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4 Ways Credit Unions
Can Use a CRM Solution
to Compete with Big Banks

Ron Davis
16 Mar, 2022

Credit unions, especially now with the mega-banks of the world, have unique challenges that have only increased as customer demands have. To compete with commercial banks—particularly the big banks—you must stay in front of rapidly evolving trends like the changing role of branches from transactional hub to source for advice, sales, and service, the constant pressure to reduce expenses, meeting the growing demand for digital banking and other self-service options, and overcoming the general perception that you don’t offer what the big banks do. You can tackle many if not most of these challenges with technology and more specifically a modern credit union CRM. Here are four ways the right CRM solution can make you more competitive:

#1 Responding to and even predicting customer needs

Banking is competitive–and credit unions need to be able to keep pace. When it comes to reacting to changing and increasingly demanding customer needs, credit unions have the opportunity to distinguish themselves from big banks. You need a 360-degree view of all your customer data–their accounts, activity, every time they’ve contacted you and what occurred, what you’ve notified/informed them about–whatever you can see from inside as well as outside your organization, like social media.

A modern CRM system can give you that 360 view, with connections to other internal applications and external sources like LinkedIn, so you can not only respond to their needs, but predict them so you can reach out proactively with offers and services before they’re aware they need them.

For example, you have a customer whom you learn from LinkedIn that they are interested in buying a boat. You can reach out to them with information on loans and attractive interest rates. You can create email reminders that are tied into the specific needs of each customer. Do you have a couple that are snowbirds? Set up an email reminder that is triggered every time the currency exchange rate is favorable for them.

Similarly, who bought a large amount of foreign currency in a previous year can have alerts sent out to inquire into whether they are interested in travel-specific savings plans. And, those are just the small things. You would also set-up your system to trigger emails that promote RSEPs for families with children and that assist working people with retirement planning.

#2 Delivering customer service that exceeds what banks offer

As part of the local community, credit unions can really set themselves apart with customer service. Banks, especially large ones, can be impersonal. After all, the customer is one of tens of millions at the larger banks, and those banks make their money in other ways, so individuals are not top priority. As part of the community, you are there as much to support and serve your customers as to make money.

With the 360-degree view, along with effectively tracking the many ways your customers interact with you, you can be better equipped to have a more personal relationship with them. You know the community, which means you better understand them and their needs, but you need to be able to address their questions and concerns. You need to communicate with them regularly and effectively to keep them informed of new opportunities, changes, and more with targeted emails, phone calls, and social media posts.

You must provide just as many opportunities for them to talk to you. Communication goes both ways, and a customer who doesn’t feel listened to is an unhappy one; a customer who feels informed and listened to and understood is a loyal one. A CRM solution can assist with all these efforts by providing you with information about your customer–even down to their birthday, which gives you an opportunity to reach out, help you track your interactions with them, and even give you reminders of when and how to connect with them. A modern CRM solution will also integrate with your Outlook or other productivity tools, making it easier to communicate without losing track of what you’re doing and without forcing you to work in two (or more) separate systems to get the job done.

Another area in which you can improve customer services is speed. People want things fast, and if you make them wait, they’ll go somewhere else. A modern CRM will equip you to stay on top of correspondence and be speedy with responses. Even before an issue is resolved, the customer will feel valued because of how quickly you respond.

And finally, today’s customers want self-service options. Modern CRMs offer capabilities that allow you to provide portals, apps, and other tools and services that provide those self-service options, which make customers happy but also free up your peoples’ time to serve customers in other ways.

Video: Meeting My Targets and Goals as a Credit Union Branch Manager with Actionable Insights

See how actionable insights can help you oversee sales team members, manage targets, and track goals

#3 Supporting small businesses

Small businesses are the backbone of any community, and they always have unique struggles. They really struggled during COVID; McKinsey reported that small businesses provided nearly half of all private-sector jobs in the U.S. but accounted for 54 percent of the jobs that were most vulnerable during the pandemic.

Although much of this business has come back, those who survived are still facing challenges and need support which most big banks don’t want to deal with. To help small businesses thrive now, credit unions have the opportunity to support the community by supporting its businesses in the form of attractive interest rates, credit cards that give incentives to members that patronize local businesses, and more.

#4 Finding and winning new customers

You need to get your name out into the community, and a modern CRM can help with that, too. You can execute and manage dynamic and creative campaigns that can help you reach goals that otherwise might not seem possible.

For example, one credit union that set a goal to significantly increase the amount of savings deposited put CRM to work and was able to generate significantly more leads than in the past and easily hit their revenue targets. An independent analysis reported a 20 percent improvement in the cost of dollar deposit acquisition following a campaign executed within CRM when compared to a similar campaign carried out a couple of years earlier.

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Let HSO and Microsoft help you stand out with the right credit union CRM

HSO is uniquely positioned to support credit unions with Microsoft solutions like Dynamics 365. Powered by Microsoft Azure and Dynamics 365, HSO’s Solution for Credit Unions is designed specifically for credit unions, focusing on:

  • Metrics-driven, new client attraction
  • Campaign management
  • Improved client retention

You get full control over all aspects of your business while helping you defend against fraud and simplify the customer onboarding process:

  • A 360 degree view of customers and prospects
  • Pipeline management
  • Marketing automation
  • Engagement tracking
  • Member management
  • Reporting and analytics
Read more about HSO's Credit Union Solutions

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