Research: Top 10 Tools To Build Your CU's Member Growth

Growth is fueled by the member experience. Research shows 10 tools can enhance that experience to build the highest loyalty and gain new members by referral.

1) Be the employer of choice-an institution that employees recommend as a place to work.

2) Be the provider of choice-an institution that members recommend to their friends and family.

3) Create good profits, not "bad profits" from overdraft and maintenance fees that destroy loyalty.

4) Build a shared vision and develop a real mission that clarifies why and for whom the organization exists and serves as a filter for decision-making. It's a calling that drives the institution into the future.

5) Develop core values. Michael O'Connor, author of Managing by Values, observes that organizations whose core values are a litmus test to make decisions will not only grow to be Fortune 500 companies, but "fortunate 500 companies."

6) Assess and adjust organizational culture. Are the unwritten "rules of the game" helping or hindering forward momentum? Change those that are not engines for growth.

7) Focus on a core member niche. Don't try to be everything to everyone.

8) Define member needs within the niche and meet them in distinct, meaningful ways.

9) Offer value in a unique way that differentiates the institution from its competitors.

10) Align daily actions with the mission and values. Measure all visioning and planning against the actual member experience.

To achieve 1-3, measure the employee and member experience using Net Promoter Score (NPS) research. Use competitive research to identify the institution's niche and standing in the marketplace. Conduct internal research to analyze and clarify the mission, core values and organizational culture, and to zero in on a value distinction that will differentiate the institution and fuel its growth.

Neil Goldman is Senior Partner of Member Research. He can be reached at (310) 643-5910 or by email at ngoldman<at>memberresearch.com. (c) 2008 The Credit Union Journal and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved. http://www.cujournal.com/ http://www.sourcemedia.com/