Don’t be so serious

In my recent quest to clean up the website and try to squeak out some performance gains, I have been looking at different CDN (Content Delivery Network) providers to host all of my static files, like images.  Rackspace has a service they call Cloud Files that enables you to save files to the proverbial “cloud” for $.15 per GB, exactly like Amazon’s S3 offering.  Rackspace, however, has a CDN built in to their online file storage.  Long story short, I went to their site to sign up and try it out.

What in the world does this have to do with credit unions?  Well, I never finished the sign-up process and the next day I received this email:

How cool is that!  Not only can they tell that I didn’t finish the setup process, but they are providing me an incentive to come back and finish.  Credit unions are just beginning to get into opening accounts online, but they can take a page out of the Rackspace playbook.  First off, they have the technology to make this happen, so make sure your online account vendor can do this.  Secondly, they don’t take any kind of holier-than-thou attitude about why the potential member didn’t finish.  Finally, they provide an incentive to come back.  “Outbound calling”, aka hounding indirect auto loan customers, would do well with some like this.

Here’s my version:

Hey Joe,

We noticed that you didn’t complete your online (insert product name here) application yesterday.  If you have any questions about the process or just need someone to talk to, feel free to give me a call directly at 888-888-8888 or call into our Member Service Center at 888-8888-7777.  Oh, and by the way, we really value the business of all of our members, so if you’d like to finish the application online or come into a branch, enter in your discount code of ALMOSTGOTAWAY and we’ll give you another .5% on your (insert product name here).

Robbie Wright

ABC Credit Union

Successful Internal Promotions

Over the past few years, we’ve done a lot of different types of internal promotions for our employees.  We’ve tried the Get-Away-Today (which was less than stellar), gift cards, movie tickets, days off, a treasure hunt, car wash, jeans day, and Starbucks just to name a few.  So what does it take for an internal promo to be successful?

  1. Fun and different.  Find something your staff like and give it a whirl.  (Our recent Coach purse promotion went great!)
  2. Once you find something fun and different, don’t do it again for at least a year!  The novelty wears off.
  3. You must have the ability to provide at least daily updates for all staff.  Real-time is ideal, but I’m always shocked to hear how poor most sales reporting is in CU’s (mainly a function, or a lacking function, of CU cores).
  4. SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Time-bound).  If the goals are perceived as unattainable for whatever reason, they won’t get hit.
  5. Find a way to get all employees involved, not just front-line staff.

Our most successful internal promotion we’ve ever had was dubbed Fantasy Checking.  In Oregon, the Civil War game (U of O Duck vs the OSU Beavers) is quite the big deal.  So in the spirit of the game, we had each of our staff create a Fantasy Checking Team.  We setup a little app on our intranet home page where all employees of the CU picked one employee from each branch and answered a tie breaker question.  Each individual seller, branch, and fantasy team were ranked on the home page for everyone to see and the data was updated every 15 minutes.  We had VP’s, accounting, eft, is, tellers, branch managers, and all sorts of other employees setup teams.  Some of the more proactive "coaches" even called our tellers and FSR’s before hand to see who they should pick and called them throughout the promotion to see what was happening!  At the end of the promo, we had a prize for each branch who hit their checking goal, prizes for the top fantasy teams, and we threw a tailgate party in the parking lot of our administration center.

We blew our goal out of the water and had our largest checking account month in the history of the company. 

Long story short, get all your people involved, keep everyone updated frequently, and make the promo fun and different!



Gaining some efficiency (and cross sales!)

I see everyone’s had a nice little vacation this past week. Not too much action in the CU blogging world! But last week was a busy one for me!

Just last week, I put the final touches (I guess I’m actually just getting started now) on our new “New Account Process”. I just got the CEO to sign off on our new contract with Andera, a FiServ company that specializes in providing online membership and share account opening. Not only will our FSR’s no longer have to do triplicate entry to open a new membership anymore, it’ll take the time down from over 30 minutes to about 10 minutes! Now with all of that extra time, our FSR’s will be able to do some more effective cross selling because they’ll have the potential member’s credit report in front of them to!!

AND we are now going to be able to full open, and fund, new accounts online!! How cool is that! Now I just have to figure out how to get the high-yielding savings account thing figured out. But I think I’m almost there……..