A rapid transformation of the financial services industry is underway, and many credit union leaders are wondering if our movement could be “Uberized” as a result.
While on-demand digital and mobile solutions can add unprecedented speed and convenience to basic banking, payments, and lending transactions, these channels should be viewed as tools to enhance, not disrupt, member engagement.
Member engagement is an evergreen topic that has evolved over decades of change. For example, 25 years ago select employee group organizations and word-of-mouth communication were key to engagement.
But now, direct relationships between credit unions and their members have never been more personal.
Today, credit unions often thrive on a multi-channel approach, which favors consistent service excellence across unique delivery points. The experience ultimately engages the needs of each member, whether they prefer to deposit a check at a branch or pay for point-of-sale purchases using a smartphone.
Ensure multi-channel consistency
Technology has changed how members engage with their credit unions, peers, favorite businesses—even their families.
Predictive analytics, championed by firms like Amazon and Google, have spawned a new normal where a one-size-fits-all method of member engagement is all but dead.
Today, a tailored, consistent approach to member engagement is key. You have to know which primary channels your members prefer to use, how often they prefer to use those channels, and, based on this, what opportunities exist to nurture and grow each relationship.
Digital and mobile banking platforms, as well as bill pay and personal payments solutions, can enable credit unions to identify and pursue opportunities that add value to members’ lives.
Say, for instance, your core processing system identifies a number of members that make a monthly mortgage, auto loan, or credit card payment to another provider. This data can be analyzed to see if a new loan offer with a better rate is feasible, and the offer can be targeted directly to each member through their primary channels of engagement.
What about the human touch?
Building on the previous example and the value of a multi-channel experience, let’s say 35% of members identified for new loan opportunities prefer in-branch banking over digital and mobile platforms. There are many branch resources to help deliver this message to your members.
If your credit union offers financial advisory services, and some of these members use them, their advisor could make them aware of the holistic benefits of bringing the loan to your credit union.
Alternatively, and particularly for smaller credit unions, a well-trained representative could alert members of enhanced lending opportunities and encourage them to speak with a loan officer during their visit.
It comes back to the core, where your credit union can identify and organize the preferred channels of engagement by each member so you can deliver the right message at the right time through the right channel.
Digital, mobile complement the branch
Brick and mortar branches are still a vital part of the multi-channel experience and a key aspect of relationship-building for credit unions and members. Some members will be less inclined to embrace digital and mobile banking technology, so it’s important to keep your branches flourishing and engaging to those who prefer that environment.
While this is true, the branch environment is evolving from a transaction-oriented center to a sales and service center. New technology, such as tablet and interactive touchscreen stations, are changing the member experience.
Financial advisory services and financial education programs are likely to play a large part in the branch of the future, and both can support the multi-channel experience.
Free in-branch training sessions on digital and mobile services are also increasing in popularity. These sessions offer credit unions the best of both worlds: a place where members can be effectively engaged through both traditional and newer channels, adding value to members’ lives and supporting your broader mission in the process.
It is clear that, together, both traditional and newer banking services can help produce a multi-channel experience that effectively targets and engages a diverse mix of members.
As the evolution of the credit union industry continues, we should all look to the future with confidence and assurance on the value we are delivering.