LENEXA, Kan. (11/26/12)--Beyond Marketing LLC, a Lenexa, Kan.-based credit union service organization (CUSO), is offering a free kit to help credit unions communicate with members more effectively during the merger process.
Beyond Marketing has experience in the internal and external roles of merging credit unions and is available to advise credit unions on the process.
"When two credit unions agree to merge, the operational, administrative, cultural, and regulatory requirements involved can be overwhelming," said Larry Hayes, Beyond Marketing CEO. "It's essential to dedicate the time and resources to successfully manage all the moving pieces. Our intent is to help credit unions retain members, think proactively about communications and focus on their success and sustainability during all phases of their merger."
Beyond Marketing recommends merging credit unions should prepare communications to reach three groups: Members, internal staff and the community. Each audience has a role to play in the success of the transition. Effective communications with each helps to retain resources and members, while minimizing the quantity and severity of service disruptions, the CUSO said.
The focus of merger communication is member retention, said the firm. During a merger, members can become frustrated with service interruptions and lack of communication, and will often consider another financial institution. That is especially true for members subject to the greatest level of changes, such as receiving new member and account numbers and suffixes or changes in electronic/online services and in fee structures.
How well merging credit unions share merger details with members is as important as how well the credit unions manage the operational, system, product and service changes that will occur, said the CUSO. Keeping staff informed, engaged, and optimistic is a key component of meeting operational needs, and it also sets a tone for member communications, Beyond Marketing concluded.