SAN DIEGO-With two out of every three loan dollars going somewhere besides a credit union, it's critical to implement certain practices if those lost dollars are to be captured, according to one analyst.

David Polet, who oversees CUNA Mutual Group's Voice of Customer program, pointed to research showing a member's product purchase can lead to other opportunities that will deepen the relationship and provide an unmet member need.

For instance, Polet said, a member might re-evaluate their auto insurance if they bought a new car. That might lead them to consider bundling that insurance with their homeowners.

"Research shows members are looking for financial reviews and money management tools from their credit unions," Polet told America's Credit Union Conference here. "Credit unions can't be passive about making members aware of what they offer. Given that two out of three dollars members spend on consumer loans are being borrowed elsewhere, it behooves credit unions to aggressively make members aware of what they have to offer."

Polet said a single transaction with a member can provide credit unions with indicators of other needs the member might have. "For example, if they purchased life insurance in the last two years, research shows more than 60% of those new policyholders say they would be open to advice from their credit union on eliminating debt."

Watch The Data

Polet urged CUs to pay particular attention to data, especially that showing where members have other loans. In addition, he cited the importance of "live events" when it comes to needing a loan. For instance, for those members who bought a car in the past two years "we've also seen a trend of them buying other products like life, homeowners and, of course, auto insurance."

The key in all this, said Polet, is front-line employees who need to be asking the "right questions."

"Members have shown a willingness to work with their credit unions," Polet said. "However, they aren't aware of how their credit union can work for them."

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