We need new members! It’s a cry I hear often from credit union leaders, but when I ask why they aren’t attracting new members with their credit union marketing, there is never a good answer. If you follow this blog and my podcast you know one of my big rules is to “ask a freaking question” to gain perspective.
With the constant follies of Wells Fargo and complaints about the big banks, why do consumers stay stuck in that unhealthy relationship when we know they will be treated better at your credit union?
Here are a few reasons why it’s difficult to get new members to bring their full relationship to your credit union:
- Inconvenience: Switching banks can be a time-consuming and inconvenient process, which can discourage consumers from making a change. In their minds, it’s just not worth the hassle to make such a big change.
- Perceived high costs: Consumers may also believe that switching banks will come with high costs, such as closing fees or fees associated with opening a new account, which can make them hesitant to switch.
- Lack of information: Some consumers may not be aware of the other options available to them or the benefits of switching to another bank. Oh, how often I hear, “But our credit union is the best-kept secret!” Yes, and that’s not something to brag about.
- Fear of the unknown: Consumers may be afraid of the unknown and unsure of what to expect if they switch to a new bank, which can also contribute to their reluctance to leave their current bank. It’s no different than the fear of change you have as a credit union leader to switch core processors or make big changes.
- Loyalty: Consumers might have a sense of loyalty to their current bank and might be willing to overlook certain shortcomings because of their long-standing relationship. As much as they complain, they are thinking, “I guess it’s not THAT bad.”
- Perceived lack of options: Depending on where they live, some consumers feel they don’t have many other options for banking services in their area. This is especially true in smaller, rural areas.
So, is it a pointless task to try and grow new members and new checking accounts at your credit union? Only if you see these as insurmountable obstacles instead of opportunities. There’s a lot you need to overcome but if you examine your member experience, remove the friction from the process and market well, you can attract and retain more ideal members at your credit union.