The Secret Behind Member Behavior

A new approach to member service helps credit unions better understand the underlying needs of members and serve them more effectively.

Why do people join a credit union?

The most common answers a credit union executive team would give to that question might revolve around a needed loan or a checking account. Although this product-focused response might be what members say, there is much more to what drives their behavior.

Working with credit union management teams across the country has taught Callahan & Associates about the importance of looking at issues from a member’s perspective. And Callahan’s Leadership Team Development course, Disruptive Strategy with Clayton Christensen, teaches teams how to do just that.

Disruptive Strategy with Clayton Christensen is a groundbreaking course Callahan offers in collaboration with Harvard Business School’s online learning initiative HBX. A number of leading credit unions have already completed the program,and one of the key takeaways participants note is the importance of adopting a new mindset of looking at business challenges through a new set of lenses.

We’re taking a closer look at the members’ jobs to be done and how we capitalize on that.

Susan Markris, SVP/Chief HR Officer, Patelco Credit Union

Disruptive Strategy] helped us hone in on the true needs of the membership and examine whether our products and services are meeting members’ needs, shared Susan Makris, senior vice president and chief human resources officerfor Patelco Credit Union ($5.4B, Pleasanton, CA) in a September article. We’re not just looking at participation, we’re taking a closer look at the members’jobs to be done and how we capitalize on that.

What’s A Job To Be Done?

The revolutionary Jobs to Be Done framework was developed by Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen to help leadership teams better understand what causes consumers to do what they do, identify new product opportunities, andsharpen marketing messages. It’s also a cornerstone concept of Disruptive Strategy with Clayton Christensen.

Strategy is a process. That’s why Callahan & Associates has developed team learning experiences that help executives become more effective, make better strategic decisions, and ultimately thrive together. Learn more today.

Understanding Why

When a member comes to the credit union for an auto loan, what they are really looking for is a reliable form of transportation to easily travel to and from work, drive their children around town, achieve a certain status level, etc.

This need, or job, has multiple dimensions and varies based on the individual. For example, some members might be perfectly content with a used pickup truck, whereas others want the latest luxury vehicle.

Identifying What

The speed and volume of daily business activities make it difficult for credit union teams to consider a multi-dimensional member perspective. However, it is critical for leadership to look beyond day-to-day tasks and consider what jobs members mightneed to accomplish.

Are members looking toward the future? Are they preparing for life events such as retirement or a child’s college education?

Are members struggling to make ends meet?

Understanding members’ jobs to be done will bring to light needs never before considered, which can help a credit union identify new ways to help members more effectively or easily do their jobs.

The Right Message

Once a credit union understands what is really motivating its members, sending the right message to the right audience becomes a much simpler task.

It is unlikely a one-size-fits-all approach or a single product or service is the right solution for every member. Members have different needs and various jobs to be done.

Learn more about how Callahan’s Strategy Lab can help your leadership team think, talk, and act strategically as a team. Contact Callahan today.

A smart first step for any credit union is to identify segments of members who can benefit most from the organization’s current offerings. Then, alter the positioning of those offerings to highlight how they fulfill the jobs to be done of the differentsegments. With that re-alignment complete, a credit union can then consider new products and services in light of what jobs other segments need to complete and craft the right messaging from the beginning.

The more leadership teams understand and discuss needs from the member’s perspective, the more likely those teams will generate new ideas to improve members’ lives.

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