Why One CU Has Created Member Relationship Department

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ROANOKE, Va.-Having grown to more than $500 million in assets, Member One FCU has established a Member Relationship Development Department.

Scott Crawford will head the new department as VP-member relationship development. Crawford, who was previously in business development at Member One, said CEO Frank Carter has put a special emphasis on strong service, adding that the focus also includes improving internal communications. "It looks not only at external services, but internal-how staff treats each other and deals with each other," said Crawford. "So this is somewhat of a growth of that, to make sure that we provide our members with the strongest service possible and that we are offering products and services that meet their unique needs."

Crawford worked in education for more than 15 years before coming to Member One, and he has helped the organization design a curriculum and seminars to improve member relations. Working alongside him is AVP Deborah Goodwin.

The curriculum, he said, looks at issues related to improving member relations. For example, the seminar "The Art of Observation" uses works of art as a springboard for discussion about developing observation skills, said Crawford, "so that we can better understand our members and their needs."

He added that employees can then also apply those same skills to, for example, analyzing a credit report to determine what best meets a specific member's needs.

The new department was not created out of a that their previous strategy for member relationship development was lacking, said Crawford, but more out of a push to always improve. "We want to be the primary financial resource for our members. We want to see increased product penetration in the household and have our members have stronger relationships with us."

Member One currently has a relationships-per-member ratio of 3:5, however Chief Marketing Officer Mark Hudzik noted that that figure is strictly savings, loan and investments-and not debit cards.

Member One has been identifying and targeting unprofitable members using an MCIF from Raddon Financial Group, which, Hudzik explained, has helped the CU to zero-in on specific targets for cross sales.

While there is no specific end-point for the department, Crawford said it has measurable goals in place, and that the focus will be on continuing to drive growth.

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