Credit unions face insurmountable challenges as they try to achieve growth and become a strong organization. But, there are successful strategies that can help in achieving sustained and innovative growth.
For smaller credit unions, these goals are a bit more difficult to achieve, but despite the difficult competitive environment, many credit unions have been able to find effective ways to successfully grow. This can start by examining the membership base. One of the things you need to look at is if the membership in your credit union is expanding or contracting. You also have to consider your ability to grow your market share.
The most successful credit unions are the ones who were able to go along with the expanding economy. And as for smaller credit unions, it’s all a matter of focusing on specific niches with good growth potential so as to make a difference.
Here are some strategies to help grow your credit union membership:
1. Assess the value of the proposition
To meet consumer expectations for their financial services, the technology together with demographics are being used. A nearby branch and friendly tellers will not be enough to sustain the life and growth of your credit union. And while you cannot be all things to all people, the most important thing you need to do is to focus. Start with aligning your products, marketing, and delivery in such a way that your brand resonates with the market niche.
2. Improve and enhance your facilities
When was the last time since your branches were updated? You may not often realize it but when you give your branch a refreshed or revitalized environment, it can potentially spur new growth. The branch is the one that will serve as the billboard to the members and the potential new members. It plays a significant role in the member experience. A branch audit will be a good step to make your assessments when it comes to the location of your branch and to determine whether you need to relocate it to a different market.
3. Enhance your online presence
Having your own website where consumers can do online or home banking is not enough. There are plenty of things that you can do to increase your online presence and meet the expectations of your consumers regardless of age or background. More and more people are doing the research of their products and services online, so this is something you can leverage on. If your website fails to meet the needs of your consumers, they might just go elsewhere. Remember that the online and mobile customer experience is critical.
You should also be very clear with the goals that you want your website to achieve. It is better if your start tracking or monitoring the performance of your site.
4. Embrace digital marketing
Digital marketing is something that smaller credit unions can also bank on. It will be costly to open new branches and that is why digital marketing can be helpful when it comes to enhancing brand awareness within a targeted segment of the market. Credit unions can explore social media, targeted ads, remarketing and marketing automation—all of these things provide promising opportunities for the credit unions that are willing to make an investment in resources and those who want to develop expertise.
5. Search for mergers
More and more credit unions are searching for strategic mergers as a means to achieve growth. Establishing a partnership with another credit union can make both credit unions more competitive. You can consider merging with another credit union which belongs to the same market in order for you to build market share and improve efficiency.
You can also try an alternative method which is merging a credit union in an adjoining market in order to achieve a larger footprint.
There are plenty of options you can look at when it comes to merging. It can include merging in a smaller credit union, merging with a same-level credit union, or merging into a larger one. You should be able to evaluate your options with the use of a systematic approach while considering the impact of the decision on members, employees, community, and the organization’s financial performance.