Room for Improvement by ProQuest

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Early in 2009 CUES and EHS Design completed a survey of 109 credit union managers from institutions ranging in size from $35 million to $5.5 billion in assets. A small percentage said their markets were underperforming, the majority said their markets were moderate or good performers and about 27% said their markets performed very well. Today, many branches remain oversized for the market potential; 5,500-square-foot branches are rarely needed. Community and regional banks and credit unions are capitalizing on the poor image of big banks by clearly expressing how they are stable, personable and share the same values and interests as their members. Now is the time to enhance your existing member experience through all delivery methods and specifically in branches where there is physical contact and social engagement. Consolidating functions can help reduce branch staffing and space use. Technology is providing many ways to reduce operating cost.

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									      General Management




Room for Improvement
Instead of growing their branch networks, a recent study indicates credit unions
are focusing on increasing efficiencies within their existing branches for growth
in a down economy. Here’s how to do it.
By Paul Seibert, CMC




E
          arly in 2009 CUES and EHS Design        rational recommendations concerning branch         initiate conversation or do they take charge
          completed a survey of 109 credit        size, staffing, delivery type, timing, cost and    and engage every member? Is your staff
          union managers from institutions        market/network evolution over a five- to           cross-trained to provide a wide range of
          ranging in size from $35 million to     seven-year planning cycle. By completing this      services and information? Does the interior
$5.5 billion in assets. In the study we asked:    level of research, a credit union can select the   and exterior of your branch project the
“How productive and market efficient do           right branch strategy for each location and        desired image?
you consider your current branch network?”        right-size the investment, branch and staffing,      Even small changes can enhance the
A small percentage said their markets were        matching cost to potential ROI.                    member and staff experience and increase
underperforming, the majority said their                                                             satisfaction and share of wallet. Examples:
markets were moderate or good performers                                                             rearranging the desks for better visibility
and about 27 percent said their markets           Enhancing the Member Experience                    and engagement; improving lighting to
performed very well. These responses              Community and regional banks and credit            focus on specific areas and messaging;
suggest much room for improvement exists,         unions are capitalizing on the poor image          changing the member path through
even among the largest credit unions.             of big banks by clearly expressing how they        the branch to promote engagement
   Today, many branches remain oversized          are stable, personable and share the same          and visibility to key communications
for the market potential; 5,500-square-foot       values and interests as their members. Now         areas; removing clutter and enhancing
branches are rarely needed. Branch sizes, level   is the time to enhance your existing member        merchandising and messaging.
of investment and the decision to lease or own    experience through all delivery methods              One of the biggest and lowest-cost positive
should be based on market potential rather        and specifically in branches where there           impacts to productivity can be improving
than a single delivery standard. Branch and       is physical contact and social engagement.         merchandising and messaging. We conduct
alternative delivery systems decisions must       Does your branch provide a rich and                member exit surveys before and after new
be based on real market potential, driven by      competitive member and staff experience?           merchandising elements and programs
accurate member and market analysis and           Do your employees wait for members to              are applied. These surveys typically show


                                                                                                                         JANUARY 2010   |   cumanagement.org   15
                     that before a new merchandising program,               New and low-performing




                                                                                                         RKE TING GROUP
General Management


                     member awareness of key products and                 branches can increase
                     services, like mortgages and investments,            revenue through shared
                     will range between 10 percent and 40 percent.        branching. A shared branch
                     After installation, awareness rises to between       can generate income
                     30 percent and 75 percent. We know there is          from each non-member




                                                                                                            PHO TO BY WE BER MA
                     a correlation between product awareness and          transaction as well as
                     use. Combined with cross-selling, the benefits       increase your CU’s exposure
                     can be measurable and substantial.                   to non-members. On
                       Consolidating functions can help reduce            occasion credit unions
                     branch staffing and space use. Most credit           have decided to close a
                     un
								
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