In a highly competitive financial services market, institutions are constantly prospecting for credit-worthy customers.
Kevin Rookhuizen, vice president of sales and marketing for Billings Federal Credit Union, says credit unions work to provide competitive rates for a variety of products, such as loans, credit cards and deposit accounts.
“But our business allows us to look at more than a customer’s credit score,” Rookhuizen said. “There are scenarios where a customer may have a low credit score. We have the time and business model that allows us to peel back the layers and find out why a credit score is the way it is. This creates an opportunity to create a lending relationship and set a course to righting the ship.”
Within a few months, the customer usually sees his credit score improve, and that opens up new opportunities to consolidate debts or provide other services, Rookhuizen said.
“We say yes to a lot of people,” even though they were turned down previously by other financial institutions, Rookhuizen said.
“We have a number of testimonials where people came to us and we gave them a chance, and they’re truly appreciative for that,” he said. “It’s neat to make that kind of a difference.”
Many people might not realize that you don’t need to belong to a certain employment group in order to be a member of a credit union.
“We are a community credit union that serves anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Yellowstone, Carbon or Big Horn counties,” Rookhuizen said.
Describe how you got where you are in your work today: Having a goal-oriented mindset, a little bit of luck and being at the right place at the right time.
What’s the toughest challenge that you have faced in your business? Rolling out new products/services and executing strategies that allow us to truly differentiate and remain relevant in a highly competitive industry.
What did you learn from that challenge? Stay focused and do not give up. Not every product roll out or marketing campaign will be a complete success. But I always learn something through the process and hopefully use those experiences to make more educated decisions moving forward.
What’s the best business advice you have received? Be patient, open-minded and persistent and get your education. You will never regret it.
Who gave you that advice? A combination of family, friends and co-workers.
Here’s what I’d like to do to improve my community: Better educate our community to the importance of establishing a savings plan and how to improve and/or maintain a good credit score.
Aside from profit and loss, how do you measure success in your job? Happy, productive and engaged employees.
Which living person do you most admire? Stan Simmons.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? Having a great career in a field I am passionate about.
I’m happiest when… I’m traveling with my wife and spending time with family and friends.