Stats from the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) show a high percentage of members don’t fully understand the difference between a credit union (CU) and a bank. The need to educate consumers on this and other topics offers CUs a rare opportunity to use content as a means to member retention.
Teach your members to be your best customers by helping them to help themselves. Content marketing offers multiple channels for reaching members, if you can get their attention and convince them to consume the information. Here’s why offering educational content to your members is a great way to promote member retention.
Content is gaining ground as an accepted form of communication. Blog posts, white papers, explainer videos and downloadable eBooks are all ways to provide clients with information of value that promotes the convenience of self-service or improves their financial literacy. All these methods are more likely to capture their attention than a sales brochure or pitch.
Educational materials differ from marketing materials. Financial institutions frequently struggle with finding the right way to explain the benefits of their products and services, in language their members understand. Often, member retention comes down to which CU’s offering is more easily grasped, and educational content can pave the way for your members to have a more in-depth comprehension. Keep the materials short and to the point, easy to consume and with a heightened awareness of their relevance.
Information draws traffic to your CU website. Regardless how much time and money you spend on making your site helpful and accessible, unless you can get members to visit it you won’t be able to make much of an impression. Members who come to find answers should be enticed to stay and learn more. A website full of educational materials offers the perfect opportunity to reach clients with industry trends and information they might otherwise simply ignore.
Communication builds trust, by giving you a forum in which to cover issues such as the value and benefits of using one product versus another. By providing useful tips and advice, and tools such as calculators and planners, you can increase your relevance in the lives of your members, gain loyalty and build trust. All of this eventually translates into interchange revenue.
Go the extra mile to identify and understand your members, and develop customer personas for each segment of your audience. Use data to understand their needs at every stage of their financial journey, and look for ways to offer educational resources to support them at every stage of the process.
Make it clear that your education resources are for the benefit of your members and not for the purpose of increasing your sales or profit margins. Focus on teaching them, not selling, by targeting your materials and content at their needs, not yours. This will help cultivate the belief that your CU holds their best interest at heart, and they’ll be more receptive when your employees offer them advice and information than if they are expecting an upsell.
Educating your consumers essentially means enabling individuals to acquire the skills, concepts and understanding they need to use resources to their maximum benefit. Teaching your members to use your CUs products and services to help them manage their financial affairs, build their investment portfolios and develop wealth is both a commitment to your customer and the ultimate fulfillment of a CU’s purpose for existing.
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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