Blog Header Image

Is Your Credit Union Onboarding Effectively? 

There’s no redoing a first impression, so the impact you make on new members is crucial for effective credit union onboarding. Your members want to feel like your credit union is secure, efficient, and communicative. By building the following strategies into your onboarding process, you can ensure that your new members trust your organization with their financial accounts.

The Importance of Onboarding

The onboarding process consists of registering your new member, guiding them through the important information or dashboards, introducing them to services and tools your organization provides, and generally getting familiar with each other.

The logistical purpose of onboarding your new members is to collect their information and provide them with details to use their account to its fullest potential. However, the process in which you do this will communicate to members what your organization values and what they can expect from a long-term relationship with your credit union. This means it’s imperative that the way you collect this data leaves your members feeling safe and supported.

Finally, the onboarding process is an important opportunity for your institution to cross-sell new members who may not be aware of all you have to offer. For example, if they opened a savings account, they probably don’t know that your credit union provides low-interest rates on auto loans for members. Then, when it’s time for them to finance a new car, they’ll come to the institution they know and trust for a great deal on their financing. This not only helps in growing your loan portfolio but deepens your members’ relationship with your institution and helps long-term retention.

The Basics of Onboarding Communications

Most credit unions have a plethora of ways to get in contact with members. You can utilize the various channels to reach your new members, including a welcome kit, text message, e-mail, phone call, direct mail, website landing page, mobile app notification, member survey, or small branded gifts.

When you utilize multiple channels of communication, you flex your abilities as a credit union while also showing your new members that their preferred form of communication is available to them. Some people like receiving updates over email, while others prefer text messages. Being able to customize their personal experience is sure to leave your new members feeling supported.

How often should you check in with new members?

Contacting your new members regularly while they’re acclimating to your credit union is a great way to show your members that the line of communication is open for any questions and ensure effective onboarding. Additionally, spreading these communications over multiple channels shows your capabilities and dilutes your messaging, so members don’t feel overwhelmed with information.

Here is Vibrant’s suggested timeline for the first year of onboarding outreach:

Week 1This is the first day of a long and fruitful relationship with your member. Take this opportunity to send a personalized welcome email and text with an overview of your credit union.
Week 2Your new member has likely used their account more than once. Now is the time for a relationship manager or representative to call the member, check in on their experience, and see if they have any questions about your credit union.
Week 3This is a good time to send a letter in the mail expanding on your new member’s welcome packet. Let them know what they can expect from their relationship with your organization.
Week 8Now that your customer is familiar with your services, start introducing them to what else your credit union has to offer. Send them an email with more in-depth information about credit cards through your credit union.
Week 10Introduce your organization’s lending capabilities to your new member through email or text.
Week 12Your new member is probably feeling seasoned by now, take the opportunity to show that they’re not just a number by texting them a personalized offer for a service they use frequently.
Week 26After 6 months, it’s time to check in and see what your new member thinks. Send them an email or mobile app notification with an invitation to fill out a member satisfaction survey.
Week 52Anniversaries should be personal! Send your member a handwritten note or small gift to celebrate your first year, and let them know you look forward to many more years as their financial institution!
Vibrant’s suggested timeline for the first year of onboarding outreach

If you’re questioning whether your credit union has the ability to allocate this much time communicating, don’t worry! While personal touch leaves a lasting impression on new members, there are a ton of automation tools to take over the bulk of labor involved in plans like these. Incorporating AI technology and marketing automation into your communication plan opens you up to assist your members with their individual needs, enhancing your customer service capabilities. Moreover, marketing automation allows you to send tailored messages to your members, suggesting tools or services that complement their specific behaviors.

A well-crafted messaging plan for onboarding new members is paramount to an effective onboarding process for any credit union. By providing your members with an open line of communication and all the tools they’ll need to be well-informed account holders, you’re ensuring that they leave with a positive lasting impression. Moreover, when your members provide you with feedback, you’re able to adjust and refine your process to make it most effective.

Get in touch with Vibrant today for a consultation on your marketing and onboarding process!

Meet the author:

Glen Stacey

Glen Stacey is a content creator and a leader in real-time marketing. He creatively and strategically creates entertaining, informative content and develops marketing strategies, to help credit unions grow their business and stand out.

Stacey has presented nationally, including at the CUNA Marketing and Business Development Conference, and locally to assist area businesses and non-profits accelerate the impact of their content marketing efforts.

Stacey, a two-time Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Diamond Award winner, was also recognized as a Credit Union Rock Star from CUNA. Credit Union Rock Stars are “professionals in credit union organizations who leverage their exceptional creativity, innovation, and passion to advance their credit union’s mission and elevate their community.