Improve Your CU with Gen Y Feedback
Financial institutions are constantly looking for ways to reach the elusive Generation Y. New data may show a few ways to get through to them—and help your credit union in the process.
First, Gen Y—the group born roughly between the mid-1970s and 1995—is looking for help with their finances. According to The National Foundation for Credit Counseling’s 2011 Consumer Financial Literacy Survey Final Report, they’re significantly more likely to be:
Approximately 82% of Gen Y say they feel they could benefit from professional advice and answers to everyday financial questions.
Gen Y is interested in pursuing these interactions in an online setting. Some 40% of the age group is interested in interacting with an advisor using videoconferencing, as opposed to just 16% those born before 1960. Further, one third of Gen Y reported they would consider interacting with a financial institution exclusively over video and virtual channels.
To reach Gen Y, it’s important to humanize your credit union, according to author and speaker Jason Dorsey, otherwise known as “the Gen Y guy,” and widely billed as a Gen Y expert. He advises making the financial institution appear approachable. Instead of heavy text or long paragraphs, he says it’s better to use bullet points, visual graphics, and simple sentences. YouTube videos and social media also make your financial institution seem more sociable and lively.
Another way to reach Gen y is “a firm handshake,” says Dorsey. In short, Gen Y feels accustomed to being ignored—a result of being too young and having too little money. Gen Y wants to be treated with respect, adds Dorsey, “not for the amount we can bring in today, but the amount we will bring in, in the near future.”
And Gen Y members or customers are significantly more likely than other generations to interact with their financial institution, reports a Javelin Strategy and Research survey. Specifically, Javelin finds that:
Within the decade, Gen Y will take baby boomers’ place as the largest population segment—and how financial institutions choose to work with them will define their relationship for years to come.
Given the interest credit unions have experienced around Bank Transfer Day, it’s crucial to take advantage of these factors sooner rather than later. Gen Y is reported to be less loyal to their financial institutions than previous generations. The challenge is to provide a level of service now that helps cement long-term relationships.
If credit unions embrace and fulfill younger members’ immediate needs, they may be able to increase Gen Y membership and at the same time garner feedback from these members. This feedback can then help credit unions target and improve products and services, thus attracting even more young members.
Taking action now to work with Gen Y can benefit your credit union—and an entire generation of new members.
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