Members know what they want from their credit union. Will credit unions listen?

As the financial industry is shifting towards a customer-centric focus, many banks and credit unions have outlined strategic priorities to transform customer experiences with innovative products and services. To much surprise, a research study conducted by PYMTS and PSCU reveals that there is a large disconnect between what members are looking for and what credit unions (CUs) are prioritizing, in terms of areas of innovation. In particular, loyalty offers are ranked as number one by members, yet it is only ranked 7th on CU’s priority list. This disconnect presents a threat for CUs as digital banks or other fintech competitors can easily fill this loyalty experience gap. In fact, 42% of decision-makers at financial institutions admit that digital disruptors are challenging established financial organizations when it comes to customer loyalty.

credit union infographic

Members consider loyalty offers as must-haves from your credit union, yet many #CreditUnions consider these offers as nice-to-haves. This disconnect is a massive opportunity CUs are not capitalizing on.

To remain competitive in the market and deepen member relationships, your CU must keep loyalty rewards top of mind when making strategic business decisions. To successfully implement loyalty offers, there are 3 key areas for you to consider.

1. Using the right delivery channel is half the battle for engagement. 

Many credit unions still deliver offers through direct mail. However, this is the most costly method compared to other digital delivery channels and it is often difficult to measure engagement and conversion.

To ensure high engagement with your loyalty offers, determining the right channel to engage is key. One metric for digital engagement is click-through rate (CTR), which measures recipient interaction based on the message. Based on the 2019 Marketing Benchmark Report by Acoustics, Push through a mobile app has the highest click through rate: 

Click through Rate By Channel

Not surprisingly, this suggests that delivering content through your mobile app will generate the highest engagement, especially coupled with push notification to further amplify the results.

2. It’s not just about discounts, offer relevancy is more important.

Loyalty offers cannot just be about providing discounts. Instead, you need to curate timely and personalized offers that enable members to connect with your CU on a deeper level. Loyalty is about developing a long-term relationship with your members where your CU becomes their trusted go-to institution to fulfill their financial needs. 

For example, sending generic promotional messages to mass members about an offer for 20% off car accessories might annoy members who don’t have a car. In fact, 74% of consumers become frustrated when offers or content presented are not relevant, which leads to negative sentiment towards your brand. You should instead use transaction history and account data to present such an offer to individuals who would find it valuable. For example, new parents who have just been approved for an auto loan and are looking to purchase a car seat. 

Having personalized loyalty offers not only improve your members experience, but they will also improve revenue by 10-30% as well. 

3. Don’t let planning be the bottleneck.

If it takes you 3 months to plan a loyalty offer, chances are that offer is no longer relevant to your members by the time it’s launched. Your CU needs to shift the mindset of planning campaigns from months ahead, to days. Turnkey solutions can enable the mobile app to be dynamic and flexible to quickly address your  members’ changing needs and market forces.

The bottom line is that your members consider loyalty offers as must-haves from your credit union, yet many CUs consider these offers as nice-to-haves. If CUs do not start delivering loyalty offers, members will start migrating to those institutions that can provide what they are looking for.

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