Next year will mark three decades that I have had in this wonderful industry called Credit Unions. I honestly never thought I would become a "lifer" in any industry, but when I reflect, I see that this is not about an industry but more a love story. The following are common elements of a love story.
1. Love at first sight
I started my career working for an MCIF service provider. Think earlyish stage of CRM. How can you NOT fall in love with an industry that has DATA to show the incredible impact on the lives of its end users, aka members? It was EASY to see how the lower rates translated into more money in members' pockets, but that was just the start.
2. Being saved/rescued
Personal finance is not easy, nor should it be. But when you have a financial partner that has your back, it is incredible the number of lives that have honestly been saved or rescued.
For example, in the 2008 housing crisis: Many people were in loans that they honestly should not have been and could not afford. During this stressful time, it was credit unions who stepped in and helped create loan modifications, and in several cases, I know of CEO who sat down with members to help them through this.
3. Love/Obstacles /Turmoil and Conflict
Rates, rates, and more rates add in a dash of regulation and wrap it all up in antiquated technology. The industry has its share of this element nailed.
4. Good recognizable chemistry
This is found in the member-facing credit union teams. They listen, care, and go above and beyond to help members. My favorite are shoveling out the driveway of elderly members and helping to fix a member's tire in the rain. The members, in turn, show up with baked goods, thank you notes, and many other lovely gestures of appreciation.
5. A happy-ever-after
I like to think of this as our "goosebumps" moments. Those moments where you watch the power of a credit union occur right in front of you. For me, it was watching an upset member enter the branch. She had just been diagnosed with a condition that required maintenance medication. She was distraught that she did not have the money to afford the medication. The branch manager took her into her office and, after reviewing her account, found not only the funds to cover her medication cost but also a bit extra as well. The member burst into tears of relief and joy upon hearing the news. She exclaimed, "I didn't know you could do this!" The branch manager replied, "that is what we do. We are a credit union."
As the world economy heads into "unprecedented" times, think about the love story that your credit union delivers both from the enterprise and the personal levels, and think about how you can continually harness/leverage and deliver it.
We believe data activation doesn't have to feel overwhelming or expensive to be impactful. After helping over 600 credit union leaders launch their data journeys, we have identified several consistent knowledge gaps. We have worked hard to fill these gaps with a variety of educational artifacts:
Find out how your credit union can activate its data!