// October 29th, 2010 // 3 Comments » // Banking, Credit Union, Credit Unions, Credit union business strategy, Entrepreneurial Lessons, Jeff Stephens
I write this post from the CU Watercooler Symposium. As I sit here listening to the speakers, I am reminded of a recent tweet from Geezeo’s Bryan Clagett, in which he said: ”If you do not know the difference between a “member” and a “customer”, then you should not be selling to credit unions.”
I agree with Bryan. But his comment also got me wondering: how many MEMBERS really understand the difference between being a member and a customer?
As you know, I’m all about helping bank and credit union folks think like entrepreneurs. And I believe great entrepreneurs are experts at exploiting marketing opportunity. There is a a huge, exploitable marketing opportunity in the following:
Making the difference between a customer and a member strikingly, painfully, ridiculously, unmistakably clear.
Note: As you may have heard me argue before, the question is not “how is a being a member BETTER than being a customer?” It’s simply “how is it different?”
Today, I don’t believe this difference is clear at all, nor is the experience of being a member noticeably different from the experience of being a customer. So here are three quick ideas of ways credit unions could make members really feel like members, not customers:
1) Difference: Members own a part of the CU; customers do not.
Making it Clearer: Make them act like an owner and be accountable to that responsibility. Don’t give members the option to vote; require them to vote.
2) Difference: Members are co-owners with other members
Making it Clearer: Connect members with each other. Introduce 5 members to 5 other members tomorrow. Facilitate them getting to know each other. Bond them together.
3) Difference: A member must qualify to join
Making it Clearer: Emphasize exclusivity: put more focus on who can NOT join. Make it clear who is not lucky enough to even qualify, and you will make the value of membership seem higher.
Now it’s your turn: what other differences can we make clearer?
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