Posts Tagged ‘credit unions’

SwitchTracker: A completely new way to help your members make the switch to your CU

September 17, 2014

The team here at EverythingCU has been hard at work, making innovative and bold strides in the way things are done, and we’ve developed a brand new service to help your CU get stronger.

We know that one of the things that forward-thinking CU professionals on EverythingCU (that’s you!) are looking for, is a better way to help your members make the switch to your CU.

Enter your new secret weapon, SwitchTracker.

What does SwitchTracker do?

SwitchTracker gives your members everything they need to make the switch to your CU quickly and efficiently, in an easy-to-use format. Not only does your member get personalized step-by-step instructions, they control email reminders that keep them on track to the finish line. And when your member needs help, they can reach out to your MSRs instantly from within the service.

Here are a few barriers your members face in trying to make the switch, and how SwitchTracker solves the issues:

  • Multiple intimidating forms and paperwork – SwitchTracker has a simple and easy one-page input
  • Questions arise that the member doesn’t know how to deal with – SwitchTracker has a help button and instructions
  • Members are unsure in what order to do the many steps – SwitchTracker breaks it down into a step-by-step checklist
  • Switch process started, but no follow-through – SwitchTracker sends periodic emails to remind the member what to switch next

Demo Time!

Take a quick ride in the SwitchTracker experience. Even if you’ve tried it before, demo SwitchTracker again so you can see these new features:

  1. Instructions on how to complete each step
  2. Member or MSR can input the checking account number so that the member has it handy for each switch
  3. Ability to contact each organization to be switched via PDF letter or email
  4. Congratulations message with your CU’s loan department contact information when the member finishes the switch

When you demo SwitchTracker, click one of the printer icons on the checklist page to view the PDF letters generated. Also, be sure to check off all of your switch items, and then click the “Update Checklist” button to see the congratulations message displayed when the switch is complete.

For more details, view the SwitchTracker information page.

There’s even more to SwitchTracker behind the scenes in your CU’s control panel, including comprehensive usage statistics. If you have questions, or would like a personal online demo, please email me, morriss@everythingcu.com, or Matt, matt@everythingcu.com. You can be up and running with this new service to help members make the switch to your credit union within a matter of just a few days.

Bring your members the best tool to help them make the switch to your credit union: SwitchTracker.

We’d love to get your feedback on this exciting new way to help your members make the switch to your CU. Feel free to comment here or ask any questions you may have!

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The business value of personal connection

May 23, 2014

Who are you striving to be?

10275516_705648832830172_5588543601566778944_oThanks to this photo of Roy Bergengren recently shared by credit union advocate Matthew Cropp of Vermont, I realize that we now have fewer credit unions in the U.S. than at any time prior to NINETEEN THIRTY-NINE. Think about that for a minute…. what does that mean? Now some would explain that away saying that overall membership in the U.S. is at an all time high. So let’s put those two equations together: more people, but fewer institutions. Is that a good thing? A bad thing? Just a thing?

What would Ed Filene and Roy Bergengren think? That after the past 75 years of credit union advocacy, we now have fewer credit unions serving all of America? Are the products better than before? Is the service worse than before? Is the differentiation between credit unions and banks better or worse than 75 years ago? Do we still have a need for credit unions, or has the reason they were founded pretty much gone away? Is there more opportunity than ever before for smaller CUs to succeed? Or is it just too challenging, and every CU below $10m in assets should just get merged into a larger one until there are none in this size range anymore? Do you need to offer every financial product and service that your competitors do in order to succeed? Or does that pursuit just drain time and money resources away from your CU’s core mission?

What is the mission and purpose of your credit union? Who are you trying to be? Who are you serving? What is your connection like with the members you serve? Tight? Barely there?

One of the reasons I bring up this topic is that it seems to me that more and more credit unions are basically operating as tax-exempt banks; attempting to grow no matter what, and becoming more generic in appearance and attitude (and losing connection with the group that founded them). To operate this way may serve the needs of the institution (although it may actually not), but in any case seems a disservice to the membership, and perhaps just as importantly, a disservice to the CU movement as a whole. If a credit union is going to operate like a bank, it should just acknowledge that fact and change charters and switch to being regulated and insured the FDIC instead of NCUA. That tax-exempt thing is not really that a great a business advantage anyway.

