Talk with many service industry employees and you’ll hear an interesting theme about the never-ending battle to win the loyalty of customers—that creating loyalty isn’t about “wow” service anymore.
In fact, “wow” service is the last thing customers really want.
New research shows that loyalty for today’s consumer is all about ease of use. Make what I want to do simple, hasslefree, convenient, and fast. Then, if I run into a problem or issue, just fix it.
To remain competitive and adapt to the new reality of banking, credit unions are taking steps to address that new mentality.
It’s all fascinating, scary, and absolutely necessary to remain nimble and adaptable in creating the banking experience members demand.
Does doing business electronically or digitally mean service is a thing of the past? Of course not. It means service becomes more important in this utopian environment.
When systems fail, simple becomes complicated, or user error creates a problem and a member needs to talk to a person, you become the service stop-gap.
You might be the only hope to put the messed-up experience back on its feet and create loyalty. You. Fix It. Now. Please.
How do you become the stuff of service legends in the digital world? Consider these four steps:
1. Learn how your remote and digital platforms work. What’s the process from start to finish when a member applies for a loan online? What’s the entire process from downloading the mobile app to accessing an account?
The more you know, the better you can troubleshoot when a member calls seeking a solution to a problem.
2. Know the experts for each platform. Where do you direct members when they call to say the system “froze” while they were filling out an online application? Is it lending or information technology? Do you call operations if the interactive teller machine isn’t working?
You’ll feel more confident when you kick off the problem-solving process by contacting the right people for help. And the member will feel more confident in you and the solution you bring to the table.
3. Stop and own the situation for members. You become their advocate by “fixing it”—doing the work and research necessary to get a resolution to the problem. Mirror the members’ sense of urgency.
Do everything you can to not pass them along to someone else. This adds another level of complexity in the members’ eyes, and can increase their concern or frustration.
4. Share your members’ experiences with key stakeholders. Bring everyone into the loop—whether it’s the retail team or a “problem resolution” team at your credit union.
This allows the credit union to make necessary changes, clarify instructions for members or staff, and ultimately make these issues disappear.
Service remains alive and well. As your credit union constantly improves its expertise in meeting members’ needs, so should you.
Providing a high level of service in a time of need is one of the quickest ways to build loyalty. You: Fix it. Me: More loyal.
CARLA SCHRINNER is implementation manager and senior master trainer for CUNA’s Creating Member Loyalty™ (CML) program. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article initially appeared in Credit Union Front Line newsletter, the monthly sales and service newsletter for branch staff and their managers. Subscribe now to the print edition or PDF version.