Have you ever wondered why it takes so long to gain new members for your credit union? Well, let’s spend a few moments and take a closer look. As it turns out, there are several misconceptions surrounding the industry.
3 Common Credit Union Myths That Hinder Membership
Eligibility. A common misconception is that most people think credit unions are an exclusive club. They feel that since credit unions exist to serve a specific group (such as college alumni or a particular industry), they don’t qualify. That used to be the case. But, since rules and regulations have been relaxed, membership eligibility is much broader than it used to be. Conveying that to a potential member could make all the difference.
Accessibility. Many people think that just because they don’t see a credit union on every corner, access is much more limited. However, most credit unions share a banking network. This network opens up access to ATMs and other independent branches, depending on how the network is structured. Communicating the shared network concept to potential members will open up their understanding a bit. Let them know that while they may not see as many physical locations, they will certainly have access to their money.
Switching is Difficult. Many banks have automatic bill pay services, which puts forth the idea that switching to a credit union would be more cumbersome than it actually is. It usually takes one bad customer service experience to encourage people to look elsewhere. When they are in those frames of mind and start looking at your credit union, make sure they understand how easy it is to switch. Most credit unions have free “switch kits” to make the process a lot smoother.
Don’t Lose Members!
That last point is double-edged, for sure. The points mentioned previously shed understanding on why it can be so difficult to gain new members. That last point cuts both ways, though.
Customer service is everything. This is what sets the credit union industry apart. Rather than approaching potential members from the perspective of an informal financial institution, credit unions present an emphasis on customer service. When members feel like their needs are met, and they are really valued, they are less likely to look for other places to serve their financial needs.