What is your story?

There’s a lot of talk in the credit union industry today about why people should switch from banks to credit unions.

It makes sense. The financial crisis that led us into the current recession has led many consumers to evaluate the alternatives and look for new solutions.

But what appears perfectly clear to most credit union believers is not translating into a wholesale movement of customers away from their banks and to their local credit union.

Why not?

The answer is simple: It’s not about which form of institution is better in terms of rates, services, or beliefs…it is about the pain the consumer feels, how aware they are of the alternatives available to help them ease their pain, and whether they are willing to endure the pain of making a change.

The point is that no matter how many messages we put out there about why credit unions are better than banks, no matter how well we live up to and exceed members expectations, and no matter how much better our rates and service levels are…until the consumer feels the pain and sees the credit union as the place they can go to make the pain go away, they are not going to make the switch.

A recent article from CBSNEWS.com illustrates this point very effectively. You can click the link in the previous sentence to read the article, but the gist of it is that a couple seeking a better rate on a home equity loan turned to a local credit union after being turned down by the local bank.

Why did they move to the credit union? Because the credit union eased their pain.

ACTION ADVICE: How many stories like this do you have in your credit union? Are they regularly and repeatedly being shared with both current and prospective members (it’s always amazing how little many of your current members know about what you offer and what you can do to ease their pain)? Tell the stories, show the people in your target market that you can ease their pain, then make it easy for them to make the switch by helping them manage the process…that’s they way to get people to leave their bank and come to your credit union!