Customer Experience

Unlocking CRM’s full potential: What CUs keep missing

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Imagine being the secret admirer and the best friend of each of your members — all at once. That type of bond can turn a fleeting member connection into a meaningful, lasting relationship. But let’s face it, as much as you’d like them to, your members probably don’t see your credit union in the same light.

The harsh reality is, they’re just not that into you. Many of your members are a swift swipe away from choosing another financial partner. With member loyalty hanging by a thread, you have the power to strengthen or sever relationships.

The good news is you can solidify these wavering bonds. Enter CRM – a tool that promises to not just fortify relationships and retain members, but also to chart a growth trajectory for your credit union. The challenges include overcoming common misinterpretations of what a CRM should deliver and dodging pitfalls in its implementation.

Yes, it’s daunting that 69% of digital transformations fall short, according to McKinsey. But the potential rewards of a well-implemented CRM are too compelling to ignore. So, let’s explore the secret sauce of successful CRM implementation together. It’s time to transform how you succeed with CRM.

CRM = Strategy + Process + Technology

The bedrock of an effective CRM lies in three foundational pillars: strategy, process, and technology. Yet, an alarming number of credit unions tend to fixate on the glitter of technology, neglecting the equally important aspects of strategy and process. It’s like choosing style over substance — certainly alluring, but not sustainable. The winning ticket requires a perfect trifecta of all three elements.

Let’s simplify.

Strategy is the all-inclusive blueprint for CRM usage. The process addresses CRM’s impact on areas like lending and marketing. Technology, more than just software, pertains to its integration with your core system, backed by a team to aid implementation and user understanding. Together, these pillars define successful CRM adoption.

Building your CRM strategy

First, look for a CRM partner rather than a CRM vendor. A partner will walk alongside you, focus on your challenges, and help define the strategy.

Once you have a partner that understands the credit union industry, it’s time to bring your vision into focus. How will a CRM impact your strategic business initiatives?

Next, sign off on a mutual success plan between department heads. Clearly define that success including any business goals.

Defining the CRM process

What do you want to do with your CRM? Are you interested in lending processes, member service workflows, marketing campaigns, data analysis, or all of the above and more? By clearly defining those wants and needs, you’ll quickly see who in your CU needs to understand and be part of the CRM implementation. The goal is to reach departmental as well as organizational objectives, right?

Technology is important (but not for the reasons you think)

You need a CRM that is easy to use. It can have all the bells and whistles in the world, but you’ll be wasting money if nobody on your team knows how to use, access, or update them. You want a CRM that makes training your staff quick and easy and drives adoption across your organization.

Ensure the tech that maps to your CRM aligns with your strategic business goals. If you want to reduce member turnover by 3%, the CRM should have real-time access to your core, deliver on-demand member insights, and help you keep in touch with members across multiple channels.

Finally, find a CRM partner that will implement your CRM — not some company that hires a third party that doesn’t know a thing about your business initiatives or plans. A partner will stay with you from beginning to end and beyond.

The bottom line, you need a CRM that delivers on every promise, from technology to strategy and process

Find a CRM partner

With CRMNEXT, you gain more than just a CRM. You discover real-time, two-way core integration, devoted partners, and end-to-end in-house implementation. Additionally, you get consulting services and omnichannel support. Visit and explore a world of comprehensive CRM solutions tailored to your needs.