A Message from our President
Relationships Key to Success
As the country continues down the path of overall economic recovery, RBCU and many other financial institutions are making choices intended to continue the rebuilding of capital lost in the last few lean years. To that end, RBCU made changes earlier this year that impacted many members. Our change in fee structure and passing on costs were business decisions based on the marketplace.
The fact is RBCU needs to strengthen its income statement. Changing economic realities have led me and the other executive managers at RBCU to make difficult decisions that sometimes altered long standing aspects of our overall business model. Even so, this summer helped remind me that there is one key aspect of RBCU that continues to set it apart from so many of the other different financial institutions you could choose. Simply put, it is our relationships. Your Neighborly Credit Union has staked its reputation on the relationships it has built with our members and our served communities. Even in an economic downturn, you can be sure we’re offering the best personal service we can.
I’d like to relate an example from my personal experience. I may be lucky enough to be RBCU’s president, but that does not mean I’m isolated. Far from it. In fact, this summer, a member called me directly to discuss concerns about RBCU’s new policy of charging for checks along with a few other fee related changes. It was a good discussion about many things, but one particular part of it stands out in my mind.
During our talk, the member shared details of a recent call she had made to our
call center. She informed me that her father-in-law, who happens to not be a member of RBCU, was listening to her end of the conversation. He stood nearby as she called our call center, was greeted by a real person, conducted her business, and hung up satisfied. Her father-in-law was amazed. He asked, “Was that your bank?” She affirmed that it was. “Did you talk to a person?” When she said she had he was impressed by the speed of the call and that she spoke to a live human being. He shared how difficult it is for him to get a hold of anyone when he calls his bank. I realize that this story seems to be an overly simple one. Boring even. An RBCU member called us, was greeted by a person, and was able to handle her business quickly. That said, I think most of you reading this realize that this is not an expected occurrence in many of today’s financial institutions. That is why it stood out in my mind.
RBCU continues to offer personal service in a time where most businesses are moving toward more and more ways to force customers to use remote access technology. Please don’t misunderstand me. Both are necessary service avenues. Some people prefer technological methods vs. speaking to a real person. But here at RBCU, we still believe that even with the excellent remote account access we have available, neighborly personal service is still needed and wanted by many. It is a business differentiator that sets us apart from places where customers are simply numbers on account sheets.
It is inevitable that changes will be made from time to time to keep the credit union viable and competitive. Like every other business, we must adapt to the business realities of our time. Change of this sort is often uncomfortable and can be hard to accept. I realize that it seems that there have been a lot of changes over the last five years or so. I assure you that even as so much else changes, one thing that I will work hard to retain at RBCU is our primary commitment to personal service and a dedication to strengthening the outstanding relationships with our existing and future members in the communities we serve.