Member Centricity: The Core of the Credit Union Experience

member centricity


Credit unions have long been focused on providing their members with tailored services and a personal touch. As technology continues to evolve, credit unions are adapting their strategies in order to remain competitive.

This is largely due to the fact that credit unions prioritize their members’ needs, and often use a member-centric approach when it comes to adapting services. Let’s explore the trends of member centricity in credit unions, how they affect the member experience, and how credit unions can implement new strategies to stay ahead of the curve.

The Basics of Member Centricity

The Credit Union Times recently published an article all about key trends in member centricity, and we wanted to discuss this trending topic and where it comes from.

In the last several years, there seems to be a push to redefine customer service and to rework the “customer is always right” mentality that has been a huge part of business strategy, marketing, brand sentiment, and more.

Customer centricity and member centricity are one and the same and describe a business framework that relies on and promotes a positive member experience at all stages of the consumer journey.

Loyalty and advocacy are the main goals of a member-centric credit union experience. It shows that your credit union deeply considers the effects that its operations and offerings have on the member. According to Hubspot, the way to do that is to attract, engage, and delight.

Member centricity is important because the market share you are fighting for is increasingly taken up by more and more banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions both in your geographic area and online. Because so many member bases are continuing to become more segmented, each prospect you attract becomes important to keep.

Instead of focusing on what your competitors are doing to attract members, it’s important to really drill down into the specifics of what your credit union’s members are looking for, and cater your operations and service offerings to those preferences.

Member-centric Approaches

There are many ways to reach your members, but the core tenants of an approach that grows from member centricity are to focus your strategies on the culture and impact your efforts have.

This means that every decision you make – from how you built online self-service forms to the products you carry, the philanthropic causes you support, and the way you train your staff – should take the member voice into account as a primary factor.

Being member-centric also means being employee-centric. You’ve likely seen several examples of this not being the case. Every time a larger company has to apologize and disavow the actions of one of its employees, you can almost certainly guarantee that the focus of their role wasn’t to serve their member while listening to the member’s voice and concerns, and answering member questions in a helpful and friendly manner.

A focus on member centricity means sharing member insights with all of your employees, not just the C-suite staff and other credit union organization or branch leaders. Every staff member should be well-versed in the insights and opportunities members provide in order to optimize and recognize ways to add value to member offerings.

Member retention should always be the goal. We have known for decades that the cost of acquiring a new member is much higher than the cost of retaining a current member, but it’s not always easy.

Your members are all individuals, with different personal and professional financial goals. And it’s your credit union’s job to help them meet those goals. But not everyone will be easy to talk to or willing to listen to your options at length. That is why gathering and analyzing member data is so important. We have the technology to keep our members coming back, if we take the time to use it.

Adopt Technology with Member Centricity in Mind

And speaking of technology, it is an essential component of member centricity today. There are several reasons you should include member-centric ideas into technology analysis and adoption for your credit union.

First and foremost, you can reach more members with it! Using multiple digital channels to connect with a core audience is something people have been doing for decades. And the prevalence of social media and its effects on consumer trends means that without an online presence, and a good one, your credit union’s credibility is perceived as less legitimate.

In addition, the use of technology to complete more and more member tasks has exploded since the COVID-19 pandemic started. There are several online and app-based products and services that found new markets in tech-based offerings, and now many of them are choosing not to roll back those advancements because people are using them so much.

Online banking wasn’t invented during the pandemic lockdowns, but financial planning, loan services, and so much more are being expanded online because of the high demand for them.

Data is another great way technology can help you grow your credit union in a member-centric manner. AI and other tech-based insights are cranking out more information than our human brains can collectively sort through, but there’s gold in those data mines.

Your credit union’s brand should live online, in your offerings, social media pages, helpful videos and infographics, and more.

IMSI has so many great online self-service forms options for you to use. We can help you with everything from check reorder forms to cross-account transfer requests, e-certificate requests, money market conversions, investment information, and more.

Looking for more ways to improve member centricity at your credit union? Reach out to us today!