Good service is a great way to retain members but awful in attracting new ones.

Is service really a differentiator?

“Great Service” is often touted by credit unions as a differentiator, but is it really a selling point that makes a difference?

Mainly, there’s a problem of credibility.

Service claims have simply been worn out from misuse and over-use. And, in most people’s experience, service promises are worthless when put to the test. In fact, the very act of staking a claim of great service instantly makes the rest of your message less credible.

Secondly, good service must be experienced to be believed.

It’s something you do, not something you say you do. And, of course, the actual definition of good service is infinitely variable depending on the situation. So what’s a marketer to do?

Talk about things you do, not grand philosophies or mission statements.

Part of the solution is to be specific; what, exactly, are you doing? “Great Service” is a vague concept, but extended drive-up hours on paydays are great service in action. “We’ll come to your home or office to close your loan.” says a lot more than “We strive for convenience.”

Show great service in action through testimonials.

You’ll usually want to make sure that the testimonial is something portable and specific, not just one extraordinary experience or a sob story. But allowing people to use their own words can be a powerful way to show your exceptional service.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to go small.

Little, everyday examples of good service — the stuff you probably don’t even think about any more — can be powerful, credible evidence of your credit union’s service quality in action. For example, are your phones answered by a live human or a phone menu that demands an account number before you can proceed?

“Do or do not. There is no try.” – Jedi Master Yoda

Brian Wringer

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