C. Myblog

Why Do Members Value Your Credit Union?

October 11, 2012

This seems like a simple question with a simple answer.  Far from simple, we often find that when we ask this of credit unions, it leads to great strategic discussion about who the credit union is serving versus who the credit union wants to serve, as well as how.

Value can generally be funneled into four different points – service, product, price and convenience.  These four points are how businesses operating in the same industry or even selling the same product differentiate themselves and attract consumers.

Take Walmart and Nordstrom for example.  Both are well-known retail chains but compete on different points.  Walmart primarily competes on price by selling products cheaper than their competitors.  Nordstrom, on the other hand, primarily competes on service by taking a customer-centric approach.

For credit unions, understanding what members value is highly important, as financial institutions often “look” the same.  Boards and managements should rank what they think members value most and discuss any differences within the group. They should also define what service, product, price and convenience mean.  For example, does convenience mean branches, technology or the time it takes to get a loan?

Once answered, the credit union can develop strategic initiatives and focus resources on enhancing their value to their membership.

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