Credit unions are unique among the plethora of options when it comes to financial services. The core values of credit unions—service, trust, and community—have remained unchanged for more than 100 years.
Their commitment to serving members and meeting their needs along the full continuum of their financial lives sets credit unions apart from their competitors. The very reason credit unions exist is to serve those who own them: the more than 131 million members who belong to credit unions.
The payments landscape is rapidly evolving. To deliver an outstanding member experience, today’s credit unions must meet expectations that did not exist a decade ago.
Surrounded by immediacy and personalization, from food and product deliveries to availability of information, consumers have come to expect both in their everyday lives. Credit unions, too, must meet these expectations to best serve their members, and there are several ways to do so.
Nearly eight out of 10 survey respondents from PSCU’s 2021 Eye on Payments study agree or completely agree they want to do business with a financial institution that knows them personally.
This presents credit unions with the opportunity to define how they can intelligently leverage the right tools and data to meet, and ideally exceed, members’ digital expectations on an individual level. When done well, this individualized approach can play a critical role in delivering an unparalleled member experience that separates credit unions from big banks.
There is a significant lag in the industry in enabling self-service to keep up with member demands, which also presents a notable opportunity for credit unions.
Increasingly, members want the ability to quickly and easily take care of all their financial needs online: mark a card lost or stolen, digitally access cards or activate them immediately, among other activities. Enabling these self-service options puts control in the hands of the member for a more positive experience.
Many of these self-service features are already available for credit unions to use, they just need to be willing to activate them.
Facilitating connected experiences involves integrating consumer-focused processes across all available channels, as well as optimizing the individual channel experience. Each member interaction should be improved by incorporating the best-known information about the member and their prior experiences with both products and channels, consistently connecting relevant data to optimize the capabilities of each channel.
For example, a member may begin a business process in one channel, like the mobile app, but not complete it and subsequently access a different channel for assistance, like the contact center, to finish the process.
In this instance, a connected experience can be created by using cross-channel context sharing so the second channel, the contact center, already knows where the member left off and can seamlessly continue and complete the process from that point.
Behaviors and preferences adopted by consumers as a result of the pandemic are here to stay—part of the “new normal” that we have all heard about for so long. Delivering an outstanding member experience is of paramount importance for credit unions and is one of their greatest strengths in the competitive financial services landscape.
Positive member experiences facilitate high-value servicing, promote product adoption, and support communications that can be broadly delivered in a consistently engaging and personalized manner.
As expectations continue to shift and grow, credit unions must keep up to deliver the best member experience possible.
DEAN YOUNG leads the development and execution of PSCU’s cross-company member experience focus as executive vice president, chief experience officer. With more than 25 years of experience engaging with credit unions, he is an active member of the credit union community, serving on numerous boards and advisory councils.