Who Do You Trust? Would Your Credit Union Members Say It Is You?


Be it in our personal or professional lives, relationships are built on trust. Although services and products are undeniably important, the key to building any great relationship begins with your customers trusting you. People trust those they believe have their best interests at heart, and distrust those who have only their own interests in mind. Perhaps most importantly, they distrust those who pretend to be the first, but behave like the second.

Do your customers trust that you have their best interests in mind with the credit union member services you offer? In other words, has your credit union hijacked the idea of trust for sales-based motives? Before you say no, think about a popular marketing strategy: developing customer loyalty. Today, the term is often used in conjunction with getting customers to purchase more products and services. Customers are smart. If they sense you are talking the relationship talk, but not walking the walk, they themselves will walk – the other way.

Building Trust with Your Credit Union Members

Is your credit union focused on building a solid, trusting relationship with its members? Caught up in cross-selling and meeting monthly quotas, it can be easy to lose sight of what your members’ true needs are. Members are not just customers, they are people with real needs. For example, a customer may want to switch to online banking, but doesn’t know how your website or app works. Is there someone in their branch willing to invest the time and effort it takes to help them set it up?

Credit unions are about “people helping people.” Are you living up to that motto? There are steps that can be taken to implement a successful relationship strategy with your members.

  • Actions not Words. “Trust Us.” Sounds good, but trust is not a marketing campaign. Instead, it’s an internal process that educates staff on how to help customers relate. It’s true that credit union members report the highest satisfaction levels among all financial institutions. That’s terrific, but it’s also true that member satisfaction with their credit unions dropped to a four-year low in 2016.
  • Focus on the Member. The key to building member trust is to stop viewing everything as it relates to the credit union and believe that when you do good for your members, the credit union will naturally benefit. That’s because nothing motivates repeat business or customer referrals like a trust-based relationship.

Credit Union Member Services to Build Trust

Studies show the five things members appreciate most about their credit unions are:

  • Availability of products and services.
  • Ease of making account changes.
  • Interest rate competitiveness.
  • Understanding their accounts.
  • Courtesy and helpful staff.

Is your credit union measuring up? As your credit union grows, it can be easy to lose sight of the importance of an excellent customer experience. A true member-based focus depends on building customer relationships over competitor-focused strategies.

It’s a credit union’s responsibility to establish trust with its members. Empower your staff with the resources they need to build credibility and deepen trust with customers. Position yourself as a trusted advisor. Show genuine concern and a willingness to help your members above and beyond the basics. Finally, deliver what you promise, each and every time.

Through technology, branch assets, people skills, and financial expertise, credit unions are in a perfect position to gain and retain their members’ trust. Give your members the peace of mind that comes from a trusting relationship and your credit union’s own success will surely follow.

About the Author

John Best

John Best


Best Innovation Group

John Best is recognized as a thought leader and visionary of technology advancements and financial application development within the credit union industry.


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