Communicating with Members in a Time of Stress and Need

In these days of tense economic times and natural disasters, communicating with your members has never been more vitally important.


Credit unions rush to members’ aid in a time of crisis. A bold statement, and one that is being shared around the nation as credit unions to quickly to assure their members of the safety and soundness of their financial institution. It is also a caring approach that applies to credit unions that have suffered through natural disasters in the past month.

How do credit unions reach their members with a timely message that assuages all worries about their economic soundness in a time of uncertainty? Progressive credit unions are turning to e-alerts. An e-alert is a timely message delivered through email to members. With handheld devices providing different platforms for messaging, many members now have email enabled phones that allow them to receive the messages in a timely fashion. Instead of having a large volume of calls come in to the call center, credit unions can head off the concern by issuing a message from their CEO via email.

For many Texas and Louisiana-based credit unions, just three weeks ago Hurricane Ike descended upon their members.  When the storm hit there was much uncertainty, and for most members the biggest question was, “Where can I access my money, and would it really be there?” The answer was displayed in emails to all the members of many credit unions in Texas and Louisiana through e-alerts. The timely messaging could be received by members wherever they travelled to. In fleeing such a disaster, it is unlikely that they bring much more than a few valuable belongings, their cell phones, and a laptop.

There are many email vendors available that provide for the type of timely communication that is needed in situations like these. As credit unions evaluate the different solutions, it is critical to take note of which ones truly provide a full package, and which provide just “batch and blast” marketing. If your credit union only needs scheduled email capabilities, then there are many low cost options around. Most credit unions are undertaking larger, more robust systems with far more automated capabilities to include e-alerts and the like. These allow for credit unions to send out messages that are personalized with considerably less strain on their resources. In a time of crisis, immediate response is needed. Credit unions continue to value their members and meet that important communication need.