A study of 1,142 Millennials, shows that they WANT to come into your “Relationship Centers” and avoid your “branches.”

In June 2016 Member Intelligence Group, in cooperation with the Michigan Credit Union League, surveyed 1,142 Millennial credit union members. Each respondent was a member of at least one Michigan-based credit union. They published their findings on August 1, 2016 in “Millennial Research Survey,” written by Jim Kasch.

One of the really cool things about this study is that they saw, what MarketMatch has been saying for some time … the “Millennial” label is too broad. You can technically classify both an 18 year-old and 35 year-old as Millennials – but clearly, both individuals will be in different life places. So this survey breaks down the group into 18-25 (younger) and 26-35 (older) … brilliant!

I know my colleagues at MarketMatch will share their takes on the study on our blog page soon, and I also encourage you to read the study for yourself. But here’s my biggest takeaway:

Don’t believe that Millennials are “all electronic all the time” … your branches are vital.

Preference to Receive InformationYes: Millennials want you to talk to them through email – not snail mail, phone, or text.
It’s not even close!

  • At every single in-person, call center and online interaction, you should be collecting and verifying email addresses.
  • Provide a monthly “bounty” for the employee who collects the most new and updated email addresses.
  • How professional looking are your marketing emails?
  • How well can you track opens, clicks, opt-outs?
  • Do you track which people are most likely to open certain email topics (loans, investment tips, community involvement, scam alerts, etc)?
  • Do you keep your emails short and provide links to your website for more detailed info?
  • How much time to you spend on your subject lines? Spend longer!
  • What about email targeting? Is it all shotgun to everyone or do you whittle the list down?

Also read: 17 Tips to Smarter Email Marketing

Preference to Conduct TransactionsYes: Millennials would rather conduct day-to-day transactions electronically.
Older Millennials prefer online while younger prefer mobile. With both segments, roughly 20% still see a need for in-branch transactions – with the YOUNGER segment ranking higher.

  • How easy is your online banking and bill pay system?
  • What about mobile, have you personally tried it? Is it intuitive?
  • Do you have Remote Deposit Capture yet?
  • What is your penetration with Millennials? Who does that compare with the survey results?

No: Millennials DO NOT prefer to open accounts or apply for loans online!
70% of the younger Millennial segment want to open accounts in branches, more than 60% want to apply for loans in-person.

Open New Accounts and Apply for Loans

While roughly 35% or the older segment would open accounts online, nearly 60% prefer branches. The older segment is also evenly split between applying for loans online or in branch.

This study supports the 45% decline in branch transactions that I talked about in The Mystery of the Disappearing Teller. It also supports the premise that we need to stop thinking about branches as “transaction centers” and start positioning them as “Relationship Centers.” Millennials grew up with “helicopter moms,” they may think they are smart, but they still look to experts for advice. You need to position yourself as that expert.

Also read:

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