The worst word in marketing is…

first_img 40SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Amanda Thomas Amanda is founder and president of TwoScore, a firm that channels her passion for the credit union mission and people to help credit unions under $100 million in assets reach … Web: Details Imagine you are in a new relationship.  It’s been a great few weeks.  You’ve spent many evenings talking until the wee hours learning about each others’ families, friends, careers, childhood, and dreams for the future.  Then comes the first time you celebrate your birthday with this special someone and you get…a grocery store gift card.Don’t get me wrong – grocery store gift cards are awesome.  Free groceries – yeah!  Grocery gift cards are something most everyone would find useful because we all eat and need things like toiletries and cleaning products.  However, in a more intimate relationship, a grocery store gift card might cause your significant other to think that you don’t know them or don’t care enough to think about something that would be special to them specifically.Marketing is another word for relationship communication.  And relationships mean an active effort by both parties to get to know the other – things they love, things they want, things that are important to them.  While having a solid and enticing offer is vital for marketing to be successful, knowing your audience is the other essential part of the process.You wouldn’t buy the exact same birthday gift for all of your friends, so why do so many credit unions try to attract everyone at the same time?  If your credit union is not having success with its marketing, get your team together and ask this important question: whom should this credit union serve?“Everyone” is an answer that will set your marketing up to fail.“Our job is to connect to people, to interact with them in a way that leaves them better than we found them, more able to get where they’d like to go.”  – Seth GodinConnecting with everyone is impossible because everyone has different needs and things that are important to them.  Based on what your credit union offers, your job is to determine whom it would help the most and how you can best connect with them.  Here are some steps to help you to determine the best target market(s) for your credit union.Look at your employees.  Who are they?  What are they like?  You want to make sure that the target market(s) you choose see similar people when they come into the branches so they feel welcome and not out of place.Look at your branches.  What does your office location(s) look like?  What kind of atmosphere does the credit union have when you walk in?Look at your product lineup.  Which type of person(s) would find this most attractive as a banking option?  Who needs those products the most?Look at your members.  Who are your best members?  What are their lives like?  Looking for commonalities among your best members are a great way to help determine whom your target audience(s) should be.  It is also likely that the credit union would be attractive to other people like those members.Look at your community.  Who are the underbanked/underserved in your area?  It doesn’t necessarily mean the people with the lowest income or specific demographic groups.  Look for groups that may be being overlooked by other financial institutions in the area.When someone chooses to bank with your credit union, they are choosing you.  The same goes for your marketing – you are choosing the people you are best suited to serve so you can have a great relationship with them for what is hopefully a very long time.  Just as you tell everyone you know about a new great person in your life, knowing your members and serving them well will ultimately result in them telling everyone they know about their awesome credit union.last_img read more

How to screw your members (and get away with it)

