Growing Membership Starting Point – Map the Member Journey


When was the last time that you opened an account at your credit union? As an employee, you probably had some insider help from a staff member to make it easier and avoid sitting in the lobby waiting. While nice, it is generally not the same process and experience that a new member goes through to open their account.

Spending your marketing budget on a strategy to attract new members may work to get the leads. However, if you are not paying attention to the actual journey that the prospect is going to take to become a member, you might be pouring marketing money down the drain.

What is mapping the member journey and how can you do it? There are steps and points of engagement throughout every product or service that you provide. Yet, the most definitive point is the hurdle of getting the person to join the credit union. So here is what you need to know to map the journey for applying for membership:

  • Prospect is interested from a digital ad or e-marketing and clicks through to your website: Where do they land and what information and online applications are there to help them begin the process of joining?
  • Prospect is interested from advertising, word of mouth or driving by and stops into your branch: What is the process of opening an account in person?
  • Prospect is interested from seeing direct mail or an ad or other marketing piece and calls: What happens within your call center to help a caller open an account?

Once you have the steps and touchpoints, try and time each process! 

  • Video the online member journey to illustrate your map of what the prospect must go through to join your credit union. The key is to understand just how long it takes to join online because if it’s not easy and quick, you just lost the prospect.
  • Video the branch process from having to wait for a member service person all the way through the process to see what happens along the way for the prospect. Uncover how long the input of personal information, the forms, and the discussion of product benefits and features, actually take in person.
  • Record the call to open an account to understand how the process may differ from the online and in-person account opening processes.

Once you have mapped the journey of opening an account with your credit union, even as simply as with video or audio recordings, review for the steps the person has to take.  The key is to understand how you believe a prospective member would feel going through the process. Determine helpful things to streamline, better explain or make it easier on the prospect to join.

If you didn’t work at your credit union and were interested in becoming a member, would you have a really good feeling about joining after these journeys? Or, would you have buyer’s remorse and either bail in the middle of the process or just not move any more business over?

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