Banks and credit unions are always looking for new ways to cross sell solutions and encourage adoption of existing profitable services. For our most recent FI Spotlight, we spoke with Kris VanBeek, president & CEO of USAlliance Federal Credit Union. Kris shared insights on the implementation of Micronotes Cross Sell™ and encouraging further engagement with members.
Q: In a few sentences, can you tell me about USAlliance Federal Credit Union?
USAlliance Federal Credit Union is one of the nation’s fastest growing credit unions. We were founded in 1966 as a credit union for IBM employees. In less than fifty years, we’ve become a full-service financial institution with over $800 million in assets and over 60,000 members located throughout the globe. We‘ve accomplished this through an extensive portfolio of progressive products and services all designed with one objective in mind – to help members achieve their personal financial goals.
We have big plans for the future. The key to achieving them is by adopting the most innovative and efficient technologies including online delivery and communication channels to support the needs of our growing member community.
Q: You recently implemented Micronotes Cross Sell™. Can you tell us a bit about the technology and the drive behind implementing a cross-sell technology?
Sure, but first let’s talk about the business drivers that led us to Micronotes Cross-Sell.
Financial institutions are keenly aware of the fact that the average consumer owns seven banking products yet only two are likely to be from the same institution. Realizing the enormous potential in cross-selling, the entire industry is focused on finding a way to anticipate when a customer is in the market for a new banking product and then making a compelling offer at the right time to convert the lead into a sale.
While cross-selling is a top priority, executing on the strategy presents a challenge because traditional marketing approaches such as direct mail, banner ads and in-statement offers lack the personalized, one-on-one experience that customers get when they come into a branch office. Also, those approaches tend to market to the masses as opposed to individuals, therefore resulting in a low ROI.
Given these factors, we started to explore a different approach to cross-selling and that’s when we discovered Micronotes Cross-Sell. The product was designed specifically for financial institutions to more effectively cross-sell through the online banking channel. It does this by combining big data with one-on-one interviews to recreate the in-branch experience.
For example, imagine you’re incurring a series of auto repairs and rental car expenses over a period of three months. When you go online to do your banking, you may be presented with a dialog box that asks, “Are you thinking about buying a car?” The conversation would then continue for about 18 seconds, ultimately leading to a personalized offer.
Micronotes Cross-Sell is able to do this by analyzing customers’ financial needs, asking relevant questions, listening to customers’ responses, providing advice, and making a relevant offer within seconds.
Q: What successes have you seen with the Micronotes Cross-Sell program?
We conducted a series of one-month digital marketing campaigns to a limited audience of our online customers. More specifically, we targeted 11,958 of our online banking customers and yielded the following results:
- Interviewed 15 percent of our online banking population.
- Converted 50 percent of interviewees into warm leads, generating 1,098 qualified leads.
- Converted 8 percent of loan product leads to sales.
Based on these results, we’re continuing to develop campaigns using Micronotes Cross-Sell that will be made available to all of our online customers.
Q: Do you find other methods of member’s engagement such as social media beneficial to interacting with members/customers?
Yes. However, what’s important to note about member engagement through these channels is that immediacy and customer service must work together.
For example, if a customer has an inquiry, they should get a response from a live person immediately, and that answer should be delivered through the member’s preferred channel, for example, this may be during an online banking session or even through Twitter.
On the other side, it’s also our responsibility to proactively present our members with information that’s relevant to their financial needs. This may include operational updates, special announcements, and offers on new products that will ultimately save members time and money.
Q: What advice do you have for credit unions looking to more effectively cross-sell their solutions?
Given the continued rise in online banking, I would recommend bringing your technology and marketing teams together as you create a cross-selling strategy that taps into the growing needs of this audience. I would also recommend putting Micronotes Cross-Sell at the top of the consideration list because, honestly, it’s the most effective cross-selling tool we’ve ever used.
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Kris VanBeek is President & CEO of USAlliance Federal Credit Union. Prior to leading USAlliance, he was Senior Vice President of Information Systems and Risk Management at Digital Federal Credit Union in Massachusetts. His career encompasses a broad spectrum of experience in fields such as e-commerce, real estate, commodity markets and financial services. He is also an entrepreneur, having founded and led two companies. Kris is a frequent contributor to industry magazines on his areas of expertise and serves on several advisory boards.