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Why Are Members Closing Accounts and Leaving Your Credit Union?

Bo McDonald - Your Marketing Co
Written By: Bo McDonald

“Some of them are just passing away!” I’m a marketer, not a doctor, so I can’t help with that.

“68% of consumers leave a business relationship because of a perceived attitude of indifference.” I’m a marketer; I may be able to help with that. But let’s dive deeper into this statement and follow my golden rule of “asking a freaking question.” What causes that indifference, and what needs to change within your credit union to build a lasting relationship?

But… we love our members! We have good rates and good service! Whatever message or reason that new member joined the credit union was enough to earn their business, but what are you doing to keep that business? Actions speak louder than words. What I find is that the mindset of most credit union leaders is acquisition. Grow members. Get them in the door! When we say mission accomplished, we rinse, wash, repeat, and turn a blind eye to that new member and focus on the next new member.

Diving deeper into that 68%, the indifference comes from the attitude of the credit union employees. This could be the CEO at the top whose goal is to grow members, or the teller who believes their only job is to handle that transaction in front of them and move on to the next.

So, what can you do about this? I’m only going to scratch the surface with these ideas:

  1. What is your BHAG? In our marketing plans, you’ll find “The Big 3” goals which are related to the balance sheet, KPIs, and growth metrics. You’ll also find the BHAG, which is a goal that is member-focused. For example: “By 2027, at least 50% of all new members will see an improved credit score after joining the credit union.” This is a goal that goes beyond marketing and ROA. It is a rally cry to the team that, in no uncertain terms, is the mission of the credit union and each employee. At every touchpoint, we care about helping our member improve their credit score so they can experience more joy in life. An improved credit score offers more opportunities for lower interest rates, better options in renting an apartment, and better and less expensive options for insurance; the list goes on. Credit unions that have a solid member-focused purpose, mission, and vision and turn those words into actions have a better chance of retaining those members you work so hard to acquire.
  2. Is anybody there? Besides a quarterly newsletter and the occasional mass email or Facebook post, how are you reaching out to that newly acquired member to let them know you still care? I think about my Tesla purchase last year. It was a smooth transaction and an enjoyable experience, but what caught my attention is the communication from them since purchasing the Tesla. I receive regular updates about available updates, maintenance tips, and fun “easter eggs” hidden within the system that keep me constantly curious about the car and finding new ways to engage with it. In past vehicle purchases, if there was any communication, it was a discount on an oil change or tires—a cheap cross-sell, not engagement.
  3. Education is key. I often hear the word “training” tossed around quite a bit, and that’s not a bad thing. However, as leaders, we tend to expect that we can tell our team members something once and then move on, never needing to address it again. Then, we get riled up when we see things starting to slide back to the way they’ve always been done. A leader from my past likened education to taking a shower. We do it every day because if we don’t, we’d stink! Education and training should be ongoing endeavors with our team, especially when it comes to our purpose, mission, and vision. Showing our team how we put those words into action will remove the indifference from our members and create an ongoing experience with your credit union brand.

Rather than a constant churn of members to prop up your credit union membership goals, what if we could retain 68% more of our members by showing them some love?

Need help? For over 15 years we have used our time-tested credit union marketing strategies and tactics to help credit unions grow by engaging, educating, and retaining the next generation of credit union members. We can help you too.

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