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Consistency Matters More than We Realize

Monday, September 27th, 2010

Traveling tends to make you pay attention to things that normally don’t cross your mind.  On this trip, the thing that keeps coming up is consistently, or more correctly the lack thereof, and its implications for the way people see your business.

For credit unions it is important to consider this because the foundation of the financial services relationship is trust.  When you articulate and communicate policies that you don’t follow, you undermine that trust.

Here are a some quick examples from yesterday’s travels. (more…)

Improving Member Service: Eliminate Illogical Responses

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

OK, in some ways this is not fair.  The occurrence that led me to write this post did not happen at a credit union, and in fact happened in an industry that is notoriously worse than the credit union industry will ever (I hope) allow itself to become.

But there is an important lesson in the experience, so sharing it may be worthwhile.

While booking a flight yesterday I encountered one of those situations where there were no seats available on one of the flights for the trip.  Well, actually there were six unassigned seats shown on the little diagram, but all were in exit rows, and this airline only allows their “preferred passengers” to reserve those seats.

Though my status this year on this particular airline has not reached the “preferred passenger” level, I decided to call the airline to see if there was any way of reserving a seat.  The last thing I wanted to do was show up at a regional airport and find the flight oversold and fully booked. (more…)

Improving Member Service: The Power of Saying “You’re Welcome”

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

It seems that we live in world where certain phrases are no longer, or very seldom, part of our day-to-day discourse.  Take, for example, the phrase “You’re Welcome.”

I point this out because of an experience yesterday morning at local eatery.  Three to four days each week I visit this particular place for breakfast and a little out of the office writing time.  They have a decent menu, serve good food promptly, and they have multiple WiFi options, so that I can process my e-mail, write blog posts, and monitor my social media connections.

Yesterday morning, after reading a blog post from my friend Ray Edwards regarding ‘The Magic of Courtesy,’ I was struck by something my server said when they delivered my iced tea.  As they placed the cup on the table, I said “Thank you.”  The server actually looked at me and said “You’re very welcome.” (more…)

Emerging Social Media Trend: Mistake or Opportunity for Building Relationships?

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

There’s something new happening in the world of social media.  It’s an interesting idea and one that seems to be catching on, at least in some circles.

But the key question is whether it is a new direction that will take hold, or a passing fad that will disappear before it really gets any traction.

Here’s what is happening.

New websites are popping up that are essentially mini-Facebook sites targeted to groups with common areas of interest.  In some cases these are entirely new sites created by thought leaders who are seeking to provide a place where like-minded individuals can connect with others who share their interests.  In other cases they are existing websites with a membership base adding a new feature to their services, i.e., a social networking function. (more…)

The Big Mistake Credit Unions Make in Social Media

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Social media is here to stay and it needs to be part of every credit union’s marketing mix.

Though not all of your members are there (at least not yet), a significant portion of them are using these new tools as a way to connect with people and get information.

But there is a HUGE MISTAKE that virtually every credit union using social media is making, and it needs immediate attention if their efforts are going to succeed in having any meaningful impact.

Here’s how I discovered this problem. (more…)