New Year’s Resolutions for Credit Unions?

Every year, countless people make New Year’s resolutions. And every year, countless people break them. Why do you think that is?

I suspect it has to do with the fact that most people confuse “resolutions” with “goals.”

So, let’s talk about the difference between the two. Then, let’s talk about how your credit union can make some.


New Year’s Resolutions vs New Year’s Goals

New Year’s goals are almost as common as resolutions, but they’re a lot harder to follow. Often, they’re things like:

  • Lose 20 pounds
  • Learn to play guitar
  • Save $5,000
  • Read 20 books

These aren’t resolutions so much as personal achievements or goals. They’re milestones. They’re the end result of resolutions. And, although technically you can resolve to learn a new language, a better resolution would focus on building the kinds habits that lead to achieving those goals.

New Year’s resolutions outline a commitment to a course of behavior. Better resolutions for those goals would be:

  • Exercise more or cut down on alcohol
  • Practice guitar more often
  • Spend less on going out to eat
  • Set aside reading time a few nights per week

You can have goals, too, naturally. But your resolutions should focus on the actions you’ll take to achieve those goals.

With New Year’s resolutions, the important thing is the effort, not the outcome.


Can Credit Unions Make New Year’s Resolutions?

Of course they can. Just remember, your goals aren’t your resolutions. You may want to make resolutions to support those goals, or you may make resolutions that simply aim toward ongoing improvement.

Here’s a few ideas:

1.    Give your members great experiences

There are so many ways to do this. For some, it might start with friendly tellers. For others, it could mean revamping the ol’ mobile app. Maybe you want to put more effort into your member experience program.

No matter how you go about it, just remember that it should start from day one. Make their lives easy through onboarding all the way through account management. Guide them through the ins and outs of their financial lives—and how you can help.

If one of your members doesn’t know that they qualify for your premium credit card—or that you can help them plan for retirement—are you truly giving them the best member experience out there?

2.    Expand your presence

You should be there for your members, right? But what if you don’t know where “there” is? That’s okay. There are still ways.

Maybe you need to think about adding a new branch. Or maybe you could run a digital engagement campaign to increase adoption of your mobile app so that your members can bank with you even when they’re out of the area. Heck, maybe you just want to add a few ATMs to your fleet to serve shoppers and handle quick transactions.

There are many ways to expand your presence. One of the ways we think about often here is finding new channels for interaction. While the above three ideas certainly do that, we’re a bit more in tune with how to handle social media—and how to connect with a wider audience.

3.    Help your members save money

One of the most common resolutions people make is to save more money. Or spend less money. Maybe it’s both?

Either way, consider making your resolutions align with your members’ goals. There’s no better way to keep people happy than helping them accomplish something.

So, while they know you’ll always be there if they need a loan, a mortgage, or a credit card… all those options are there to help them spend. Instead, show them how they can better save. Suggest CDs or savings accounts with higher interest rates. Incentivize meeting savings goals. Help people better manage their money.

4.    Save time for the big stuff

Nobody likes spending their time performing repetitive, tedious tasks. While getting faster and more efficient sounds hectic, it doesn’t have to be.

Maybe your resolution is to automate or streamline processes to free up more time for member-facing services. Or perhaps you want to cut down on your audit completion time.

Heck, self-serving plug incoming, you might even want to try marketing automation to supercharge your content strategy.

Either way, the point is that busywork robs you of productive hours. It robs you of your energy and your will to put in the extra effort for your members. It makes you spend your time catching up instead of getting ahead.

So, your resolution might be to reprioritize how you spend your time. If automation can help you provide better member experiences, stronger analytics programs, or even the chance to work with AI, then by all means, automate away! Save a little time for the big stuff.


Final Thoughts

These are just a few ideas, and frankly, we’re sure there are some even better ones out there. What are some of your credit union’s New Year’s resolutions? And how do you plan to follow them?

We’d love to hear from you! Send us an email, and we may highlight some of your credit union’s New Year’s resolutions in an upcoming blog.

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