In theory, the more a member is engaged, the more likely they are to provide a positive ROI and encourage others to join their credit union. But how accurate is this assumption? And what does optimal engagement look like?

A recent MEMBERS Development Company (MDC) initiative took an extensive look into the world of member engagement—seeking to provide our owners with an answer to these ever-important questions.

Mapping out Engagement Touch Points

To begin, we researched the journey a member has with their credit union and explored the various touch points that occur. MDC interviewed a handful of our 40 credit union owners and developed a secondary research report. The results of this research were used to create an Engagement Touch Point Map, which depicted an individual’s journey from finding a credit union, to becoming a member and maintaining an ongoing relationship.

How will credit unions use these insights? For next steps, MDC conducted a Member Engagement Leading Practices Report to provide our owners with the valuable information they need to apply to their own credit unions.

Engagement Represented Through Personas

To better explain the results of MDC’s research, we created relatable personas of the different types of credit union members to show how engagement differs among varying demographics.

  • Mel, (the Millennial) represents the 15-34 age group that will soon be the majority of the work force in America. She embodies Millennial values including preference for personalization and online banking.
  • Jane, (the mid-life Gen X-er) illustrates the 35-50 year olds’ goals and values. She is interested in thinking about the best retirement options and building credit. She is also interested in saving for her children’s education.
  • Bonnie, (the Baby Boomer) falls in the 51-69 age range. She is late in her career path and values savings for retirement. She also represents this group’s tendency to feel proud of being a credit union member when optimally engaged.
  • Barry, (the Greatest Generation) is in 70-88 age group, and has been enjoying retirement for several years now. He is interested, like many individuals his age, in a happy retirement and good financial health.

For more specific insights about each persona, be sure to check out the project information on MDC Connect

Key Takeaways

After understanding more about the specifics of engagement and how they relate to different demographics, MDC presented important takeaways from this project at the Summer Owner Meeting in Chicago. Highlights included:

  • Confirmation that engagement is a definitive predictor of business growth. Furthermore engagement suffers (as much as 30%) without consistent channel experience.
  • It is important to recognize the impact that the Millennial age group—who will represent 75% of the workforce by 2025—will have in the future. Keeping millennials engaged is important, but credit unions must also remember this group has the greatest level of student debt and has high expectations of their financial institutions.

Engagement Economic Model and Guide

To wrap up this initiative, MDC wanted to go above and beyond by providing our credit unions with actionable insights and tools to assist in engaging members. To do this, we built a workable engagement model that can be personalized for each individual credit union. This model allows owners to input select data points about his/her credit union and get an exact dollar value representing an optimally engaged member’s ROI—a helpful resource that MDC encourages all of our credit unions to use. To access this resource login into MDC Connect

Finally, for more information about MDC research and initiatives please contact CEO Jeff Kline