Are you Married to Your Members? - The Importance of Creating Member Relationships
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Are you Married to Your Members? - The Importance of Creating Member Relationships

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On March 23rd, Randy Schutlz, VP Marketing at Weber Marketing Group presented at the 2010 CUNA Marketing and Business Development Conference.

On March 23rd, Randy Schutlz, VP Marketing at Weber Marketing Group presented at the 2010 CUNA Marketing and Business Development Conference.

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Are you Married to Your Members? - The Importance of Creating Member Relationships Are you Married to Your Members? - The Importance of Creating Member Relationships Document Transcript

  • Can this marriage be saved? “Loyalty isn’t enough…”Gallup Research 2009 What I would love for you to go home with from this discussion today is FIVE things you can do to elevate and strengthen that relationship with: *Members *Other staff *Community (or SEG) ….and you never know…there may even be a few tips peppered through here you can use in your PESONAL relationships! Now how often do you get that at a marketing conference presentation? So let’s see if we can get some answers to questions I had posed out to marketers the past couple of months as I put this together… What kind of improvements do I need to make in my marketing to help build the relationship message? What kind of improvements can I put into action without causing a huge uproar internally, but will get buy-in at the staff level that will make a difference when it comes to how we act and talk to members? How do we handle multiple relationships…when we KNOW they’re “cheating” on us with the bank down the road? Is our brand and how we portray it in our branches and with our staff actions really going to make people bank with us? 1
  • fact: 36% of a financial shopper’s decision is driven by brand image Source: JD Powers & Associates, 2009 The fact is…that for the first time EVER the brand (your IMAGE) is the number one factor that helps people choose a banking relationship. It’s more important than locations... convenience... products... service...even rates quite often. And when compared to price, the same study shows us that... 2
  • fact: 65% say brand is equal or more important than price Source: JD Powers & Associates, 2009 how you feel about something is often more important than logic…and price! So the first question you need to answer when you hop on that plane and are reflecting on all the things you’ve seen and heard over the course of this conference, all the people you’ve talked to and…with everything you do at your credit union…all the promotions, all the campaigns…is… 3
  • Are you just speed dating with your members – with no hope of a real commitment? And hoping that both you and the member love what you’re saying without much other effort or thought being put into the relationship? That what we perceive to be good rates, that we’ve given something away like a trip or $25 bucks to bring someone else into the credit union, or hooked them up on our Facebook site…isn’t enough to expect them to be happy with who we are…it’s NOT enough of a foundation to build the relationship and stay… 4
  • We need to do more…truly do everything we can to keep the member happy…make them advocates for us…not simply be satisfied with us…but be loyal to us for a very long time…a kind of marital bliss? And speaking of Advocacy… …as a I looked through so much of the material out there about relationships and Advocacy…it dawned on me that most of it’s about making and measuring members as advocates for US. Why shouldn’t we be showing them in our brand messages, actions, all our touchpoints that we are advocates for THEM? After all…isn’t that the way it is in any good relationship…you are truly advocates for each other, right? So what are some simple ways we can show them we’re there for them. Even visually…something simple that might speak to people who might not even be in a relationship with us yet…but are considering a first date? What about something like this? 5
  • What if instead of Loan Officer, Member Service Representative, Collections…or even CEO…EVERYONES title was MEMBER ADVOCATE? What if…instead of a “Greeter” sign…you have a sign that greets them with “Member Advocate…welcome!” What’s the down side to this if we’re outside looking in? Is there a downside internally? You want to get members to the right people…so you’re advocating for them, right? If they have a question or concern and you can’t answer it…you’re finding someone who can…aren’t you advocating for them that way, too? Simple…easy fix? What do you think? Would this be harder to do at your credit union than it seems to be to me looking in? What are the obstacles…how do we overcome them? This is GROUP think guys…suggestions? STORY: I was on the USS Nimitz last year…took a tour…spent some time with the Captain of that ship…listening to him tell stories about his crew, the ship, the country he serves. HIS title on his name tag wasn’t Captain – it simply read…CMO – Chief Morale Officer. That was what his duty was running that ship…have the best people doing their job the best the could…and keeping the morale for them as individuals and as a team at the highest level possible – why? So they could all feel good about themselves and what they’re doing for each other and for our country. 6
  • It’s again…about being advocates for THEM. Creating experiences for them with the expectation they need to do nothing in return. Isn’t that what GREAT relationships are made of at every level? 7
