Growing Your Credit Union: Defining Your Ideal Member - Credit Union Strategy





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Published on May 26, 2010

Credit Union Industry expert Michael Hudson explains how you can grow your credit union by defining your ideal member.


You can grow your credit union by taking the time to get a real solid understanding of who your ideal member is (not your average member, but your ideal member).

Start by considering the lifetime value of a member. When you have a new member that comes in the door, they have a lifetime value of the business they will do with your credit union. Their lifetime value is a function of how many years they will be a member, of the products and services they'll use, and of how they'll promote the credit union and reach out to others to bring them into the credit union. Get a sense of where your best members stand and what their true lifetime value is to you as a credit union.

Then, look at your member base and your data to see how many people are using a particular product or service and what the profitability is of the members using this product or service. What you'll find when you do that analysis using your MCIF system is that you have an ability to identify categories of members, which can be based on profitability, demographic statistics, or based on looking at the products and services they use. From there you want to come up with a profile of what that ideal member looks like. That ideal member to me is the one who brings you the most profits, uses the most services, and who loves and cares about the credit union enough to refer other people to it, helping you grow your membership base.

Once you've done that analysis, use the groupings you've identified in your marketing efforts and your efforts to connect with the public at large. You use them in your marketing efforts to target your mailings and promotions towards those specific members who are most likely to take advantage of that. And your goal is always the same thing: To transfer as many of your existing members into ideal members as you can. Because the ideal members are the ones who really serve the organization and help it grow, rather than the customers who just do a transaction or two and belong because it's easy. You also want to use these profiles as you reach out and connect in the community because your goal in growing your business and bringing in new members should be to bring in as many ideal members or potential ideal members as you can.

Bottom line: The goal of this whole activity is to understand the ideal member so we can increase overall member satisfaction by connecting with people in a way they want to be connected with. We're getting a larger share of their wallet and we're creating members who turn into "net promoters" - people who sing the praises of the credit union, helping to draw others in. In the communication oriented society we live in, where everybody checks evaluations and the ratings others have given businesses before they do business with them themselves, it's key to be able to do this. So define your ideal member today, get a clear picture of who they are and then go after them to provide them with the products and services they need, which will help you in turn to grow your credit union.

For more tips and strategies for growing your credit union visit http://www.creditunionstrategy.com/


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