Credit union member experience refers to members’ overall perceptions about a credit union based on its customer service, marketing and culture. Member experience is critical to credit unions, which operate under a member-owned financial cooperative structure. For that reason, making sure members feel like a valued part of a larger financial community should be a priority for credit unions as they build out their member experience.
Credit unions provide similar services as retail banks, like deposit accounts, provision of credit and financial advisory services. However, large banks with large budgets tend to get the upper hand when it comes to brand awareness in the mortgage lending field.
To capture more valuable mortgage leads, credit unions must illustrate to their members the added long-term benefits of getting a mortgage through their credit union instead of a large bank. Among the benefits credit unions can offer over banks are advantageous rates, a community-based member experience and free or discounted financial consulting services.
Credit unions serve members, not customers. While borrowers are one side of a single financial transaction for banks, members of credit unions are framed as part of a cooperative financial community. That is why credit union marketing strategies for mortgages are often centered around the community that they serve.
With that operational structure in mind, there are two main marketing tactics for credit unions that further their nonprofit mission of providing their membership with an incredible member experience:
1. Get new members
Enhancing member experience is an excellent way to draw in new members and stay ahead of the competition. Creating targeted, relevant and interesting digital marketing content is one of the best and easiest strategies for illustrating the unique benefits members can enjoy by signing up for a carefully curated credit union experience.
2. Keep existing members
Once a prospect signs on as a member of a credit union, maintaining a top-tier member experience becomes an ongoing effort. Keeping member borrowers engaged is easier with an optimized digital marketing credit union plan and social media strategy. Post-close credit union marketing tactics can be used to cross-sell new services, keep members informed of the scope of their benefits and consistently evangelize those benefits for years past the close.
Achieving these goals can be tricky without an understanding of the specific obstacles that credit unions face. Adopting an omnichannel marketing approach can help credit unions stay ahead of potential pitfalls.
Credit unions do not only compete with other types of financial institutions. Since one person can be a member of many different credit unions, credit unions are often competing with each other to win the privilege of funding shared members’ mortgage loans. The credit union that offers and effectively communicates the best member experience will almost certainly prevail above the rest.
Staying connected with member borrowers is a delicate balancing act for credit unions. You do not want to bombard them with outreach that does not align with their financial situation or goals, but you do still want to inform them of benefits available to them.
For example, without a reminder, members who only use a credit union to purchase a mortgage and do not use it for day-to-day banking may forget to return to that credit union for their next loan. Even if that credit union’s member experience was stellar, a great experience is not enough to keep an organization top of mind for years past the close. To improve member retention, it is beneficial to deploy digital marketing credit union outreach to remind member borrowers that they can relive their lovely credit union member experience, and even take advantage of new services or products.
Credit unions also tend to experience longer times to close than large retail lenders. As the past year has shown, members looking to purchase a home in a hot housing market need to move as swiftly as possible. Retail banks often have the manpower, budget and automated tools to move the mortgage process along faster than smaller regional credit unions. The best way for credit unions to overcome this hurdle is to instead adopt marketing strategies that highlight services and benefits in the credit union member experience that retail lenders simply cannot match.
Ideally, messaging about credit union member experience should be presented to borrowers via timely educational content that gets messages across clearly and consistently. When done effectively, the overall effect of credit union messaging should be to engage and educate clients. Fortunately for credit unions, there are boundless opportunities to engage members today — including social media, SMS text messaging, emails, phone calls and traditional paper mail.
Since the average consumer today is almost always near their mobile device, credit unions would be wise to develop digital mortgage marketing tactics that explore platforms such as Facebook, TikTok and Instagram. Supported by strong search engine optimization and eye-catching content, credit unions can leverage social media to attract more eyes than ever of consumers who could benefit from their services.
Credit union marketing content designed to educate borrowers about the credit union member experience is at its best when it is timely, so members get the most relevant and personalized information as they navigate the homebuying process. Credit unions lacking the bandwidth and budget to prepare tailored outreach for an entire database of members can leverage automated member engagement and management solutions to support their marketing while sticking to their own financial goals.
Credit union marketing and education campaigns are central to the member experience. They raise member awareness about the many services credit unions offer, tell members what the organization is doing to support the community, connect members with educational resources to help them build wealth, and keep members up to speed on how their loans are progressing.
To benchmark the member experience and gain an understanding of where to improve, many credit unions use a Net Promoter Score (NPS). NPS is measured based on how respondents answer a single survey question: “How likely is it that would recommend organization X/product Y/service Z to a friend or colleague?” NPS scores can be used to measure nearly anything, from sentiment about an organization, to a member’s experience taking out a mortgage loan. NPS scores are also best when measured regularly to detect fluctuations in service quality.
When credit unions use NPS to identify areas where members may need additional support, they are able to craft communication and education campaigns that improve member experience.
Credit unions that want to engage current and future members with well-written, educational, award-winning content cannot go wrong with the Surefire customer relationship management (CRM) system by Black Knight, Inc. Surefire’s CRM system and marketing automation software uses real data from borrowers to customize the credit union member experience and help members meet specific needs and financial goals.
Surefire meets member borrowers where they want to be, whether that is via email, text, phone call, or direct mail. Additionally, Surefire allows credit unions to enhance their mortgage marketing and member experience by building drip campaigns that automate personalized outreach. Surefire’s Client for Life workflow is an ideal solution for credit unions looking to foster lifetime engagement with their member borrowers.
Credit unions can also improve member experience by using Surefire to shorten lead conversion and closing times. Surefire’s Power Messaging makes engaging members with personal and timely text message communications simple. Credit union lenders get to decide when, to whom and under which circumstances messages are sent by customizing conditional rules and advanced workflows within the Surefire system.
Surefire even helps credit unions stay top of mind with real estate partners as well. By allowing the activation and customization of automated drip marketing campaigns, Surefire helps credit unions establish and nurture real estate partnerships that drive valuable referral business.
Surefire is so much more than just a CRM. It is a member and customer experience tool designed to enhance all aspects of financial institutions’ marketing. Credit unions that choose Surefire as their member experience tool will be perfectly equipped to keep their members and prospects engaged, educated and supported along every step of their financial journey.