CARTERET, N.J.-It's going to take better onboarding in 2013 for CUs to grow walletshare.

That's the word from Sean McDonald, director of business development at Mid-State FCU and chair of the CUNA Marketing Council, who said he believes greater emphasis should be on communicating how the CU can help new members.

"It's important that credit unions take extra steps at the beginning of the relationship," he stressed. "Those first 90-120 days are critical. You need to let the member know it's no longer just about a savings account-credit unions are A-to-Z financial institutions."

McDonald was quick to point out that quality onboarding isn't a widespread problem, "but it has to go beyond just handing them their new membership packet, sending them on their way and saying 'See you soon.' It's taking that extra step, and credit unions seeing the best results and the most growth are the ones that are saying from the get go, 'We need to let people know all the things we can do for them.'"

None of this is particularly new, acknowledged McDonald, and he noted that onboarding processes have improved significantly in the last year, "but we still have a ways to go. It will take training, take a high level of employee with a particular skill set, and you need to make sure employees have those skills."

Investing in Training

He stressed that as CUs enter 2013, it's important to make sure proper onboarding programs are in place. "Have you invested in the training you need to do in order to recognize these opportunities? Or are you just going to continue saying in meeting 'We need to cross sell more.'"

Subscribe Now

Authoritative analysis and perspective for every segment of the credit union industry

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.