and effectively with their members than other banks can. That helps foster more reliable connections that boost customer loyalty. Let’s take a closer look at some ways credit unions can improve communications to drive more customer engagement and, ultimately, higher profits.

1. Be a Financial Partner

Finance doesn’t come easily for the average credit union member. Customers come to their financial institution looking for guidance and support on all kinds of issues. Your communications strategy is a key to establishing your credit union as not just a bank, but a trusted financial partner. Leveraging your organization’s various communications platforms to connect customers to blog posts, webinars, tutorials, and other educational messages lets people know that your credit union is a knowledgeable and trustworthy resource for maintaining financial wellness.

A customer communications management (CCM) solution can be an important tool for building that trust. Automating your communications with customers makes it much easier to create personalized communications that speak to the specific needs of individual customers. That messaging can be segmented and targeted at select groups of customers based on demographics, business needs, financial well-being, and other factors that let your members know that their concerns are being heard and their questions will be answered.

quote marks-whitePeople are feeling anxious about the safety of their deposits and about the banking industry in general. They will gravitate toward brands that offer ample support and provide reassuring answers. Brands make themselves more approachable during a crisis by educating and informing and by using a conversational and empathetic tone in their messaging. ”
Nicole Bond and Anjali Ambani, The Financial Brand

2. Use Technology to Your Advantage

The technology of communication is advancing at a rapid pace, and that’s great news for credit unions. Automated features such as AI-driven chatbots, automatic reminders and updates, and personalized communications make it easier for customers to connect with your organization and get the answers they need. When your members know that their questions and concerns will be responded to quickly and correctly, their trust and loyalty grows.

Remember that your customers’ tech capabilities have grown as well. Today’s consumers expect to have multiple communication options that allow them to interact with their financial institution via their preferred channel. Investing in an automated CCM software system is a reliable way to embrace both multichannel and omnichannel communications. That allows customers to stay in touch with your credit union and receive the same level of service whether they’re using a phone, tablet, or desktop computer, or whether they prefer email, SMS messages, live chat, or any other channel.

Dan Ward HeadshotAI is not just transforming customer service; it’s redefining the entire customer experience. From intelligent chatbots offering instant assistance to predictive analytics anticipating customer needs, AI has become the cornerstone of personalized, efficient, and proactive customer interactions. ” 
Dan Ward, CTO of MHC Automation

3. Focus On Transparency

During economically uncertain times, customers place an even higher value on transparency from financial institutions. People want to know what’s going on with their money, and they don’t want to have to click through a dozen links on their credit union’s website to find their answers. Taking a proactive approach to transparency is key to building trust. That might be as simple as clearly stating details such as banking fees, terms of loans, and interest rates up front, or as active as soliciting feedback from credit union members via polls and surveys.

Your CCM solution can help with transparency by allowing you to automatically notify customers of changes and updates to credit union policies and procedures. Scheduling push notifications, social media messages, or targeted email campaigns make it easier for you to connect with your members, and vice versa, via their preferred channels and platforms.

Gina Armada Headshot“Whether it be economic uncertainty, unpredictable pandemics, or new impacts we can’t even conceive of yet – we know that customer behavior can change on a dime. Prioritize transparency, personalization, and consistency in your communications to make your customers feel confident they should trust you with their hard-earned dollars.”
Gina Armada, CEO of MHC

4. Get Involved with Your Community

One of the most important areas where credit unions have an advantage over other financial institutions is the sense of community that comes with belonging to one. Credit unions can lean into that advantage by sponsoring local events and forming partnerships with community organizations and schools to create financial educational programs and workshops. Leveraging social media and creative content to make regular connections with the community also helps to establish that bond.

Customer communications management software can play a role in those community building efforts by simplifying the way you schedule messages to members. By segmenting your audience and scheduling your personalized communications with each segment, you can keep a conversation going without overloading customers with messages. CCM automation also makes it easy to recognize and acknowledge each member’s financial milestones and achievements, another personal touch that builds trust.

quote marks-white[Customers] value engagement communication tools like text messages, phone calls and in-person conversations, which generally require a more personalized approach, more than banks opt to use them. Together, these only comprise 23% of respondents’ perceived experiences, but they are the second and third most preferred means of communication after email.
David Fouse, Forbes

5. Personalize Your Communications Experience

Many people opt to bank with a credit union specifically because of the more personalized service, which should definitely extend to your communications efforts. More than 75% of customers say they prefer personalized communications from businesses, including their financial institutions. That might include offerings like one-on-one financial planning, access to financial advisors, or targeted marketing campaigns.

This is another area where a CCM software solution is a major benefit. Automated data analytics functions make it simple to gather valuable data on members’ demographics, life needs, and financial situations. That information can be used to personalize communications that match the specific wants and needs of various groups and individual members, establishing your credit union as a true financial partner.

Dan Ward HeadshotEmbracing the power of instant, personalized interactions through mobile platforms isn’t just a trend; it’s a strategic imperative that unlocks the gateway to customer satisfaction, loyalty, and the future of business excellence.” 
Dan Ward, CTO of MHC Automation

Ready to find out more about the ways automating customer communications management with MHC software solutions can help your credit union make a lasting connection with your members? Contact us today to schedule a personalized demonstration from our in-house experts!

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Ira Brooker

Ira Brooker is a freelance writer and editor based in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He has been writing blogs and copy about software-as-a-service solutions for most of the past decade. Before exploring accounts payable and workflow solutions with MHC, he wrote about fields including cybersecurity, workforce management, online accessibility, audiology, retail sales, and much more. When he’s not doing business writing, he also indulges in writing fiction, journalism, arts criticism, and bar trivia.

Notice – Portions of this blog post were generated using Generative AI tools. Our writer has carefully fact-checked, edited, and added their own insights to ensure accuracy and a unique perspective.

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