How do you take your member service to the next level and compete with world-class companies? Through engaged, educated employees, Sundeep Kapur told CUNA Tech/OpSS Council Conference attendees Tuesday.
Kapur, founder of Digital Credence, provided an innovative look at how to change your credit union’s typical member interaction to create loyal, devoted member relationships.
He said every member interaction should be viewed as a “journey,” focusing on the member’s core needs and long-term desires.
For example, rather than simply offering an auto loan, credit union staff should use the opportunity to share their knowledge and expertise on the entire car-buying process, from vehicle valuations to insurance products.
This, he explained, creates value for the member and leads to loyalty and long-term relationship growth.
Kapur said consumers seek out experts. That’s why it’s important for front-line employees to “know their numbers” and keep up with current financial news and trends.
This knowledge will deepen interactions with members beyond just transactions.
“I appreciated his advice of having employees engage members with a discussion of current events,” said Kate Bonning, vice president of operations at $66 million asset Guthrie Federal Credit Union in Sayre, Pa. “This is a tactic I can take back to my organization and implement, through a team meeting each morning. A little extra effort to focus on the news of the day will go a long way.”
Kapur also shared examples of excellence across multiple industries, from ING Bank’s “innovation studio” to British Airways employee education efforts. ICICI, a bank in India, sends every new employee through two years of banking school before they serve their first customer.
The trend toward a "universal banker” model will accelerate the need for well-trained and educated employees, capable of hand-holding members through a wide variety of service interactions.
This means that credit unions need to “hire champions,” Kapur said, seeking them out from other industries and vetting them for soft skills such as respect and empathy.
“Skip the rhetoric,” Kapur advised. Don’t repeat your credit union’s tagline over and over to your members. Instead, weave the essence of that tagline into every conversation you have with your members and make it relevant to their needs.
Click here for more coverage of the CUNA Tech/OpSS Council Conference, which concludes Wednesday.