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Memorable Moments Program Makes the Difference at United

Nights in Nevada are a favorite for long-time United Federal Credit Union member, Donna Casci, because it means star gazing with her two grandchildren and her husband. The couple are retired teachers living in Reno, and love spending their time hosting sleepovers for their grandchildren.

Whenever Donna stops at her local United branch, the entire team can see her joy when she speaks about the time she gets to spend with her family. Knowing how much they love going outside to look up at the night sky, Team United sent her a blanket with a note telling her to stay warm the next time the family is outside making memories together. After receiving her gift, Donna called and left a voicemail thanking the team for the thoughtful gift.

Some items from United’s Memorable Moments store (top right to left): Pet Accessory Kit, Cuddles the Bear, Backpack and Water Bottle, Wine Gift Set

“Thank you so much for the great blanket! We love our grandkids and we are going to be using it,” said Donna. “What a beautiful, nice surprise. We really appreciate you thinking of us.”

Donna’s story is one of hundreds which has touched a member of Team United. When an employee spots an opportunity to go an extra step in assisting a Member, they are able to send gifts as part of the credit union’s “Memorable Moments” program. Since it began in 2019, more than 1,100 gifts have been sent to members to mark times of milestone celebrations like opening a new business or welcoming a new baby, sympathy for loss of a loved one, or as a way to simply say we are thinking of you.

“Our members share their lives with us, and that’s one of the joys of our job here at United,” said Meredith Williams, Regional Vice President of Nevada. “As we listen, we find opportunities to share those moments together, and so the Memorable Moments Program helps us live our mission by taking those moments and sharing them in an extra personalized and special way with our members.”

The Memorable Moments program started as an idea within the Marketing team in an effort to find a creative way to collaborate with and support frontline employees. The solution was to design a method that empowered member-facing employees to live out United’s cultural ideals while having a direct, positive impact on the member experience.

“Prior to 2019, many of our organizational goals were established based on production numbers,” said James Knight, Chief Sales and Service Officer. “This program gave us the opportunity to look beyond the financial side of credit union operations, and really celebrate the human side of the industry that’s built on the philosophy of people helping people.”

The game plan for the Memorable Moments program was simple: utilize and connect budgets and resources that were already established to create memories and experiences that deepen relationships between employees and members.

“United is known for our Pay It Forward program that takes place during the holiday season, where employees and departments team up to give back to members and the community,” continued Knight. “Memorable Moments paved the way for us to actively identify those special moments that occur in branches every day, and then immediately pay our gratitude and support forward all year long.”

A Member in Michigan received a burp cloth and bib to celebrate the birth of their daughter

Each frontline employee is provided the opportunity each quarter to send items like blankets, gift cards, baby bibs, teddy bears, and even dog bowls to members who have connected with the employee in a special way. The credit union leveraged a current vendor relationship to provide and distribute the items to branches, and funds to support the Memorable Moments program came from an existing “member goodwill” account. With the plan in place, Valentine’s Day 2019 was marked as the perfect day to launch a program that highlighted the love and compassion that goes into the service side of United’s culture.

Internal communications also played a big role in the launch. The Marketing team developed a special website using United’s intranet that included details about Memorable Moments, link to FAQs and the merchandise store, as well as a discussion board for employees to share details about a recent memorable moment they helped create.

“Beyond assisting with branding items, we knew a program like this would need a place for employees to read and share stories and easily access resources,” said Senior Vice President of Marketing, Kaylee Ganus. “Our frontline team is second to none, and giving them an outlet to share the amazing interactions they have in branches every day has taken us a step further to connecting all of Team United—regardless of position or geography—to our shared mission of improving members’ lives. Celebrating service belongs to all of us.”

As for Donna, her blanket is the perfect size to keep the grandkids warm whenever they stay over and head outside to stargaze. It is also a great reminder of all the people at her United branch who care about not just her, but her entire family.

“I’ve known Donna for several years and we were thrilled to be able to find a way to brighten her day and help her make more memories with her grandchildren,” said Jeff Panko, Senior Relationship Development Manager. “Having a program like Memorable Moments to celebrate normal everyday conversations with our Members shows them we are listening and care about them. The simple gesture of sending these special items to someone to show our appreciation means a lot to our employees and our Members.”