Tar­get­ing loans, check­ing helps grow mem­ber­ship

CREDIT UNION: FI­NAN­CIAL RE­SOURCES FED­ERAL CREDIT UNION CAT­E­GORY: MEM­BER­SHIP GROWTH NOM­I­NATED BY: HABERFELD AS­SO­CI­ATES

Credit Union Journal - - Special Report - BY W.B. KING

BY IM­PLE­MENT­ING MEM­BER ACQUISI-tion strate­gies tar­geted at check­ing and loan re­la­tion­ships, Fi­nan­cial Re­sources Fed­eral Credit Union in­creased its core mem­ber­ship growth sig­nif­i­cantly.

“We be­gan by in­tro­duc­ing a new man­age­ment/coach­ing role within our retail group that was ded­i­cated to pro­vid­ing over­sight and sup­port for front­line sales and ser­vice ini­tia­tives,” said Fi­nan­cial Re­sources FCU COO Frank Almeida. “We re­viewed an ini­tial set of pro­cesses look­ing to stream­line and make it eas­ier for mem­bers to do busi­ness with the credit union when­ever pos­si­ble.”

To en­sure goals would be met, the $453 mil­lion, Bridge­wa­ter, Nj-based credit union con­nected with the Lin­coln, Neb.-based Haberfeld As­so­ci­ates. Almeida said the firm’s so­lu­tion was in line with the CU’S “over­all philoso­phies and ap­proach.” Next steps in­cluded re­design­ing check­ing prod­ucts, re­view­ing and elim­i­nat­ing associated ac­count fees, re­fresh­ing mar­ket­ing col­lat­eral, re­design­ing the ac­count open­ing process and im­ple­ment­ing a di­rect mail cam­paign.

“Ev­ery mem­ber of Fi­nan­cial Re­sources Fed­eral Credit Union’s team works en­thu­si­as­ti­cally to bring in new core mem­bers. They are en­gaged and mo­ti­vated to reach the credit union’s goals and that en­ergy is demon­strated in the ex­cel­lent re­sults over the past year,” said Haberfeld As­so­ci­ates’ Ac­count Ex­ec­u­tive Danielle Stahl­necker. “Their strong lead­er­ship and cul­ture em­anates through­out the credit union.”

Com­par­ing pre- and post-launch sta­tis­tics un­der­scores strong cam­paign re­sults, ex­plained Almeida. For ex­am­ple, new mem­ber check­ing ac­count open­ings are up 91 per­cent. Busi­ness check­ing has in­creased by 104 per­cent, loan vol­ume (branch loans by dol­lar) is up 31 per­cent and credit card pro­duc­tion in­creased by 17 per­cent.

“We ap­proached this as more than a retail ef­fort, but rather a credit union wide ini­tia­tive. From the board and ex­ec­u­tive lead­er­ship team, back of­fice staff, retail team mem­bers and for our new hires in their ori­en­ta­tion and train­ing so that ev­ery­one knew and un­der­stood their role in the pro­gram’s suc­cess,” noted Almeida.

Crit­i­cal to the suc­cess of the ini­tia­tive has been the CU’S “com­mit­ted and car­ing team” that Almeida said “truly wants to do right by both our mem­bers and the credit union.” He added that ini­tia­tives like these, while im­por­tant to the CU’S suc­cess, should also be fun.

“By the very na­ture of what we do we spend a lot of time fo­cused on var­i­ous mea­sure­ments re­lated to per­for­mance and suc­cess where it be­comes very easy to lose site of the peo­ple and pro­cesses in­volved and for our true over­all pur­pose of ser­vice,” he said.

Fi­nan­cial Re­sources FCU in­tro­duces pro­mo­tional themes ev­ery four to six weeks. Each branch cre­ates its own theme and then dec­o­rates, in­tro­duces associated tag lines and looks to tie into the fea­tured give­away or prod­uct.

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