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Data and Employees Key to the Flywheel That Drives Revenue

double flywheels
By Bob Kottler

3 minutes

Knowing members’ details and managing them personally helps align business and sales goals.

There’s a formula to improving revenue margins—a flywheel of actions that are proven to sharpen results. This formula involves having clean, actionable data that empowers employees with the knowledge to deliver a better member experience and coaches them to make the most of these interactions. Better interactions deliver value and drive profitability, allowing the cycle for mutually beneficial and profitable relationships to continue.  

Credit unions have built their reputations on knowing their members and being their financial advocates, but as relationships have become increasingly digitalized, there is a need for better systems to support this crucial differentiator. Such systems must provide a consolidated view of the member’s account and transaction-level data gathered into a single environment accessible across the organization. Having this level of insight enables credit unions to create a holistic view of their members and behaviors, further revealing key revenue opportunities.

When data is clean, transparent and managed in a meaningful way, employees will understand the entirety of the member relationship and will be empowered to educate, encourage, and promote products and services that are beneficial to each member and household. At an individual level, these relationships will become more profitable for the credit union as employees will be able to cross-sell additional products and services to the member, based on their individual preferences. Taking this a step further, employees will also have full visibility into how a member might be part of a family who also banks at the credit union, which will unlock opportunities to further strengthen and develop the relationship. 

One of the biggest problems today is that no one “owns” the member relationship, but this can be solved with transparency. When someone from the organization is assigned to a specific member, regardless of the preferred channel, they can personalize and empower the member experience. This level of detail helps employees understand how each member derives value, then tailor products, services, and communications accordingly. This might be an opportunity to help the financially vulnerable succeed by learning to optimize the tools available at their credit union, prepare for unexpected family situations, and manage daily finances. Leveraging this information can help coach employees’ behavior to help members succeed, while at the same, they might become more motivated once they see the impact they’re bringing to the day-to-day lives of members and how they’re valued as advocates. In addition, this increased accessibility makes it easier to have regular touchpoints, ensuring sales and business goals are better aligned. 

Knowing the details of member relationships also allows credit unions to determine their profitability and enables institutions to set appropriate pricing. This has a direct impact on a credit union’s ability to drive revenue. Credit unions that have harnessed their data can determine how members will respond to changing fees, offers, and services based on their current relationship, helping them price relationships accordingly. Once the pricing for each relationship is accurate, the credit union can then understand which relationship might be more profitable and find ways to strengthen it. The profitability of each account and member, including the revenue, risk, capital and expense helps narrow down those who make a big impact on the bottom line. 

Credit unions that know their members and how they receive value can approach them in a way that’s not only personal but beneficial to the organization. Employees can be motivated to drive revenue if they have greater visibility into the relationship via clean and organized data sources. As behaviors continue to shift, credit unions will need to approach members differently and with deeper insights into the relationships than before. Going forward, there will be many areas of the business, for example, turning Paycheck Protection Program loans into loyal members, that will require employees to have a better handle on cross-selling opportunities, profitability and pricing of relationships, as well as the coaching to make a difference to the bottom line. 

Bob Kottler is EVP/chief revenue officer of White Clay, a fintech that provides a user-friendly experience to help financial institutions increase profitability, drive team performance and manage relationships. In this role, he is responsible for building financial institution relationships and uncovering partnership opportunities.

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