Granted, it’s an ugly time for the economy. Rocky times tend to make folks a little nervous as it relates to their financial institution. “Is my money safe?” is a question that gets more utterances these days than in the past. Well, members should know that their money is very safe with St. Louis Community Credit Union. All of the members’ money is federally insured through the NCUA. We even have additional private deposit insurance for accounts that exceed the federal government’s maximum of $100,000 per account.
In addition, we have never invested heavily in mortgage-related loans. We help our members with the purchase of their dream home all the time, but we do not involve the Credit Union in speculative housing developments or commercial loans to the home-building industry. Second, St. Louis Community avoids sub-prime mortgage lending. Our loans are conservative in nature with strong loan-to-value ratios, shorter terms and acceptable credit risk. Lastly, we don’t invest members’ deposits in “exotic,” “get-rich-quick” investments. We are conservative and conscientious in our investment strategy.
St. Louis Community is not a commercial bank or a Wall Street investment bank. We are a credit union. A credit union that only exists to make our members’ lives better. For that reason, we keep our eye on you and your well-being – not the fastest way to make a buck.
The true character of a company comes out when something goes wrong. When a mistake hits the fan – that’s when you are able to determine exactly with whom you are dealing. As an example, many people love their insurance company as long as they’re paying premium. But the really good insurance companies are the ones that are still loved by their clients after a claim is filed. That’s when you figure out what the company is really all about.
Same holds true for our Credit Union and our great staff. We make mistakes. We work hard not to mess up, but it happens. Now what? Are we contrite? Are we sincere? Yes and yes. We are humbled by the fact that members trust us to help them manage their money, and it literally pains us to fall short of both our own and our members’ high expectations. The character of our credit union is on display in instances of an error, and we are of high character.
After we admit error and sincerely apologize, our character takes center stage as we take the essential step of asking: “Now how do we make it better for the member?” We go above and beyond “oops…sorry,” and add value in our resolve. We ask the member: “How do I make this right to your satisfaction?” Not our satisfaction – the member’s satisfaction. That’s our character and the difference between us and them.
You’ve heard it said many times…“You can’t be all things to all people.” That’s probably true, but at St. Louis Community Credit Union, we do our very best to be “most things to most people.” We offer a full array of products, services and convenience at highly competitive prices. And, quite frankly, most of our members would wholeheartedly agree.
Yet, there will always be someone who is shopping for a new financial institution and looking for something a little different or with a little higher rate. Or maybe the motivation is an even greater level of convenience. As a result, they may go elsewhere. We are flattered that they considered us and disappointed that we weren’t their first choice. But first and foremost, we want the consumer to find the best place for them and their family.
We want a relationship with our members that is more than a great rate or a low fee. Yeah, we have both, but the relationship is what we want. We want our members to be our friends – long term. That’s when we can help the most. The greatest honor our members can pay us is to give us all of their business all of the time.
Uniformity and consistency are what every member wants. Nothing is more frustrating for our members than having something done a particular way at one of our offices and then done in a completely different manner in another of our facilities. It makes the blood boil. Why? The inconsistency is confusing and inconsiderate. We need to fix these situations when they arise.
How? Professional development of credit union staff is key. That’s why we are focusing on our knowledge of products, processes and policies, as well as our application of each. With every effort we make in staff training, we take a big step in improving our consistency in serving the members. We are committed to ending the year smarter, more efficient and more uniform in our response to member questions and inquiries.
The ultimate goal is that the member experience is of the highest quality across each office and across the prism of time. Whether members are north, south or midtown…whether it’s March or December…whether it’s Tuesday or Saturday, whether it’s 3:30 p.m. or 9:15 a.m., our service will look and sound the same…GREAT!
Here’s what we know. Employees of St. Louis Community Credit Union take service very seriously. We know that great service is represented by a handful of traits. If any are missing, then service can’t be called great.
Great service starts with great communication. And great communication involves active listening. Being a great listener allows for solutions to take place. St. Louis Community listens intently to what our members want. We also introduce ourselves to our members. We think it’s important that members know who’s waiting on them.
Compassion and empathy come in a close second to listening. A St. Louis Community employee once said that we should try to “walk in our member’s shoes.” That’s a great analogy. Fully understanding the member’s perspective is the difference in providing what the member really needs versus what we think they want.
We’ve all seen bad service. It always looks the same. Inconsiderate (no empathy) is present. Add to the lack of compassion a dose of poor communication. Service personnel would do well to stop talking and start listening. Members should feel free to talk with us. At the credit union, we listen.