A Challenge to Credit Unions

AchieveMax® speakers, trainers and staff have been affiliated with the Credit Union Movement for 15 years now, and it’s been a very rewarding experience for us. We’ve had the privilege and opportunity to work with very small credit unions with as few as ten employees as well as very large credit unions that have 50 times that many employees. In fact, I’m preparing now to spend the day on the west coast with an organization boasting 20 branches in 12 cities serving 149,000 members.

That’s one of the interesting aspects of the Credit Union Movement. Regardless of size or location, credit unions share strong, traditional values and commonalities that focus forthrightly on supporting their valued members. However, they also offer unique products and services as they focus on members who share a common but sometimes unique bond from other credit unions. This openness and ability to adapt offers a tremendous advantage to everyone involved.

A credit union is a cooperative organization owned entirely by its members and operated for the benefit of all who belong. Credit unions provide a full spectrum of financial services — just like other financial institutions. The difference is that credit unions are not-for-profit financial organizations whose earnings are passed onto members in the form of lower loan rates, fewer fees and added or improved services.

Over the years, as our relationship with this growing movement has strengthened, we have been asked to work not only with management and front-line employees but also with credit union leagues and credit union associations in a large number of states. We’ve played a key role in annual conferences across the nation and worked closely with a large variety of chapters, boards of directors, and management teams.

Having worked at so many levels of this movement, it has been very gratifying to watch the focus on member service become more intensified than ever before. Of course, as in any enterprise, some have advanced their efforts more rapidly and to a greater degree than others. For the past year, we have been tracking the efforts of a great number of very successful credit unions to create a profile of winning strategies that are necessary to make the claim that you are doing everything possible to focus on the member. We coined the word MEMBERIZED a number of years ago to denote those organizations that excel in their efforts to offer superior member service on a continuous basis.

Main Entry: mem-ber-ize
Pronunciation: ‘mem-b&r-“Iz
Function: transitive verb

  1. the ability to become more responsive to your members;
  2. to enhance your ability to attract new members;
  3. to consistently apply the principles of constant and never-ending improvement to create a service strategy, systems and staff that supports members in every way.


As a team, discuss each of the following statements and agree on the most truthful answer.

  1. Do you have as many members as you want?
    Yes___ No___
  2. Are your members as loyal as you would like?
    Yes___ No___
  3. Do you generate as much business from each member as you would like?
    Yes___ No___
  4. Does your entire organization know what your members want and need?
    Yes___ No___
  5. Is your service strategy focused on hearing what members are trying to tell you?
    Yes___ No___
  6. Can your credit union respond quickly to what members and markets are telling you?
    Yes___ No___
  7. Does your service strategy enable you to proactively service your members?
    Yes___ No___
  8. Are the full capabilities of your credit union accessible to your members?
    Yes___ No___
  9. Does your service strategy reflect the bottom-line importance of member service?
    Yes___ No___
  10. As an organization, do you strive for continuous and never-ending improvement in your quest for incomparable member service?
    Yes___ No___

The Bottom Line
If you answered NO to any of these questions, you’re not yet fully memberized. However, you must agree that this simple test suggests the enormous advantages and tremendous potential in becoming memberized.

The AchieveMax® team is prepared to work with your staff in creating the necessary strategies to reach that coveted level of memberization. Please call 1-800-886-2MAX or contact us via our web site for more information.

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

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