Credit Union Challenges and Opportunities: Balancing Recovery Rates and Member Retention

Credit Union Challenges and Opportunities

Many organizations rely on customer loyalty to thrive. Credit unions (which must maintain membership rates to stay competitive) often find themselves in this tenuous position. This balancing act between retention strategies and collection efforts is just one example of the credit union challenges you may have experienced in your own branch.

To help you face these challenges head on, PDCflow’s Marketing & Sales Manager Dawn Updike sat down with Matt Stegall of Vantage Credit Union. They discussed goals for 2022, current staffing considerations and membership retention strategies.

Matt Stegall Vantage Credit Union

Matt Stegall

Director of Credit Resolution and Recovery Receivables Management, Vantage Credit Union
Matthew Stegall has worked for Vantage Credit Union for over 11 years and is currently the Director of Credit Resolution and Recovery. He oversees all credit union collections and recovery staff, processes, and collections vendors for Vantage Credit Union, which has $1.094 Billion in assets serving the greater St. Louis and Illinois areas. He has been working in the credit and collections industry for 16 years in a variety of roles that have included collections, repossessions and remarketing as well as bankruptcy.
Watch this 10 minute On Demand Learning video and discover proactive strategies Matt Stegall’s own recovery team has in place to keep members from reaching a charge-off status

Credit Union Goals, 2022

Right now, it’s hard to project what business will look like throughout this year. Despite this reality, it’s important to keep setting goals for future growth and taking on projects that you know will benefit your team long-term. Stegall shared a few areas of focus for Vantage in the coming year.

Losses and Recoveries

Recovering charge offs or eliminating them altogether will always be a top challenge faced by credit unions. Keeping charge offs low is the best, most effective way to manage recovery rates. This is why delinquencies must be addressed proactively.

Stegall notes that the past few years of stimulus checks may have contributed to better recovery rates and lower delinquencies. It’s important to put strategies in place that will help you manage potentially higher delinquency rates in 2022.

  • Monitor roll rates.
  • Reduce the amount of late payments that turn into delinquencies.
  • Choose third party debt collection partners you can trust.
  • Offer debt management help, financial assistance and other programs that help retain memberships.
How Creditors and Collectors Can Work Together for Consent Management

Expanded Training

Between dealing with urgent situations, monitoring and implementing compliance policies and other daily credit union challenges, it can be hard to train staff on new responsibilities. But investing in employee professional development is worth the time and effort. It can:

  • Create a more flexible workforce
  • Empower employees to work towards solutions alone before seeking help
  • Better prepare your team to manage staffing shortages or personnel changes

Managing Credit Union Industry Considerations

Of course, your organization doesn’t operate in a vacuum. The past few years have been incredibly disruptive, due to the pandemic and changing regulations. Stegall has noticed several credit union challenges and opportunities that are now impacting the industry. Here’s what his financial institution is doing to keep things running smoothly.

Health Safety and Hybrid Scheduling

Now, simply having employees work on site brings health concerns that didn’t exist just a few years ago. It’s essential that you are providing a safe work environment for your team. This means following local mandates and asking staff to weigh in on current expectations.

Many companies have continued remote work or hybrid scheduling (splitting work time between being on-site and at home) as the future is still uncertain. Stegall notes that his employees not only prefer hybrid work models, they are actually more productive.

This flexibility is helpful for morale and productivity but also provides a faster way to pivot after a change.

Digitized Records and Processes
The more processes your company has digitized, the better prepared you will be for any future changes that occur. If staff need to work from home unexpectedly, or multiple locations need access to certain documents or processes, having digital records makes collaborative work easier.
Flow Technology

Credit Union Technology Trends

One of the most essential credit union challenges to address right now is how to incorporate technology into your communication processes. However, serving members the ways they prefer is essential for a positive customer experience.

Communication Channels

Listen to what members need and want in the ways they connect with you. Many customers prefer email, text, and chat solutions for their customer service and payment needs. Offering more channels means you are catering to as many people as you can, no matter how they want to interact.

Sending payment reminders, addressing questions or routing problems to the right departments are all ways to take full advantage of digital communication tools.

Matt Stegall Quote - Credit Union Challenges

Maintaining Member Relationships

Using digital channels provides convenience and satisfaction. Employee training and development will elevate the experience to an even higher level. Be sure to monitor customer surveys and watch your staff for any opportunities for improvement.

Remember to treat members well and promote customer service as a core principle of your credit union. Even when members are behind on loan payments or in a bad financial situation, kindness during their most difficult financial times is the best way to build loyalty and boost retention.

For more accounts receivable content and news to help you win business, increase efficiency, and take more payments, subscribe to the PDCflow blog.

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Hannah Huerta - PDCflow Marketing Specialist
Hannah Huerta, Marketing Specialist

Hannah Huerta is a Marketing Specialist at PDCflow. She creates content for the accounts receivable and payment industry.

LinkedIn - Hannah Huerta

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