It’s the buzzword of the decade, and it smacks us in the face wherever we go. Millennials, millennials, millennials. Who are they? What makes them tick? How do we get them to engage? As important as it is for you as financial institutions to focus your sights on capturing this young demographic, you are doing a disservice to your member base by neglecting one of the most financially influential and largest generations affecting business every day. You guessed it, 2 words; Baby Boomers.
According to the US News and World Report, this generation remains the most influential when it comes to “economic decision making”. Baby Boomers, defined by the U.S. Census as those born between 1946-1964, are 76 million strong nationwide, and their influence on health care, technology, travel and e-commerce is only growing.
One of the most important facets of retention is understanding the needs of your members, and continually engaging them to see the value and importance of the services they receive from you.
- According to an article in Truvantage: “Member retention is just as important as member acquisition. So the same enthusiasm and data-mining strategies that go into gaining new members should go into improving relationships with existing members. Credit unions that use data analytics to build relationships with members can positively influence retention rates. High member satisfaction levels lead to greater loyalty and referral business. However, all members are not created equal and some relationships are worth more than others. That’s why it’s vital to identify the most loyal and profitable members who can drive revenue at your credit union.”
- Another way to create loyalty and gain retention is by training your staff to be in a “partnership” with your members, not just an order taker. Asking the right questions, giving them the proper training and constant engagement with your member base are all ways that create a feeling of need and comfort. As noted by Celeste Cook of CUInsights, “SHOW (don’t just tell) employees specifically what they can do, say, and/or ask to engage members in the right conversation. As a result, they can offer the right solutions and not just simply respond to a member’s request.
- A defined and credible marketing strategy is another key factor to reaching the demographic you are targeting to maintain retention. Making sure that your data base is accurate and up to date so you can send the proper campaigns to the proper targets is extremely important in these cases. This Credit Union Times article states just that, in it’s simplest form; “Member services, product offerings and interest rates all come into play, but it is important to remember that marketing efforts can strongly influence retention. The best method of executing member marketing initiatives is certainly up for debate, but one thing is certain: in order to up-sell and properly market to members, credit unions must be able to communicate with them. Without the ability to communicate, credit unions are simply unable to educate their members about new offers or special rates.
- Utilizing these strategies not only increases retention rates, but also helps eliminate wasted costs of sending information to people because of inaccurate data. Although it doesn’t seem like much at the time, it all goes to your bottom line, and at the end of the day without retaining your current members with value added solutions, your members are likely to get their solutions from somewhere else. As noted by Joel Curry, managing director of Experian QAS UK, “Improved marketing campaigns and member analytics enable credit unions to streamline operations and reduce costs, but more importantly, enhance the member experience and simultaneously increase up-sell opportunities. “
Do you know your member bases demographic? Are you forgetting to appreciate and edify the members that you have that currently use your suite of services? What else can you offer them to make their life easier? It is important to remember not to “bite the hand that feeds you” as it goes. Your current member base is already a captive audience, and by using these strategies, your members will only become more loyal and your best referral source. Perhaps even to their millennial grandchildren.