  • “Members may not remember what you said or did, but they’ll always remember how you made them feel.” …and I think this is something we all have to remember…I have this up on my wall in my office. Not a bad philosophy for everyone at your credit union to have either is it? So…when we look at so many different brands that we use…. 8
  • Do we use them because we’re simply satisfied with them…and that will keep us using them if something better comes along…or are we totally loyal to them – we feel like we have bonded, feel that special something…is a relationship forming? NEXT SLIDE… 9
  • Being Satisfied versus Being Loyal Gallup's research has revealed that customer satisfaction isn't nearly enough to ensure an ongoing relationship. They also learned that "loyalty" isn't enough and that "good" performance is terribly inadequate. That poses a huge problem. As Jim Collins has pointed out in his book Good to Great, too many companies become satisfied with "good" -- and, as he writes, "Good is the enemy of great.“ So is BEING SATISFIED as opposed to BEING LOYAL. You can be satisfied in many ways with your credit union (or bank). I mean…let’s face it…most times when we have completed a transaction we ARE merely satisfied. Have you ever gone home after being wherever it is you bank, sat down for dinner with the family and exclaimed “My goodness…I got a great receipt at the credit union today!” Ya…me either. So how can we expect our members to be “loyal”…really loyal…with everything, everywhere they have to choose from for some many of their needs? 10
  • How many relationships EXERCISE Everyone comfortable? Great…so the first thing I want to do is to have everyone stand. Now…if you’ve had more than one serious relationship in your life…I want you to stay standing. If you’ve had more than 5…stay standing. What about more than 10? Now…I’m making a small assumption here…but since we’re here at a credit union marketing conference and we’re talking about how to build relationships with our members and the consumer…when I asked you about how many relationships you’ve had…you were ALL thinking about BANKING relationships…correct? A relationship…“commond bond”…wow…it’s really what we’re all after in some way isn’t it…personally with someone…or something (I happen to be in what I feel is a committed relationship. We’ve bonded, trust each other…share the same passion for long walks in the mountains and sitting at home in the evening in front of the fire with a nice big bowl of popcorn). With…these two. 11
  • For others…who have searched and found that committed relationship on a personal level…then…as we’d like to think everyone does…begins to look for that perfect financial institution they can also have a relationship with…for richer – for poorer and yes, even in financial sickness and health. Is that realistic? So again…can we expect our members to be faithful to only us? Really…is the term PFI even relevant any longer, or are we kidding ourselves? 12
  • Who are we sharing OUR members relationship with? Can we expect them to have a monogamous (true marriage-type) relationship with us? Because they’re seeing some of these guys on the side…are they really cheating on us? ING, no e-trade or Charles Schwab, Chase or Wells Fargo…or even another credit union? I like to think of these “others” as good friends…maybe someone you go out and golf with…have a beer with…shop for a new pair of shoes with…but when push comes to shove…we want to make sure we’re shoving them in our direction…engaging them. What we MUST realize from the top down…and I mean starting at the volunteer level, CEO and on down…is that we have to continue to try to earn (as in any relationship) – that commitment when it comes to our members and potential members depending upon us for their everyday needs, seeing us as a trusted advisor (especially after being jilted by the big bank industry over the last couple of years…and who even now continue to mess with our heads and our pocketbooks when it comes to finding new ways to squeeze an extra dollar out of us at every turn. 13
  • what you look for in a lasting relationship So let me ask you this…if credit unions are about relationships, and we certainly all talk about it a lot – that’s what BRANDS are made of…why not build a strong brand relationship – an emotional tie that goes to the heart of who we are, what we do and how we act…and how we help others? And if you think about it…isn’t this what we look for in any relationship? I’m going to give you a minute – “hey, I’m doing all the work here” – and I want you to write down what you look for in a good relationship with someone…a person, or maybe your favorite grocer (could be one in the same! LOL). I WANT EACH TABLE TO COME UP WITH FIVE. Break the assignment into tables/groups, designate a spokesperson to gather and answer for the table). GOING TO GIVE YOU ABOUT 5 MINUTES AND WE’LL SEE HOW OUR ANSWERS COMPARE… So where do we go to find help with these kinds of great relationships? I’ve actually found a couple of interesting places if you’re talking about how relationships are handled at a personal level. I’m about dating sites. Sounds a little weird doesn’t it? And, if you go on to some of them…honestly…you can pick up some pretty interesting tips on how to develop messages and copy tone…even target market segmentation that could easily be translated to your site. THIS…NEXT SLIDE 14
