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.
Credit Union Goals, 2022
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.
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
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
Credit Union Technology Trends
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.
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.
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