NORTH CHICAGO, Ill. (11/20/13)--A credit union in the Midwest has taken a new route to members service and has teamed up with a website that advises female car-buyers and certifies consumer automotive outfits as being friendly to women.
Great Lakes CU (GLCU) here announced last week that loan officers have completed a course issued by that website, AskPatty.com, making it the first credit union to receive credentials from the website. The credit union, which has 13 locations in Illinois and Wisconsin, is also entering into an AskPatty.com marketing support program and year-round training courses geared toward building stronger long-term relationships with women members.
The credit union said that its website will soon feature services geared towards women interested in auto loans, which include credit pre-approval, information about monthly payments, financing options and other resources that women car loan-applicants frequently request.
Susan Malo, GLCU assistant vice president of business development, said that the credit union first considered teaming up with the website last year, when it held its first annual "Chicks, Cars and Cupcakes"--a gathering held to give women car-buyers a leg-up. AskPatty CEO Jody DeVere was the keynote speaker at the event.
DeVere founded the site in 2005 to empower women looking for information about consumer automotive products and services. She has said that women are buying more than 60% of cars these days, and 85% of the decision of what model and make is brought into a household is made by women. She said that this means dealers need to find ways to "connect with us, and it's not by making things pink and treating us like we're less intelligent (Chicago Tribune Feb. 3, 2011)."
GLCU's Malo said that based on the success of that 2012 symposium and one held on Oct. 5, she asked DeVere if it would be possible for GLCU to become the first credit union to receive AskPatty certificaition. DeVere agreed, and AskPatty tailored its auto-loan certification process to meet the needs of a credit union.
Malo told News Now that while it's tough to gauge just how GLCU members are responding to the partnership, with it having just been announced last week, she did note that the initial press release received 30,000 impressions--a measure of page views. She also said GLCU will be tracking its loan volume to determine the extent to which the partnership is having an impact on female auto-loan customers.
While GLCU does have financial services geared toward certain types of consumers, like student loans, this is its first targeted auto-loan marketing and service program.
AskPatty.com also certifies car dealers, tire dealers, collision centers, and car service and repair centers.