But the other surprising thing about credit unions operating like banks (aside from failing to live up to its mission statement) is that in many cases, the trend is away from generic large institutions and stores, and TOWARDS unique, local, and independent organizations. So-called “big box” stores are on the decline; while one-of-a-kind shops find their niche. Many people avoid chain restaurants in favor of unique eateries.

But being different, in and of itself, is not a sustainable business model. To increase success in business, you need to provide something different for which there exists a customer base. One way to approach this differentiation is to employ technology to make it easier for your customers to do business with you, whether that be in facilitating the process of ordering products and services, the delivery of those products and services, or help in using those products and services. From our own point of view; we’ve found that every time we make our own technology easier to use, more streamlined, and more personalized, it pays dividends immediately.

How are you using technology to differentiate and personalize your credit union? Are you using technology to strengthen the connection between your employees and your members, or is it weakening that connection? Who are you serving, and how are you making their experience with you easier and better? If providing “better, more personal service” is the differentiation point of your credit union (as many state), is your technology living up to that promise? What are your thoughts?

The Launch of Loan Switch

September 12, 2013

EverythingCU.com’s new product, Loan Switch, is finally here!

Loan Switch is a brand new online product that enables your current members to refinance all of their loans that they have with other financial institutions, with you; all at the same time.

There has never before been a product like this, and it is only available to credit unions.

If your CU has the ability to compete on loan rates, promote a loyalty program or has a great loan department ready to re-capture loans; Loan Switch is for you.

• Loan Switch arms your member with the information they need in order to WANT to refinance with your CU
• Makes it ONE CLICK for your members to start the refi with your CU!

We can’t wait for you to demo Loan Switch because we are incredibly excited about its ability to simultaneously save your members money AND bring loans into your CU! The best way to understand why we think Loan Switch is a breakthrough in capturing loans that members have at other institutions is to just demo it yourself so that you can see exactly how it works. Click here to demo Loan Switch now!

Click here to view more information about Loan Switch, including pricing.

Email Matt with any questions or for further information about Loan Switch: matt@everythingcu.com

After you’ve to submit your loan info in the demo, Matt will play loan officer and send you a response. When you receive the response email, be sure to log in to your personal checklist with the username and password supplied. Then you’ll see how easy it is for the member to start the refi with just a mouse click. Once you’ve had a chance to demo it, let us know what you think!

Making online forms as easy as possible

May 14, 2013

I’m in the process of writing an article for CUES’ CU Management magazine, about KickStart Online Lending Generator and Holy Rosary CU’s results. Editor Lisa Hochgraf had some excellent questions for me which prompted me to do a little bit more research into the universal conclusion that removing barriers and streamlining online forms from the user’s perspective leads to better results and increased sales.

So I thought I would share with you some of the eye-popping research that I discovered (and thus why Carol and Holy Rosary CU are getting wonderful results with KickStart – i.e. 10.49% growth in their loan portfolio over the past 6 months):

• Google’s Marissa Mayer: Speed Wins

The $300 Million Button

How Amazon’s website usability affects consumer product choice (This is a lengthy research paper)

In addition to the above research on the importance of streamlining the user/member/customer experience to improve sales, we’ve done some streamlining of our own. One item that proved to ourselves that we get better results when we make things easier online is that when we took the step of pre-filling out our own Online Switch Kit demo for you, dozens and dozens of you tried it out, compared to nearly no one trying it out when it was not pre-filled. It seems simple, but often times the little things can make a BIG difference!

So in our continuing quest to make our own forms and demos even easier to try out, we’ve now also pre-filled out the already-simple KickStart Loan Request form to make it even easier for you to test that for yourself. Kick the tires on KickStart yourself right here: KickStart test site

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this – did you find you got better results when your streamlined your online processes, forms, applications, and navigation? Was there ever a time when making things easier for your members online was a bad thing?