  • …ISN’T ONE OF THEM. sugardaddie.com -- hey, these guys had a 4-star rating on their site…although I’m not sure from whom? Their explanation for this is that: The SugarDaddie website is aimed at people who are either seeking a richer person to pamper them, or conversely for richer people looking for someone to lavish gifts upon. When you do a search you specify "golddiggers" or "sugardaddies" (or "sugarmommies"). At least you can be honest about what you are really looking for! I’ll bet you thought I was going to show you some of those boring sites like myspace or match.com or even yahoo (and ya know…a dating site that starts with the word Yahoo? Just not quite sure that’s where you want to go if you’re looking for a relationship…unless that’s who you’re looking for. I think this one is more like marketing our Wealth Management divisions of the credit union, eh? That’s one of the other things we need to talk about when we’re looking for the right person to slip that credit union advocate engagement ring on…is that we’re not right for everyone…just like this site isn’t for everyone…and they’ve made that perfectly clear…here’s who you need to be to use this site. So the take away is, as we all should know…NEXT SLIDE 15
  • “We can’t be all things to all people. But we can be the right place for the right people.” …is that we cant’ be all things to all people. But we can be the right place for the right people. And when we treat them right…at all the right touchpoints…NEXT SLIDE 16
  • advocacy comes from experiences Advocate Happily Married - puts reputation on the line to tell others about you and convinces others to seek you out (not products) Engaged - ready to take the next Happy Member step and appreciates the overall value of what you offer Committed - sticks with Satisfied you as long as you meet their expectations Speed Dating - will Dissatisfied likely leave at next possible opportunity …we can start getting them to buy-in to what we have to offer…start to climb that commitment ladder. And here we are…back at talking about who the advocates are…now, on the member side. And, there are four levels to this advocacy. 17
  • what consumers are looking for in their banking relationship How’s the best way to figure this out? Is there a dating site we can look at to give us a hint? Well…turns out there may be some help at one of them after all…NEXT SLIDE 18
  • e-harmony site Now…I’m not telling you to sign up here…but what if we used this model to segment our target markets we feel are the best fit for our credit union? What if we help consumers match themselves up with the right financial institution and the right products based on a questionnaire? Yes…it’s giving them some power…and power is to be shared in any solid relationship. Or what if we come up with our own…NEXT SLIDE 19
  • dimensions of advocacy R 12 Dimensions of advocacy just like e-harmony’s 29 dimensions of compatibility. So – what are they? Let’s take a look. The first three… NEXT SLIDE… 20
  • physical existence *appearance *vitality *security The first three have to do with Physical Existence. Your Physical Existence. What do we look for in someone…and what do they look for in you? It’s all about a good first impression isn’t it. Appearance, Vitality, Security. Can you look secure (does that translate to knowledgeable, too)? First impressions (what are they wearing…what are WE wearing…are their clothes color coordinated, clean and pressed. Is your branch branded…can people tell where they’re suppose to go when they walk in the door? When you meet someone…what does it mean when they have their arms crossed or have a scowl on their face, or won’t make eye contact with you? So…a good exercise to do when you get home is the same thing we would do if we came out to start a retail branch audit for you. It’s taking pictures of what your branch looks like. Here are a few of some branches we’ve worked on…NEXT SLIDE 21
  • …and obviously…this is a before picture. So - if someone dressed like this office looks….would you date them? Really? 22
  • Here’s another one….kinda looks like a muffler shop doesn’t? NEXT SLIDE… 23
  • When they walk into your branch…do they see wait here, sign in here and wait over there, please wait for next available teller…? I HATE that! When you go back to your credit union…take all those signs and que’s away…that’s right, take them all down. OMG…how will someone know what to do? How about we “talk” to them? And if you have to add some wayfinding signage to assist them…make it fun! How is your credit unions Physicality? This credit union alternates with a couple of its small business clients between having a flower cart people can buy from, or a coffee stand, in the entry way to their lobby. Yes…it can also be more than about how we act and talk…let’s put a little “smell” into the equation. In my experience…a good perfume or cologne is much better for a relationship than a stale odor of who knows what…am I right? 24
  • And you want to build your relationship in your branches with your retail to match you…your brand. If it’s fun…and that’s you…live it out. If you’re more serious…translate it with your merchandising. How are you translating your branch experiences to match who you are and attract the people you want to be engaged with? 25
