MADISON, WI – MEMBERS Development Company LLC, a research and development company owned by credit unions and CUNA Mutual Group, has teamed with customer strategy and solutions consultant Inforte Corp., and technology provider, Onyx® Software Corp., to develop a new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution for credit unions.
The MEMBERS Development Company (MDC) Common Model emphasizes strategy development as the critical first step in building a successful CRM program, said John Henry, CUNA Mutual Group senior vice president and MEMBERS Development Company CEO. Additionally, the MDC Common Model can save credit unions time and money compared to other CRM marketplace solutions, he said.
Creation of the CRM solution is one of several recent research and development initiatives undertaken by MDC. Exploration into the provision of trust services by credit unions culminated in the 2003 launch of MEMBERS Trust Company.
MDC will host a live, one-hour webinar for credit unions to learn more about the new CRM solution at 2:30 p.m. EDT, Thursday, June 3. Participants will learn about the Common Model, see a demo of the Onyx software user interface, and hear feedback from credit unions that contributed and benefited from the development of the Common Model. Please contact MDC's Todd Ricci at (800) 356-2644, ext. 7593, for more information on the webinar.
"CRM has quickly become an organizational imperative for credit unions seeking to foster deeper relationships with their members and more intimately understand their needs," Henry said.
Companies often first associate CRM with technology and assume that creating CRM capabilities involves installing or implementing technology tools, Henry said. "Although it is an important component of CRM, technology is the enabler of a defined business strategy and set of business processes that focus on developing member intimacy and creating deeper, more loyal relationships with members."
With the assistance of several MDC owner credit unions, MDC and Inforte began developing their CRM Common Model in October 2002. During the project's first phase, they validated that credit unions face similar challenges regardless of asset size, competition and charter with respect to defining and executing a member relationship management strategy.
"By first developing a member-intimate strategy that leverages current credit union competitive advantages, traditional sales, service and marketing principles shift from an 'all things to all members' model to one that generates member loyalty by providing targeted and relevant products and services," said Phil Clarke, a senior principal at Inforte.
A CRM strategy also helps credit unions take segregated operational functions and coordinate them into "member touch points" by integrating product, partner, sales and service channels, Clarke added. "The result is credit unions create a 360-degree view of their members and the ability to approach them in a consistent and effective manner. This creates compelling, profitable member experiences that foster loyalty."
Onyx was brought in to provide the technology framework that ties the applications, data, and processes together, and arms credit union staff with the information needed to execute a member- intimate approach. "For over a decade we've helped businesses experience real CRM success," said Onyx's Ben Kiker, senior vice president of embedded CRM. "We place an intense focus on our customers' needs and have partnered with some of the most innovative companies worldwide. We're thrilled to add MDC and Inforte to that elite group and to help credit unions create deeper, more loyal relationships with their members."
MEMBERS Development Company, LLC is a credit union/CUNA Mutual Group jointly owned, yet credit union-controlled, research and development company. Its mission is to provide a unified credit union approach to the effective and efficient development and delivery of high quality state-of-the-art member related products and services for the credit union marketplace. Fifty-nine credit unions/CUSOs currently hold equity positions in MDC. The CUNA Mutual Group is the leading provider of financial services to credit unions and their members worldwide. More information on the company is available on the company's Website at www.cunamutual.com.
Inforte Corp. (NASDAQ: INFT) is a customer strategy and solutions consultancy that helps clients improve performance by tying together customer and corporate strategy. Inforte combines strong business and operational planning with innovative software solutions to ensure its Global 2000 client base serves the right customers in the right ways to generate the greatest return. Founded in 1993, Inforte is headquartered in Chicago and has offices in Atlanta, Dallas, London, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. For more information, contact Inforte at 800-340-0200 or visit www.inforte.com.
Onyx Software Corp., (NASDAQ: ONXS) a worldwide leader in delivering successful CRM, offers a fast, cost-effective, useable solution that shares critical information among employees, customers and partners through three role-specific, Web services-based portals. The Onyx approach delivers real-world success by aligning CRM technology with business objectives, strategies and processes. Companies rely on Onyx across multiple departments to create a superior customer experience and a profitable bottom line. Onyx serves customers worldwide in a variety of industries, including financial services, health care, high technology and the public sector. More information can be found at (888) ASK-ONYX, email@example.com or www.onyx.com.
World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development agency for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.
World Council has implemented more than 290 technical assistance programs in 71 countries. Worldwide, 57,000 credit unions in 103 countries serve 208 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.