10.49% loan growth for our KickStart client

February 13, 2013

While the NCUA has not yet released the 4th Quarter 2012 5300-data for all CUs, it is available for many CUs on an individual basis.

We can’t help but be beaming proud of Carole Wight and Holy Rosary CU…. and the terrific results she’s getting with her EverythingCU.com KickStart.

I just checked the 4Q12 5300 report for Holy Rosary, and it’s even better than we thought it’d be! We were hoping they would maintain a 3.9% lending growth rate, and THEY WOUND UP BEATING IT! Lending is up EVEN MORE than the previous quarter! Loans are up by 6.3% in just the past quarter!

The last two quarters combined have seen Holy Rosary’s lending go up by 10.49%! If her loan portfolio continues to grow at that pace, her CU will have seen a TWENTY PERCENT increase in loans for the year! Wow! Never in our wildest imaginations did we think KickStart could have such an immediate impact on a CU’s loan portfolio, but the proof is in the NCUA 5300 numbers.

Here is the latest:
Dec 31, 2010: 4,758,649
Mar 31, 2011: 4,647,966
Jun 30, 2011: 4,623,701
Sep 30, 2011: 4,719,143
Dec 31, 2011: 4,918,250
Mar 31, 2012: 7,623,506 <– Merger with a smaller CU
Jun 30, 2012: 7,607,091
Sep 30, 2012: 7,906,605 <– 1st full qtr w/KickStart
Dec 31, 2012: 8,405,157 <– 2nd full qtr w/KickStart

Holy Rosary CU (MO) Loan Growth

If you are ready to give KickStart Online Lending a try, then check out the SPECIAL OFFER we are running, or learn more on the KickStart information page.

Announcing the EverythingCU.com Loan Report

January 31, 2013

Exciting news…. we are proud to launch a brand new product here at EverythingCU.com. Building on the long-running success of our Marketing Budget Report, we’ve now built a super-dandy Loan Report.

This Loan Report has all of the same great peer group comparisons as the Marketing Budget Report (virtually any number of peers from 10 to 5000, compare by Assets, Number of Members, or Total Loans), and compare by State, Region, or the USA.

But this new Loan Report has FAR more comparison data because the NCUA 5300 has much greater detail about loans.

This nifty new Loan Report lets you view these loan breakouts:

• Total Loans
• Mortgages
• Other R.E.
• New Auto
• Used Auto
• Credit Cards
• Unsecured
• Business Loans
• All Other Loans

And in addition, for each of these loan breakouts, we offer a full variety of View Modes:

• Rate
• Average Size
• Percent of Total
• Loans per Member
• Growth Rate
• Charge-offs
• Total Expense
• Net Worth ratios
…. and several more

But don’t take my word for it, try out the demo! In demo mode, you will be able to view only the Total Loan category in the “Current” View Mode. But all of the data is there if you would like to purchase it.

We think this report will be especially valuable for CEOs and VPs of Lending, but it is also great for CFOs, VPs of Marketing who are concerned with the CU loan portfolio, anyone on the ALM or Supervisory commitees, board members, and branch managers. So be sure to tell everyone at your CU who would benefit!

As with all of our products, purchase of the Loan Report makes it available to ALL registered employees at your CU. If they are not already registered, you can Invite Them Here.

Check it out and let us know what you think!

Especially valuable for small credit unions

September 27, 2012

Matt and I recently had the pleasure of attending a small credit union conference in Zoar, Ohio, called Making History 2012. It was hosted by CDFI grant writing specialists, CU Strategic Planning led by Jamie Chase and Chuck Cockburn.

One of the reasons we were especially excited to attend was to meet in person one of our favorite clients, Carole Wight, President of Holy Rosary Credit Union in Kansas City, Missouri. Carole was a delight, and the work that she does at her credit union is impressive. Carole also uses KickStart, our online loan generator, and she loves the product. So much so that she wrote the following email to the Director of the Office of Small Credit Unions in Missouri:

Kevin:

I had to write you about EverythingCU.com. I use this site constantly.  You can download sample documents, get advice, purchase an online switch kit, watch inexpensive marketing webinars and have an online loan application system.

