Director, Partner Relations,
Credit Union Resources, Inc
One Saturday afternoon, I arrived at my credit unions front door at 1:07pm just as the employee was putting the key in the lock. My honest expectation was to be turned away. I really needed to make my transactions on this day. Much to my surprise, this wonderful angel with a smile on her face said, “Come on in, I can help you!” The genuine care and personal service I received that day was an amazing experience which made me feel important and deepened my appreciate for the passion affectionately known as “people helping people.” As I got into my car that day I said, “I love my credit union!” In turn, I have shared this experience with many friends and co-workers.
We can find numerous articles written about success in sales. Isn’t it about time for a piece that discusses success in service? If your credit union is like most, lots of actions and duties are measured to gain a sense of success and discover areas for improvement on the front line. These measures are an effective way to understand what’s working and what’s not.
But, what if you asked your members what they wanted your credit union to measure? What if you asked your members what matters most? They determine what makes for a successful transaction, experience, and relationship. Many credit union members were asked about their expectations and definitions of outstanding service. The results are in - members have spoken. Front line leaders, this list is for you.
Demonstrate a desire to meet your members’ needs. When your member succeeds, your credit union succeeds. Treat every interaction with your members as an opportunity to prove the value of your credit union and your professional abilities.
Be knowledgeable about products and services. In many cases, you will be the only contact a member will have with your credit union. Your member expects you to be an expert at your job. Strive to gain the education, training, and certifications needed to make you the expert.
Address members’ needs at the point of first contact. When members visit your credit union, they do so for a reason. Address their needs with the ultimate goal of providing the solution. They will appreciate your leadership in respecting his or her reason for dealing with your credit union.
Quickly access pertinent information. Speedy and accurate service is important to all. Become a good student of your systems and internal operations. This allows you to review and better understand your members’ relationship with your credit union. With this knowledge, you can easily provide excellent service and look for good cross-selling opportunities.
Be courteous. Dale Carnegie once said, “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” It’s not any different when serving members. Smile when you greet them; genuinely ask about their day; discover the best way to serve them; and, thank them for their business.
Be trustworthy. Each transaction with your member involves confidential information and access to personal financial matters. Keep your conversation quiet and directed toward your member; write down any dollar amounts that you must share; and show empathy if matters are sensitive.
Provide good value for your members’ dollars. When necessary, explain how fees and rates at your credit union provide convenience or save your members money. If an option, go further and show how additional products and services can provide or save your member more money, and add more convenience to his or her life.
It has been said that the highest level of sales IS service. Your members, when served according to what they deem most important, will deepen their relationship with your credit union. It begins with outstanding service…and outstanding service begins with you!