How credit unions can attract and retain next generation members

Guest post by Kevin O’Donnell, Vice President, Discover Network

How well do you know your members? According to a recent Millward Brown study, the average age of a credit union’s members is about 46 years old. Fifty-one percent are women, and more than half earn between $25,000 and $75,000 per year. Nearly 60 percent are married, and about a third have children living at home.

But here’s something to chew on: Just 8 percent of credit union members are between 18 and 24 years old, the coveted Millennial demographic.

You could say that small statistic doesn’t matter much. After all, as the Millennials age, they’ll likely join credit unions in numbers to match their parents and grandparents — or not.

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Zen and the Art of Operational Excellence

The classic 1970s novel ‘Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’ spends a couple of hundred pages exploring the question of how you define quality, among many other things, including motorcycle maintenance.  I don’t remember anything at all it said about spark plugs, but the discussion of what the term ‘quality’ means really stuck with me.

In a meeting last week someone made the observation that they thought their organization was ‘world-class’ when it came to operational excellence.  I’m not sure that I would agree, having experienced first-hand their service as a client. That reminded me of the book — how do you define operational excellence in the context of a credit union, without just falling back on the ambiguity of ‘I know it when I see it’?

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Five Questions to Ask About Your Credit Union’s Website

Does your credit union analyze its website traffic? Digging into your website analytics can give you a feel for the scope of your website as a communication vehicle, help you understand characteristics about your members and prospects, and uncover new marketing opportunities for your credit union. Designed for the busy executive, here are five questions to help jumpstart a conversation with your web and/or marketing team.

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Dealing with Interchange: Over the Horizon or Over The Rainbow

One of the most important responsibilities of a leader is to look out over the horizon and detect threats and opportunities, and then translate the vision into action for the organization.  This is the essence of strategic planning, and stands in firm opposition to the ‘hope and pray’ school of thought, which is to let competitors and exogenous variables dictate your future, and hope for a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow to solve your problems. Trust me, clicking your heels three times isn’t likely to yield a winning strategy! 🙂

Strategic planning outlines the handful of choices that drive the subsequent decisions and actions of the company, and which have the greatest impact on whether objectives will be achieved.  Let me start with a definition of strategy, so we’re all on the same page.

Strategy is the direction and scope of an organization over the long-term towards achieving its objectives; which achieves advantage for the organization through its configuration of resources within a challenging environment, to meet the needs of markets and to fulfill stakeholder expectations.

That’s a mouthful – so let’s break it down into the specific questions that strategic planning answers-

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3 strategies for redesigning your credit union checking accounts

If you are an executive at a credit union, the odds are overwhelming that you’ve been debating whether to continue free checking accounts in the wake of recent legislative and regulatory developments. And if you do decide to charge for checking, what fee(s) make sense, who to charge it to (and who not to), whether to tier it based on total profitability of a member, what the competition is going to do, and so on.

Whew – that’s a lot to think about, but let’s not forget the popular saying – with every challenge comes opportunity. And with these challenges, credit unions are faced with a choice: Stay with the status quo or innovate. Let me help you with that decision – INNOVATE. 🙂

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