first_img 99SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Bo McDonald Bo McDonald is president of Your Marketing Co. A marketing firm that started serving credit unions nearly a decade ago, offering a wide range of services including web design, branding, … Web: Details How was your last visit to the DMV? Did you walk right in, waltz up to an open window, renew your license, and leave within five minutes? How about your trip to the prescription counter at your neighborhood drugstore? If you did, please forward me your secret. Forbes magazine lists shoddy customer service as #6 in the top ten of consumer complaints.You may not mean to screw your members.  In fact, you probably want just the opposite. But when you turn a blind eye to service standards and focus on growth despite poor service, that’s exactly what you’re doing. Your members have made a conscious decision: “Hey, I’m going to trust you with my hard-earned paycheck. I’m even going to do one of the most vulnerable things a human can do—share my finances with you—so I can borrow some of your money.”What do they often get in return? A loan officer who can’t be bothered to return a phone call. A teller who is too busy snapchatting. A team leader who is too task saturated to recognize there’s a problem with either one of those scenarios. How’s that for a “thank you” to those members who have chosen you above any of the dozen options within a few miles of your branch?Businesses are losing $62 billion per year due to poor customer service. (To put it in context, that’s up $20 billion since 2013 or a 210% increase in just four years.) Here’s some additional perspective for you:If a member follows up multiple times regarding the same issue, this is often considered “multiple problems” because it takes separate amounts of time to contact support and get a resolution.Bad service enables small single problems to turn into multiple larger issues. Too often the opportunity to fix the initial issue is missed. The risk of members leaving is already scary enough, but a large base of price sensitive (read: I’m totally in this for myself) mass transit to another financial institution is a given.When I was a radio DJ, statistics showed that no more than 2% of your listeners would pick up the phone and call in. The same holds true for unhappy members. Most of your members won’t bother contacting you when they run into an issue. Instead, they’ll sit in silence, holding a grudge. To make matters worse, they will not even consider you the next time they need a loan.A recent survey done by American Express found that while 46% of Americans say they always tell others about good service experiences, more people say they talk about poor service. In fact, 60% said they always share the bad experience. Plus, they tell nearly three times as many people. Good news: You’re getting that coveted “word of mouth marketing” for free. Bad news: It may be costing you dearly.What’s the true cost of turning a blind eye to poor service?86% of consumers said they’ve quit doing business with a company due to a bad customer experience.51% of consumers admitted they’d only try to contact support once before giving up on a purchase.When asked about why they’d given up on a company’s customer support, 73% of customers cited incompetent (and rude) replies as their primary reason.Loyal customers are cheaper to retain and are willing to spend more. 78% of them will recommend your product to others after a great experience.Think you’re doing great when it comes to service? While 80% of companies believe they provide a “superior customer experience,” only 8% of customers agreed.My advice is this: before you start budgeting for marketing in 2018, understand how much opportunity might be lost due to poor service. Does your member experience truly live up to what you think the experience is? So much focus is being put on growth at credit unions that current members are being overlooked. “But we already have them!” Yup. But do you have all of their business? Could you be earning more by treating them well and asking for additional ways to serve? Remember, you’re serving a member, not a life sentence. Learn how to enjoy your work.last_img read more

Swiss multi-employer schemes criticise regulator over risk proposals

first_imgHowever, Sergio Bortolin, president of the association of collective pension funds in Switzerland, the Inter-Pension, said this policy “cannot be executed”.  Bertolin – who is also managing director of the CHF16bn (€14bn) Asga multi-employer pension fund – argued that the regulation was “completely superfluous” as local authorities already had the means to assess the risks related to collective pension plans.“The OAK is exceeding its authority with this directive,” he added. Asga is the largest independent Gemeinschaftseinrichtung in Switzerland, serving over 12,000 companies, mostly SMEs. It would not fall under the new regulation as companies joining with their pension plans are integrated into the overall risk and return structure.In Sammelstiftungen, however, each client – whether a one-person business or one with 1,000 employees – has a separate pension plan within the collective.In the note published with its draft proposal, the OAK said the current legal framework only included very few special regulations for collective pension plans.The regulator cited such Sammelstiftungen’s “complex structures” and the fact that multi-employer pension plans operated in competition with other providers.“Compared to company pension plans these characteristics provide additional requirements particularly regarding governance, transparency and security of funding,” the OAK stated.Swiss stakeholders have until mid-January 2019 to comment on the draft during the consultation phase. The top Swiss pension supervisor Oberaufsichtskommission (OAK) wants to give local regulators more power over multi-employer schemes, as more pension plans are being transferred.With increasing regulatory demands and a continued low interest rate environment, many smaller company pension plans have been joining so-called Sammelstiftungen – collective foundations – or other Gemeinschaftseinrichtungen, which are multi-employer plans organised in a vehicle other than a foundation.Additionally, Axa Winterthur – a major pension provider to small and medium-sized businesses – announced earlier this year that it would no longer offer full insurance cover for its 40,000 clients but instead offer them individual pension plans, transferring some of the risk to these businesses.Under the amended regulatory framework proposed by the OAK, each of these individual plans would have to be assessed by an expert who would look at longevity risk, investments and other parameters.last_img read more