The Pulse (11-02-12)
Nov. 2, 2012 ● Volume 01, Issue 44
View 11-02-12 issue of The Pulse
Products & Services News
Avoiding the disaster within a disaster
With Hurricane Sandy hitting the East Coast this week, credit unions were reminded of the importance of disaster preparedness. Year after year, disaster after disaster, CUNA Mutual Group's claims specialists help credit unions recover from catastrophic losses. After years of helping credit unions handle disasters better than others, CUNA Mutual Group has developed three tips for success:
- Review and update your insurance coverage – including extra expense coverage
Understand what your insurance does and doesn't cover. If your policy doesn't provide 100 percent replacement value for property, be sure that the credit union is prepared for the co-pay. Also, take into account any property improvements made since the last time you updated your policy limits.
Look closely at your coverage limits for extra expenses involved in providing member service during disaster recovery. It's difficult to over-estimate what it will cost to run a credit union when a branch or main office has been damaged or destroyed.
Adequate "Extra Expense” and other coverage limits for buildings, business personal property, and data processing can be the major factor in how quickly and completely you can recover from severe damage and the indirect losses.
- Practice your disaster response plan
The NCUA requires credit unions to have a written plan for disaster recovery. However, if credit union employees have never seen and practiced implementing the plan, chances are it won't work when disaster strikes.
Having all employees read through and practice the plan helps you find bugs and work them out. And it's important for all employees to be aware of the plan because, in an emergency, any one of them may end up having to make quick, important decisions.
- Set up an emergency communication procedure
When disaster strikes and your insurance provider has been informed, your top priority should be communicating with employees to see who's available, who needs help, and to share the plan for restoring service.
This means that before disaster strikes, employees must have an idea of how to get in touch with the credit union in these situations. Every employee should have a "cheat sheet” with them or at home that details the first steps to take. For example, the cheat sheet should provide alternate locations designated for temporary branch service.
CUNA Mutual Group is dedicated to helping and protecting credit unions. To learn more about CUNA Mutual Group's other products and services, contact MnCUN Director of Business Development Vickie Ganrude by email or at (651) 288-5515.
Rewards programs – Essential for building (and retaining) member loyalty
Loyalty is the most critical metric that credit unions can use to measure performance. Keeping members is easier than finding new ones and loyal members spread the brand. Loyalty is the key to success. Understanding the importance of member loyalty, Card Services for Credit Unions (CSCU) – a division of FIS – is dedicated to helping credit unions attract and retain members.
Friendly staff, winning smiles and good member service will only take a credit union so far. To stay competitive, credit unions must offer card programs and rewards that have real meaning to their members. Even the most loyal members will jump ship if another institution delivers better rewards. This is especially true after the Great Recession – consumers are much more aware of what they are getting in return for their business. Research shows that a rewards program is the main reason people select a new credit card. According to the same ComScore study (September 2008), about two-thirds indicated they would consider getting a different card if it offered rewards.
"Cardholders are much quicker than banks and credit unions to understand what they want from their financial institutions,” said CSCU Vice President of Portfolio Consulting Services Bill Lehman. "Consumers will change institutions if they are presented with a rewards program that has a stronger value proposition that better matches their needs.”To learn how CSCU can help your credit union build loyalty and promote growth through rewards programs, visit the Card Services for Credit Unions website or call (888) 930-CSCU, ext. 332.