Members vs Customers Debate

Around the credit union blogosphere lately, there’s much debate as to whether credit union member/owners would preferred being called customers, like a bank calls the people who use their financial institution customers, because in essence, that’s what they essentially are, they come in and do their finanical transactions everyday just like a member/owner at a credit union right?

Wrong! Call me old school, but I’m a firm and steadfast believer in the credit union movement, as a member/owner, you stand for something different. Credit Unions work for the financial benefit of our members-unlike a bank-so we don’t concentrate on how much money we can make off of a “customer” to pay off our stockholders-why? Cause we don’t have any stockholders!

Yes, we need to make enough money to pay salaries, the electric bill and the like, but not to line the pockets of any stockholders. And I think our members appreciate that. Unlike being a customer at a business, where you can get treated any which way. I think being an actual “member” makes me think of a simpler time, when it felt good to belong to something, like a baseball team, football team etc. Even now, say you belong to any worthwhile organization, whether it’s  a service organization like Kiwanis, Rotary or Sertoma, or even at your local church or school, you get a sense that belonging to something is comforting. It’s a kinship you share with others. You’re more than just a customer, you’re special, because you’re a member/owner. 

When every other place you go these days, treats you like a customer, it’s comforting to know that at Hopewell Federal, we make an extra effort to get to know our members by name, because you’re more than just a customer. And thanks to shared branching, your membership will allow you even greater access to your account because you can take it with you wherever you go, can your financial institution do that?

In my opinion, it feels great to be a member/owner.  

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