6 Ways to Use Text Messaging in Your Credit Union
It takes a lot to manage a credit union day-to-day. But you already know that. What I want to talk about is how to make your life easier (and give your bottom line a bump, too).
You need to connect with members and other employees constantly. Too bad emails and phone calls don’t work like they used to! You know what does work?
Text messaging. That’s why so many credit unions are already texting for all sorts of things. It makes everyone’s lives easier and gets jobs done faster. I’m going to show you how.
Why should my credit union be texting?
It’s a numbers game. Let’s say you need to connect with 20 members today. The stats say you’ll be able to reach 5 of them via call or 4 of them via email. You might get 2 to call you back if you leave a voicemail.
Those are pretty bad numbers, and it often takes hours or days to get responses from emails and voicemail.
Time is money, and if you’re only calling and emailing, you’re losing both. With text messaging, everything’s different.
99% of texts are read, and they’re read within 5 seconds of being sent, on average. When you need to send payment reminders or get more info for an application, or even set up a call, texting is the way to do it.
What about compliance?
We’ve talked to FINRA and we’ve read more about FICU, FCC, and TCPA regulations than some regulators. Using Text Request in the ways given below is compliant. If you’d like to learn more, visit the compliance section of our SMS 101 guide.
Okay, so texting’s the best way to reach people quickly, and Text Request complies with all the people who matter. What should your credit union text for? I’m glad you asked!
6 Ways to Use Text Messaging in Your Credit Union
1. Increase collections (or loan repayments).
You lend money to members, and they need to pay you back a little bit every month. For most people, that’s not a problem - unless they forget, which happens all the time.
Maybe they miss your email reminder, or maybe they’re waiting for a paycheck to clear whenever their statement comes in the mail.
Whatever the reason, the point is you aren’t being. And you’re spending money trying to get members to pay you the money you’re already owed. That’s not right, is it?
A text, however, costs 1/10 of a stamp and is vastly more effective. So here’s what you do. When your member’s are past due, send them a text. All it needs to say is:
Your [loan/card] payment is past due. Please login at ourcreditunion.com to view and pay.
You can also text them whenever their statement is available to avoid late payments entirely. Studies show about 36% will click your link, too (or more, depending on the location). I.e. you get your money with less hassle.
2. Follow up on applications.
How many times have you started the application process, discovered you needed more information, and then had to play phone tag over hours or days before you could get that information and process the application?
It’s a needless hassle that costs you time, money, and patience.
The average text is read in just 5 seconds, and some credit unions even report that 9 out of 10 people respond in a few minutes or less. Imagine how much that would help you - especially if you have quotas to hit. When you need to get information, just text!
Hey Sally - Anthony from Local CU here. Can you confirm your current address for me? Trying to get your application processed. Thank you!
You’ll complete more applications, open more accounts, and issue more loans this way. That’s a win for everyone.
3. Send promotions that convert.
From time to time you run special offers to bring in new members or earn more business from existing members. The problem is it’s really expensive to promote these opportunities through commercials or online ads.
You need people to see your message, and texting’s the best way to make sure everyone (or at least 99% of them) see it. A couple of examples:
Hi FCCU member! We’re offering referral rewards now until 6/30. Get a friend to become an FCCU member, and you’ll both get $500! View fccu.com/referrals for details.
Great news! New business loans with only 4.5% APR. Apply online or tell a friend! For full details and disclaimers see ourcreditunion.com/business-loans.
One new member or loan is worth tens of thousands of dollars for your credit union. You can get that multiple times over by spending just a few bucks on text messages.
4. Communicate with members the way they prefer.
Your credit union is built on relationships, and relationships are built on communication. These days, people prefer to communicate by text message - especially those under 40 years old.
Texting is what people want, and it shows. Anywhere from 50% to 90% of credit union members would rather be texted than called or emailed or mailed.
Financial services emails only have 15-17% open rates, and some credit unions have gone from 5% answer rates when calling to 70% response rates when texting. That’s a massive improvement.
This leads to stronger relationships and better business. It’s more convenient for members, and it makes your job way easier. Thankfully there are plenty of opportunities for texting, like:
- General member service and support
- Questions about products and opportunities
- Stating account balances and location hours
- Sharing documents or files via picture messaging
- Asking members for reviews or survey responses
- Plus others mentioned throughout this article
These are all great opportunities to flex your competitive advantage through text and provide members with the services they really want.
5. Earn more online reviews.
Reviews and testimonials are some of the most powerful tools your credit union can use. Why? Because people want to know they can trust you and that they’ll have a good experience before they work with you.
What’s nice is how easy it is to get more great online reviews by texting members. After you get someone a mortgage or your service team takes great care of them, send them a text.
Hey Caroline, we’ve enjoyed working with you! Would you leave us a review on Google? It would help us a lot. Here’s the link: goo.gl/review Thank you!
Based on averages, you’ll get 4-5X more reviews by texting than you would by emailing. Those reviews will quickly turn into more members (and revenue), too.
6. Text from your direct dial/office number.
Most of the employees in your branch have a direct line. This makes it easy for you and members to reach the right person.
With Text Request, you can send and receive texts with those same phone numbers, too.
Since those numbers aren’t currently texting, we can connect our service to them. Then anyone can send and receive texts with their office number.
Nothing changes to your voice services, but everyone can text and call the same numbers. It’s really convenient for members, and also makes internal communications a breeze.
Okay, texting works well. What now?
Text Request offers free demos to anyone who wants to learn more about the service or speak to a real person. Just book a time on our Demo page.
Or, if you’re ready to get started, you can sign up on our Pricing page, and be ready to go in as little as a few minutes. Someone from our support staff will also reach out to you ASAP to help you get the ball rolling.