Get Active: Revive your Single-Service Sleepers

When you review your credit union’s unprofitable accounts, how many of them are inactive? Many credit unions find themselves with a segment of members who joined the credit union for a specific purpose (often a loan offer), and remain members with inactive low-balance savings accounts after they have finished using the product that enticed them to join.  These single-service households can become burdensome.  As you look for ways to expand your share of wallet among all members, a special focus on reinvigorating these single-service sleepers may help improve your profitability.

Examine.  Try to determine why these members are inactive and unprofitable by looking at vulnerability, profitability, and demographic details.  FIS ( has tips on using analytics to help increase opportunities to leverage and expand customer relationships to improve your profitability. 1

Educate.  There’s a good chance that when these members joined, they didn’t know a whole lot about your credit union – just that for a particular product, you had the best option at that time.  A targeted marketing effort can help you educate these members about what makes credit unions unique, as well as update them on current rates and offers that are available to them. The more tailored your cross-sell approach (What do they not have that they might need? Can you offer a better-than-market rate on another product?), the more likely you are to improve the relationship.

Encourage. Involve your staff in seeking ways to improve relationships with members.  A recent CUNA study shows a more member satisfied means more loyalty and activity—both in using your products and recommending you to others. 2  Each time your employees have an opportunity to interact with a member, it’s an opportunity to build loyalty and prevent members from wandering into that inactive single-service category.  Develop and encourage an internal culture that supports loyalty—inspiring attitudes and behaviors.

Exit.  If you have made an ongoing effort to revitalize a non-performing member with no response, it might be time to consider an exit strategy for the relationship. You may want to consider charging inactivity fees or find other subtle ways of encouraging the member to move on rather than passively draining your resources.
It tends to be more cost effective to retain and develop an existing customer relationship than to acquire a new customer.   A strong service-oriented internal culture and targeted marketing efforts may just be the right prescription for your comatose single-service accounts.

1 Moed, Joyce. “Marketing and Sales Culture Target Inactive Accounts.” CU Times, 12/15/2010.
2 Credit Union Member Satisfaction, Growth, and Loyalty Report, CUNA 2010.

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