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CU Competitive Advantages Highlighted at Member Centricity Symposium

Sep 24, 2013 by Lewis Wood

Customer Centricity Expert Don Peppers Says CUs are Positioned Well to Win Over Consumers


From CUNA Mutual Group Public Relations

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Rick Uhlmann

Michael Ogden

Ten years ago, no one would have predicted cell phone maker Nokia would become the world’s leading camera retailer, and credit unions could similarly position themselves as leaders in the financial services industry 10 years from now, customer centricity expert Don Peppers said Tuesday. Peppers was the keynote speaker at CUNA Mutual Group’s one-day, complimentary Symposium on credit union member centricity.

Peppers headlined the free event open to credit unions, “Battle for the American Consumer: A Symposium on Member Centricity.” Peppers is considered one of the world’s leading authorities on customer centric strategies.  An author of several books on the topic, he has been recognized by the Times of London as one of its “Top 50 Business Brains” and on Accenture’s list of the “Top 50 Business Intellectuals.”

“Credit unions have some unique competitive advantages,” Peppers told more than 100 credit union attendees. “Beyond your loyalty and trust, you have a community of common interests among your members. And, your unifying “cause” of financial security is another competitive interest credit unions have.”

Peppers spelled out ways credit unions can strengthen the trust and loyalty members have in them and compared credit unions’ sense of community to that of the relationship financial services giant USAA has with its customers.

John Lass, SVP, Strategy and Business Development, CUNA Mutual Group, hosted the event and led off the discussion on how credit unions can win the battle for their members’ business. “The event provided some great insights for credit unions. Our challenge now is where we go with what we’ve heard today.”

Also presenting at the daylong event was Michelle Eten, vice president of Digital Marketing at REI. One of the largest retail consumer cooperatives in the world, REI has built a hugely successful customer centric retail model while remaining true to its cooperative roots.

Dorothy Leaderer and Jennifer Norr of CUNA Mutual Group’s Customer Operations unit also presented on measuring the customer experience and using data to become more member centric.

Patrick LaPine, CEO, League of Southeastern Credit Unions, called Tuesday’s Symposium topic a timely one, given the recent emergence from a recession and that non-financials are entering credit unions’ space. “It’s a great opportunity for us to review how we’re serving our members and responding to their needs. Long term, discussions like this help credit unions better understand how to become more customer centric institutions.”

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CUNA Mutual Group is the marketing name for CUNA Mutual Holding Company, a mutual insurance holding company, its subsidiaries and affiliates. Life, accident, health and annuity insurance products are issued by CMFG Life Insurance Company. Property and casualty insurance products are issued by CUMIS Insurance Society, Inc. Each insurer is solely responsible for the financial obligations under the policies and contracts it issues. Corporate headquarters are located in Madison, Wis.

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