A Tale Of Two Strategies

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The Gainesville Sun tells of a woman who’s fighting her credit union over fees she was charged for not using the CU’s telephone banking system, not having her transaction slip ready at the drive-through window, and for coming in more than four times a month.

Meanwhile, another credit union rolls out its “Signature Membership” program which — among other requirements like having a certain number of accounts opened — stipulates that a member must make a minimum of 15 transactions per month of any type. In return, the CU waives a number of service fees.

My take:
An interesting contrast in strategy and philosophy. The first strategy disincents customers to interact with the firm, while the other incents them to interact. Neither strategy is inherently better than the other. However…

If you pursue the first strategy, you better offer superior rates. Cuz’ nobody’s gonna want to come into your branch to talk, in fear of incurring a charge for doing so.

If you pursue the first strategy, you better not run out of transaction slips when customers are in line. Cuz’ they might riot if you do. I know I would.

If you pursue the first strategy, you better hire the best damn service reps on the planet. Cuz’ for $2 a pop to interact with them, they better be good.

If you pursue the first strategy, you better pay your people really well. Cuz’ nobody’s gonna like working in such a customer-unfriendly environment. I know I wouldn’t.

Not that I think one strategy is inherently better than the other, mind you.

Hat tip to CBruen.

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