CommunityAmerica Refines Building Member Engagement

The Kansas City credit union uses insights from feedback to refine responses and shine during the pandemic.

 
 

CommunityAmerica Credit Union ($3.5B, Lenexa, KS) is deep into a positive feedback loop that speaks to the member-first ethos that drives the financial cooperative model.

The 250,000-member Kansas City cooperative actively solicits member feedback and uses that information to continuously develop and refine its products and services. Members respond by deepening their engagement with CACU, which then measures that engagement to discern how to do even more.

That kind of proactive approach around the industry is a reason that credit unions score higher than banks in terms of engaging consumers. A 2020 study by Gallup, in fact, shows that credit unions’ percentage of highly engaged members was 24 points higher than national banks and 12 percentage points higher than the market overall.

“On top of that, credit union members are more loyal, their NPS scores are higher, and when Gallup asks why people have a great deal of confidence in their financial institution -- of any sort -- one of the top answers is simply: ‘They look out for my financial wellbeing,"’ the analytics and change methodology firm says in a recent blog.   

Gallup, Credit Unions, And Callahan

That blog highlights CommunityAmerica’s role as one of eight credit unions participating with Gallup and Callahan & Associates in the Collaborative Financial Wellbeing & Member Engagement Program.

The five-year program is aimed at better understanding the person behind the member by establishing metrics and processes that drive member engagement through the lens of financial wellbeing.

CACU is building predictive models that integrate Gallup member feedback data with internal transactional data to better understand member behavior.  

The Kansas City credit union’s two objectives are: 

  • Identifying potential churn to be able to take action before accounts are closed or abandoned.
  • Determining effective paths to higher member engagement and thriving financial wellbeing in order to speed up those journeys.

Other participants are also working on data integration and alignment of their methods throughout their organizations, including efforts to improve underwriting and building marketing personas around financial wellbeing that enable more engaging member communications.

Now, More Than Ever

CACU has long targeted member engagement as a specific strategy. But the pandemic put to a new test the credit union’s ability to discern needs and prove its concern about members’ financial wellbeing. 

"(It’s our) moment of truth, when you can have the greatest impact, when you have to put yourself in the member's shoes and feel what they feel,” CACU CFO Tim Saracini says in the Gallup blog.

He says CommunityAmerica's response was so well-calibrated that more of its members are thriving in terms of financial wellbeing than before the outbreak of the coronavirus.

“When you really measure your members' feelings — which are facts to them — you realize how sensitive our members are to every interaction that we have with them,” Saracini says. “And it's not just about the services that they use and their participation with our products and our institution, it's a two-way engagement.”

Click here for more information about the Collaborative Financial Wellbeing & Member Engagement Program.

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