3 ways to help your members (and prevent delinquency) before they know they need it

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Mature financial planner sitting at his desk in an office working online with a laptop and going over documents

“There is no greater loan than a sympathetic ear.” – Frank Tyger

With many credit unions closing their lobbies and opting for drive-thru transactions and electronic servicing to practice safe social distancing, remember that this is a great opportunity to deepen relationships and increase member loyalty through proactive advising and empathy.  Many members are facing uncertainty with work, finances, and health. Now is the time they need an advisor or financial mentor the most. Being proactive with calling efforts to reach members before their financial bump becomes a financial hurdle can pay dividends not just for the member but for the credit union.

Below are some tips on providing next-level member service and how it can positively impact your financial outlook for 2020.

  • Email Messaging. Many members will be looking at hurdles or financial struggles in the coming months. One of the worst things that can happen is feeling helpless or alone through trying times. Craft a message to your members expressing the desire to help them through these tough times with empathy and no judgement. Give them viable methods to reach out to your team to discuss their unique financial situation and options they can consider to be best for them. The majority of your membership want to make good, on-time payments and the worst thing that can happen is for them to try to manage their credit, bills, and obligations without an understanding of what the best path is through burdens outside their control.
  • Loan Closing. Upon loan closings, your team should inform the member that the relationship goes much further than just signing the documents. Explain to the member how the credit union team is there to help in any instance. If there is ever a thought that a late payment might be made, the member should contact a representative immediately to begin looking at options to protect their credit score, payment history, and help them face the problem. A credit union can do much more in 30 days leading up to a missed payment than 30 days after. Help the member to understand this and it will lead to increased communication and deeper relationships.
  • Short-term Late Payments. Take a look each day at loans 5-20 days past due. Reach out to these members to discuss how you can help. Many of these members may not visit a branch often and do not have a current relationship with any teammates as they are mostly serviced online. Some of these late payments may be due to memory lapse or a minor mismanagement of funds but you won’t know unless you ask. For some, this may be the first sign that they are experiencing financial hardship. This is a great opportunity to prevent a future credit history problem for the member and avoid a collection account for the credit union.
  • Daily NSF Reports. Instruct your branch leadership review the NSF or overdraft activity at the start of each day to find members who may need help. Of course, some of the overdrafts may be payments at other institutions or various bills elsewhere. You may find opportunities to help still depending on what they are paying and what their income situation is like currently. If the member is overwhelmed by the payment sizes due to a reduced income, branch leadership can look at what options the credit union may have available to refinance, consolidate, or lower those payments to keep the members credit history intact. Proactive calling, building the relationship, and being the advisor when needed can help increase that member’s loyalty towards this credit union now and in the future.

Each member’s situation is unique and needs to be treated as such. Due to this, it is of utmost importance to express empathy for what the member is experiencing.  Your team may just be the only one willing to help. It’s up to your team to be proactive and help the members.

Each member has different needs and deserves empathy.

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Reh Harvey

Vice President of Digital Strategy

Reh Harvey, our Vice President of Digital Strategy, leads with diligence and fervor. Having previously been a member of Team YMC, he is excited to return to such an amazing culture and even more amazing people (his words)! Through his experience in the marketing world, he’s found the key to success is to stay on the cutting edge and to always keep evolving.
 
Although originally drawn to marketing for its lack of math, Reh now finds himself doing more math than he would’ve bargained for. But his self discipline and positive attitude make it easy for him to laugh and take it in stride. Hoping to one day visit Japan and enjoy some premium Sushi, Reh lives life by his creed: Be a good human. Do good work. And above all, just keep going.

Hailey Madej

Graphic Designer

As YMC’s in-house Graphic Designer, Hailey possesses an eye for detail and a drive to innovate. It’s no surprise though since being creative runs in the family! Inspired from an early age by her mom’s work as a Graphic Designer, Hailey is a seasoned expert whose talents bring vitality and accessibility to every project. As a UX/UI designer, she expertly blends the intuitive and the creative for all to enjoy.
 
In addition to the occasional freelance project, Hailey also lends her abilities to supporting art initiatives within her community, such as the Belleville Mural Project. Her favorite aspect of joining the YMC team is the friendly, uplifting culture and breadth of design tasks. When it comes to marketing, she believes in pushing boundaries and maybe breaking some rules to capture her audience’s attention. Her advice to those just starting out? “Always seek quality over quantity.”

Dexter Ochoa

Development Assistant

When it comes to blending logical thinking and creative problem solving, Dexter’s abilities are undeniable! Beginning his career as a Web Developer, he’s no stranger to the wide world of Marketing and Advertising. Calling Biñan City in the Philippines home, Dexter has a burning desire to visit the Alpine peaks and valleys of Switzerland. While that journey may be far off, he is still no stranger to international travel. While visiting Japan, he was able to enjoy his favorite delicacy: Sushi and Sashimi. He also learned unexpected facts about Japanese Yen, specifically that it has special markings for the blind to know its value!

Living life by his motto to “Do good even if the world is unfair,” Dexter would also advise his younger self, “It’s hard, but you’re doing good!” Whether he’s enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning or the occasional Pale Pilsen in the evening, Dexter is eager to work with the talented professionals of YMC, and we’re just as eager to add his talent to the team as well! His marketing words of wisdom? “Be creative, and just do what you want!”

Andrew Wyche

Copywriter

Hailing from the NC state capital (that’s Raleigh if you didn’t know), Andrew is YMC’s Copywriter extraordinaire. That’s why he knows that “The verb form of ‘reconnaissance’ is ‘reconnoiter.’ The former is, strictly speaking, a noun.” Seriously, he knows his words and he’ll use those words to get bold and weird (in a good way) with his copy. Fuelled by a love for pasta, shellfish, a good single malt, or a meal consisting of all three, Andrew navigates life with a motto engraved in his heart: “Choose kindness. Always.” It is this guiding principle that has led him to explore the realm of marketing, driven by a desire to connect with people in meaningful ways. As he continues to chase his dreams, one bucket list item stands out above the rest – a pilgrimage to Scotland. With his heart set on adventure and his pen poised for creativity, Andrew’s journey is far from over.

Alex VanHaasteren

Senior Web Developer

Alex is YMC’s Senior Web Developer and, as the title suggests, she is an absolute pro! While she initially started in graphic design – working long and hard to expertly bring concepts to life – she also felt drawn to technology and applying her natural ability to problem solve. Web Development proved the perfect blend of her creative passion and technical savvy.

When Alex is out with friends – including her YMC colleagues – she’s up for Greek cuisine or some good pulled pork BBQ washed down with Diet Coke. Or an Old Fashioned, if the occasion demands. Someday, she hopes to go to Africa on a safari. Hopefully she’ll see a giraffe in the wild, because – as she’s pointed out – its neck is too short to reach the ground!

When she isn’t jamming out to T-Swift, she’s happy to impart some marketing words of wisdom, “Aim to create something unforgettable.” For day-to-day inspiration, she would remind you of two fundamental truths: You decide your happiness, and Ice cream is its own food group—not just a dessert.

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