When I was senior vice president at Neighborhood Credit Union, one thing in particular would drive my boss (the credit union’s CEO) crazy: going into a branch and seeing the tellers not doing anything because they had no members to serve. He would justifiably bemoan the lack of efficiency.
(1) Write personal thank you notes—One of the best tactics any salesperson can do is to write personal notes to customers or potential clients. Your new accounts and loan staff may be busy taking care of members. However, when the branch is slow that is perfect time for your tellers to send notes to members. When is the last time you received a personal note in the mail? These notes never mention sales; the tellers can simply thank the member for doing business with the credit union. Each of your tellers sending just five personal notes per week can revolutionize your credit union.
(2) Make outbound calls—When sales are down, nothing works more efficiently than simply getting on the phone. Call it “shaking the tree” and see what falls. While you might have to train your tellers about how to make effective calls, that training can yield positive results. The content of these calls could include “you were in last week and we just want to say thanks for coming by” to “is there anything else our credit union can do to serve you,” to “we noticed you have your checking account with us but not any loans. May I see if one our loan officers can save you money by refinancing your loan with the credit union?” Very short messages but very effective. Each of your tellers making between 15 to 20 calls per week can increase your sales leads.
(3) Send member e-mails—You probably send your members regular marketing e-mail campaigns. While those are good awareness and promotion tools you can also take that tactic to the personal level. Give your tellers a list of members who live near your branches and for whom you have an e-mail address. Craft text the teller can put in a personal e-mail and then have the tellers send those to members on a regular basis. It can be something as simple as “My name is xxxx, and I work as a teller at ABC Credit Union. At our credit union we believe in personal service so I’m reaching out to thank you for your business and see if there is any service issue I can help you with today.” You would obviously want to expand and customize that a bit but it’s a good starting point.
Marketing and sales are not rocket science. Marketing is simply staying in touch with people. That is one to one marketing. That is relationship marketing. One group of people that can perform those tasks better than anyone at your credit union is your tellers. It’s time to start using them.