  • emotional temperature *energy *emotion *passion •Your Emotional Temperature. Comes in many different bottles this one. And this honestly comes from “within” -- it’s your Energy (and that of your employees) It’s the Emotion (or what I hear as “caring” about the relationship when we go out and do brand projects and employee Brand Camps), and finally…the Passion we show in so many different ways. Think about this as we translate that emotion we all want our staff to share with each other…and with the member. We come down from some big Senior Management meeting with a list of 4 initiatives we want our staff to carry out when interacting with our members. Did the staff get asked how they’d like doing any of these…or for input as to what these “4 magical steps” should be? Not ususally. So what if we do this. Have each staff member…support staff and front line staff, each write down 2 or 3 things they can do well and on a consistent basis to engage and help each other and the member when they come in (or heaven forbid when we see them out in the community). Now what have you done? You’ve taken “4” initiatives and multiplied them by …2 or 3 x the number of staff you have. Instead of 4 interactions that most of the staff doesn’t see themselves doing in the first place, you’ve EMPOWERED them to find ways to interact and given them some motivation to make a difference. 26
  • Engaged members start with engaged employees . And that’s how we get to HERE! Your members may be loyal to your brand, but ultimately their engagement level will be based, at least in part, on the service they receive from those that support that brand. That’s your employees. Are they “doing their job” as they perceive it…or listening and going the extra mile for someone…for something that might not even have anything to do with why they’re physically there at that specific time…but just might have something to do with why they bank there. Let me tell you a story that talks about all three of these…Energy, Emotion and Passion. Tell your members about your passion…and show them what it looks like. To fully engage both employees and members, credit unions should employ systems that create a two-way dialogue for gathering comments, suggestions, complaints and compliments. Then the organization needs to manage that feedback and act on the results. Research shows that even when a member or employee complains, if the complaint is resolved quickly, the employee or customer will actually be more loyal to the organization. So one of the way’s to create an open line of communication is to use some internal resources….NEXT SLIDE 27
  • Here…is one that was created by GESA Credit Union…and is used for several different topics…internally…to share announcements, stories and more. In fact…I’d asked Tim Andrew, the AVP Marketing to talk a little bit about it during the presentation at the CUNA Conference, how difficult it was to set up and how it’s help build relationships within the culture at the credit union. Tim…I’m sure, would be happy to talk to any of you if you want to email or give him a call. He’s also a member of the CUNA Marketing and Business Development Advisory Board. This is a great story-telling tool… Are branch stories getting shared with everyone…employees who are going that extra mile to help members…build that relationship? Another way to instill that passion in your employees and share your brand expectations with them is…NEXT SLIDE 28
  • “A brand is a living entity, the product of a thousand small gestures.” – Michael Eisner, former CEO Disney We help clients ramp up their energy, their emotion, their passion with something we call Brand Camp…and it really does get everyone on the same page…talking the same talk – and walking the same walk. There are those in the audience that can attest to it as well…the CEO, a Board member and the Marketing Manager from coast360 all the way from Guam were at the Conference in Washington, DC…and the VP Marketing, Sarah Ryals, from Aventa Credit Union in Colorado Springs. 29
  • stylin’ *sociability *character *adaptability The next three “Dimensions of Advocacy.” This isn’t for YOUR benefit…it’s for the benefit of your members and the community you’re a part of. •What does your Social Style look and sound like? This goes directly to the character of your brand (and that could be taken two ways…personally and how it looks holistically as your credit union). Sociability…interesting…and simply means how you’re perceived…how you’re seen relating in social circles….out in the community. Are your actions truly sincere or do they come across as just another sponsor in the long list of sponsors for a community event. •I think this is the easy (and budget friendly) way for us to address this with management and board. I would say…challenge it…find another solution that works best for you and your members rather than doing it the way you are now – because that’s the way it’s always been done. •Do you have your own event in the community…something you can call your own…or do you simply blend in as part of a long list of sponsors for events? Who does their own? This also goes to your Character and is something that has a huge influence when it comes to your character being judged by your members and potential members as well. •And then…there’s Adaptability (and I think Flexibility, too)…which goes back to that not trying to be all things to all people…as well as being innovative when it comes to who you want to be…a big part of your Brand. 30
  • Here’s a former Teachers Credit Union…who although has changed its name and charter…hasn’t forgotten about it’s history and heritage…and are honoring it not only on an ongoing basis with a generational marketing program that targets more than simply GenY…but also honors teachers specifically for their contributions to our youth. Goes directly to their character doesn’t it…and how they’ve adapted to their new vision. 31
  • And don’t think the banks right now aren’t taking advantage of this sense of community. They’re looking to sway us (our members and consumers) as part of building a strong relationship – and want us to be married to them just as we want that commitment of marriage with us. They’re using the same socialibility, building their own strong character and adapting to what is important to the consumer they’re trying to date in hopes of a longer, more rewarding time to come. 32
