Let’s face it; it has been a tough few years for the Credit Union industry. From shrinking margins to increased compliance demands, many credit unions are looking for ways to save money and cut expenses. As executives we find ourselves increasingly thinking in survival mode, which can lead to overlooking many of the basics our members have come to expect.
I would like to ask you to use your imagination and look through the eyes of your members for the next few minutes. The power of first impressions starts as your members drive into the parking lot of your branch. What does your member see? Is your lot clean and free of trash? Is your lawn and landscaping in good order? Is your lot free of pot holes and well striped? What about your drive thru? Are your lanes clean and all equipment in good working condition? Your outside ATM, is it clean and well lit?
Is your branch building in good condition? Windows clean? Well lit? Does your branch building reflect your brand? As your members walk into your building what do they see? Is your carpet in good shape? Is the lobby well lit, clean and orderly? What about your MSR desks and Teller lines? Again, does your lobby represent your brand?
What about your staff? Are your team members well dressed and following the company hand book in regards to personal appearance and grooming? Are they greeting your members with a smile? Are they using your members name in conversation? Are they helping to make your members feel welcomed and part of your credit union family? Are your employees looking for opportunities to educate your members as well as additional sales for your business?
As your members walk out of your branch, is your staff thanking them for being a member and inviting them back? Is the message your marketing department portrays to your membership met by your operations team?
I would invite you to walk your branch\s with the eyes of your members the next chance you get, now if possible. Never underestimate the power of that first impression to portray a safe, confident and well run credit union. A credit union your membership is proud to call their financial institution.