I soon will use all of their products. My outreach efforts are stronger as a small credit union because of this site.  Go to my homepage and look at my online loan application. The beauty is that it is designed so that there is no non-public personal information exchanged with social and account number.  It is just simple, but it works. I paid under $500 for the year for this site.  My loan volume has increased as a result.

Small credit unions need a tool like this. In my humble opinion, if they don’t see the value, we need to help them see the value. I would be happy to answer any questions you might have or meet with you. This is probably my number 1 tool for marketing information.

Thanks, Kevin.  Please feel free to have any interested credit union contact me also.

Carole Wight, President
Holy Rosary Credit Union
Kansas City, MO  64106

We are quite honored to call Carole a friend, as well as a client.

It starts at home

August 30, 2012

Do you ever wring your hands that more people don’t know what a credit union is? You’ve sent newsletters, done radio ads, put up billboards, and still so many people don’t know?

Well, I’ve got a really important idea for how to take care of this.

As marketers, most of know that the number one source of new business is through referrals of existing business. So if you take care of your current members well, they will tell their friends and family. So let’s assume you are already taking care of your members.

Are you taking care of your employees too?

And what I mean is this: Employees are people. They are not bodies taking up space in an organizational chart. What could be more demoralizing to a person than being assigned an email address of Teller1@NotABankFCU.com. I bet YOU don’t have an email of CFO5@NotABankFCU.com or VPMarketing28@

So why do this to a teller? Because you have high turnover in the position? Of course you have high turnover in that position; it’s a hard job with low pay. But when you treat people like numbers, and EXPECT that they will be out the door soon, it becomes even worse. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, and turn over gets worse, not better.

Yes, a big percentage of your tellers will eventually leave. But what about the ones that stay? What about the future CEOs, CFOs, COOs, and VPs of Marketing? Take a look at all the amazing programs going on for the future leaders of the CU movement, such as The Cooperative Trust’s Crash Events and CUES Next Top Executive.

I will offer this thesis: The best way to spread the word about what credit unions are is to treat every single new employee as if they are going to spend their career in the credit union movement, and eventually work their way up to being the CEO of YOUR credit union. If you treat every new hire in that way, sure, many of them will leave someday.

But here is the benefit: Even the ones who leave someday will enjoy their work more thoroughly. They will likely stay with your CU longer, thus reducing turnover. And most importantly, since you have educated them what it means to be a credit union, they will educate your members what it means to belong to a credit union.

AND….. for those one or two special people who grace your establishment for their entire careers…. YOU can feel special knowing that you have nurtured the next generation of credit union leadership. And it all starts with treating your new hires like they matter. Because they do.

Thank you, Bank of America

October 28, 2011

Thank you, Bank of America, for implementing new and uncomfortable fees for your members. That is the impetus behind Bank Transfer Day, which has garnered national media attention for credit unions. This in turn has led to a large surge in inquiries about EverythingCU’s pioneering Online Switch Kit, which helps new members transfer their accounts from a bank to a credit union.

Happy credit unioning!

Bank Transfer Day is a beautiful thing!

October 27, 2011

Wow, all the publicity over Bank Transfer Day is so fantastic for all EverythingCU’ers! We’re also thrilled to be getting a flood of new inquiries about our Online Switch Kit lately… including being mentioned on CUESnet. We’ve been helping people switch from a bank to a credit union for 8 years, so it’s fun to see this getting such great attention from mainstream media.

I just spotted this ABC News clip being shared by a CU on Facebook:

The CU shown towards the end of the clip, where the young man makes the switch, is Charlotte Metro CU. They use a set of static PDFs to help people make the switch. ABC News reports this takes 12 minutes. Imagine how much faster it would be if they used EverythingCU’s Online Switch Kit!

Props to the more than 100 CUs who are already making it easier for their members! If you already have our Switch Kit, today is a great day to take another look at it and make sure everything is working perfectly with it.