Communicating with Members During The COVID-19 Crisis

Members Need To Hear From You—Now

During the current COVID-19 pandemic, the absolute worst thing members can hear from you is silence. While many credit unions have sent out some sort of initial email or posted a message on their website, there has never been a more important time to be proactive in your communications with members.

It is also critical to do all you can during this time to continue “business as usual” regarding lending. This will help to lessen any dramatic impact upon your bottom line at a future date.

Credit Unions Must Spread Hope, Not Fear

The “People Helping People” philosophy that is the foundation of credit unions is now going to be tested. Credit unions that want to live this must let members know they have their backs. Members will be hearing many voices that are spreading fear and the bad news of what is happening. Credit unions are positioned perfectly to be a voice of hope and help during this crisis.

A Simple Game Plan

We suggest a series of at least four communications that cover 4 to 6 weeks.

Communication #1 – Personal Letter from CEO

Timing: ASAP

Members need to receive a personal letter from the CEO of your credit union. This letter should clearly outline the procedures taken at this time to assure members that you will be available to provide them with financial services and support throughout the crisis. It should include an outline of branch operations, online services, and ways that you are here to help members that are experiencing financial hardship. To many, you may be their financial lifeline at this time.

Communication #2 – Email #1

Timing: ASAP

We suggest sending an email to all members with a similar message that was in the letter to all members with an email. This will assure that all members have received at least one communication from the CEO.

Note: If your credit union does not have a way to send member email, we can get you set-up quickly with a program so you can.

Communication #3 – Postcard

Timing: 7 – 10 days after Letter

Finances are going to be top-of-mind with most members during the crisis. It does not matter if you are rich, poor, or anywhere in between, everyone is going to experience pressure and fear of the unknown. Your credit union must let members know you are here for them if they need a financial lifeline.

There has never been a better time to talk about refinancing loans. Whether it’s a mortgage, vehicle loan, credit card or personal loan, a lower rate means a lower payment. This will help everyone’s monthly budget. Letting members know that you are available to discuss loan modifications and offer short-term cash loans will provide hope to your members. Being here for them now will go a long way toward earning a lifetime of trust in your credit union.

Communication #4 – Email #2

Timing: 7 – 10 days after Letter

We suggest sending a similar message as the postcard in communication number 3. This assures that all members will see this important communication.

OTHER ELEMENTS:

Long-Form Online Articles:

Each of the topics covered with this communications program will be supported with a longer, more in-depth article that can be added to your website. These articles can expand upon the messaging and offer more in-depth support and solutions for members. Emails and other marketing can point members to the articles to learn more.

Social Media Posts and Graphics

Social media posts and graphics will be created to support and draw attention to your credit union during this crisis. These posts will be seen by your members and others across social platforms. They will point to your website and the long-form articles.

Website Banners/Landing Page

We suggest creating website banners to engage members with this important content at this time. In addition, a custom landing page could provide members with a place that they can find all the information needed during the crisis. Links to articles and other resources could be provided on this page.

Ongoing Content Creation

Colorworks will be creating ongoing content and communication elements that can be easily utilized by your credit union during the COVID-19 crisis. Feel free to reach out if you have any specific needs or custom communication requirements.