  • cognitive interaction *personal *curious *upbeat And here’s the last three… Your Cognitive Interaction. This is how others feel you interact with them. How many of us have had grumpy waiters or waitresses? Notice I didn’t say tellers or loan officers? 33
  • Or a flight attendant who’s been on too many work and turns – and you’re maybe the last flight of the day…or even worse…a pilot that looks this enthused about flying your plane? Not a pleasant personal interaction is it? 34
  • We have to set a good tone…and it has to be everywhere. Consistent message. Your tone…it has to be conversational and personal…connect with who you want to attract and what the perception and truth as you live it out really is about your credit union. As we all know…it’s one thing to tell them about how great we are…but quite another to live it out on a daily basis. It starts with several touchpoints and you really have to work it. Branches, website, drive-thru, Business Development staff, you, volunteers, management and support staff (I hate…yes hate, using back-office terminology) handle problems that your front line employees can’t take care of on the spot. This is being Personal (and that’s more than having them know their name, but listening to what’s going on and what’s important to them…whether it’s sports, their kids, their dogs or whatever), …and then being Curious enough to make sure you’ve not only corrected the problem at hand…but maybe found a better way to do something for everyone in the future (do you encourage that from your employees? Do you let them Champion “Solution Teams”?) How empowered is your staff to handle problems without having to go seek someone out for help…to over-ride something, etc.? – and then maybe sending the member who had the problem that you corrected a thank you note and acknowledging that your interaction just helped other members, too. (When was the last time someone at your credit union did that?). And...Upbeat…all the time. It’s all about setting the right TONE (Spike/USA slide) – this tone…obviously wouldn’t work for everyone…but it helped this credit union grow membership and lower the average age of their membership by over 7 years. 35 ff S
  • Guess this brings the word “CURIOUS” to new levels doesn’t it? Would you be curious to find out more if you saw these ads? Come on now…be honest. Have any of you seen the Virgin money ads before? Copy you probably can’t read here: The best relationships are the long-term ones. And Virgin Money will be there for you if you decide you want to “Make A Baby” , take a break from work or just pay a bill. They go on to tell you how they can even help you make sure you stay on track with your repayment plan…especially if things should pop up…that it’s just one of the ways THEY help keep the love…the relationship alive. About the ad on the right…“The longer you’re in a relationship…the better it should get.” At first I thought they were talking about hedge funds…but turns out they’re talking about trimming your Home Loan Rate…and continuing to do so on the 3rd and 6th anniversary date of the loan. Cool! Or in their words…”a pretty sexy offer.” Interesting Brand Position isn’t it? NEXT SLIDE 36
  • Here’s a GREAT brand position…simply put…CREATE GOOD…. Can anyone tell me what their Brand Position is and how it translates to their customers? And…here’s an example of how a credit union is doing that – Creating Good…NEXT SLIDE 37
  • Rachel Schlanhart, 5, (center) takes the first look at her new mortgage- free home that she and her family won in the Home for the Holidays Home Giveaway from Dort Federal Credit Union Monday afternoon. UPBEAT? Ya…I’d say so. Not only building a relationship with this family…but helping this family build a new sense of what relationships can be all about…personally and financially when you have the right people around you. This also goes back to what we were talking about being part of the community…and not watering down your sponsorships…but selecting something important for someone…besides the credit union. Because if you do it right…you’ll reap the benefits from it in both tangible and intangible ways down the line. 38
  • So how do we keep relationships from turning sour? It’s being consistent and that starts with your brand at every level. It’s about having a strong Brand Position. It’s about determining what kind of personality you have…and then sticking with it at every level…internally and externally. It’s about your staff…and this is an important one. What are they doing, how are they acting, what are they saying, what kind of attitude do they have at work, what are your (and their own) expectations of interacting with the member and out in the community? These need to be identified and talked about with them in a clear and concise manner. It goes along with the kind of messages you’re sending…in tone, style, in your branches, publications and yes…with your staff. Lastly…ya have to live this out at every touchpoint. Not 4 out of 6. Not 9 out of 14. All of them…all of the time. Gaining new members should never be our objective; building member “engagement” should be. 39
  • What else are we missing in our relationships? Take the survey at www.webermarketing.com. Test yourself to see whether you think your members are speed dating, in a relationship with you…or not even giving you a second glance. 40
  • Client Advocate Randy Schultz, VP Marketing randy@webermarketing.com 206.826.0322 Want to learn more…give me a shout, email me…pick up the phone or tweet me at RandySchultzWMG. Thanks! And…good luck! 41