CU Employee CULytics Founder

Who are your most valuable members? Part 1

What would you do - if you know your most valuable members?

In my conversations with various leaders across credit unions, one of the key questions that I come across is how big data and advanced analytics could drive some of their key business initiatives. Driving these initiatives typically require identifying who are the most valuable customers/members?

The more I think about this the more I realized just how “not simple” this questions really is. Because when we ask who are our most valuable customers, do we mean largest by current revenue (which is how many companies today still define their most valuable customers)? Or do we mean largest by the potential revenue opportunity that takes into account their existing products utilization and life stage? Or do we mean the most valuable by the current profitability, contemplating more aspects of the customer engagement including marketing and sales costs, cost to service, returns and payment terms? Or by adding social media into the mix, do we now mean our most influential customers, and the value associated with their circle of friends?

Credit Unions are learning that their most profitable customers may not actually be their most valuable customers because of the net influencer effect that they have on a larger community of customers, and the profitability associated with their network. This is very similar to the concept that retailers have understood very well now, where see the importance of loss leader products that drive higher store traffic even though that product by itself may not drive profit.

Who are the most influential members?

There are multiple ways to find the most influential members of your credit unions. One is based on the community engagement of the people in the community. Another is based on the social outreach of the members, this includes their connections on social networking sites such as twitter, linkedin, facebook, etc. Another is to find the most connected members in your membership base - based on address/street, or their expense behaviors (people spending at the same store around same time), etc.

Bottomline is that the most valuable members are not someone who can be measured just along one criterion, but it should be along multiple criteria with one being their circle of influence and other being the current/potential value that they or their network is expected to bring to the credit union.

Who do you think are your most valuable members and factors should be used to discover them? Thoughts? 

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