The Federal Credit Union March-April 2015 - (Page 20)

Income- Generating Tips and Must-Trys Management Support, Incentives and Cross-Selling Training Can Make All the Difference By Robert Bittner The economic downturn of 2008 led many credit unions to become adept at finding new and creative ways to generate income. Even though the situation has improved in 2015, the long-term value of exploring a variety of ways to grow noninterest income remains just as compelling. The following insights may help your credit union get started. Begin With the Basics The first step is to avoid undercutting yourself by making sure existing fees and services are in line with the marketplace. "Research the competition for the fees and services they provide to their customers, and set your fees according to what the market can bear," advises Jim Norris, president and CEO of Montgomery County Employees Federal Credit Union in Germantown, Md. "As long as your credit union is offering a competitive product or service, members don't mind paying a market rate for it." 20 Next, ensure that the services you're already offering truly are connecting with members and driving engagement. doesn't matter. That was where we found ourselves a few years back: Member satisfaction was wonderful, but our members were not using our products and services. Since then, we've worked very hard to gain their engagement, and we've seen our product and service usage go way up as a result." Fine-Tune Your Focus At Prairieland Federal Credit Union in Normal, Ill., CEO Barbara Michael hired a third-party adviser to have her credit union "mystery shopped" to highlight any deficiencies or oversights. "It was very inexpensive, and it led to good discussions on how to improve our service," she notes. The credit unions with the best track record of generating noninterest income are those that focus their sales efforts on developing one or two key potential growth areas at a time. Norris also recommends doing member research to determine whether both satisfaction and engagement are present. "You can have the most satisfied members in the world," he says, "but if they don't use your products and services, it really Prairieland decided to focus on increasing loan income during the last three years. The results have been dramatic. "We were at $12 million in new loans at the end of 2011," Michael recalls, before the new initiative began. "So we set a goal of $1.5 million in loans per month for the next year. In 2012, THE FEDERAL CREDIT UNION MARCH-APRIL 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Federal Credit Union March-April 2015

The Federal Credit Union March-April 2015

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