Making member experience a priority

Make the member experience a top priority

Doing business with the CU should be easy for members.

July 6, 2017

My recent experience with a credit union got me thinking about “the member experience.”

I received a voicemail from a credit union requiring me to respond to a request with detailed information via email. '

I easily prepared and sent my email, but here’s where it gets interesting: The responding email from the credit union was secured and required a password to open it.

I was confused. I didn’t have a password. I attempted to outsmart the system by making up one, but of course it wasn’t accepted. I tried again and it pushed back yet another negative message.

If I needed a password to open this email, why wasn’t I offered the option of setting up a password? I had no other option, so I clicked on the “forgot my password” button. The system immediately responded that I would be sent an email with a link to “reset” my password—a password I never had.

Frustrating, right?

CU FrontlineIn my inbox, I find the message and click on the link to reset my password. Then it was back to the email where I entered my new password.

I thought I was on my way to sending the return email. That didn’t happen though. There was no reply button.

It’s a long story, but it made me ask the question: Is the member experience a priority for this credit union?

It should be.

The member experience is all about the ease of doing business at every touch point. I’m all for security. But if our members get ticked off and go elsewhere because they simply can’t respond to an email, your security won’t matter much, will it?

Here are three steps to ensure your decisions support your desired member experience:

1. Have a clear vision of the member experience. Develop an end-to-end member journey map, where every member touch point goes under a lens to determine how it will affect the overall experience.

Never lose sight that one negative or frustrating experience can make your members look at other options.

2. Keep the vision top of mind for decision makers. Understand and use your member experience model as a deciding factor. Look through the eyes of your members when making decisions versus finding the cheapest or easiest option. Avoid making decisions in a silo.

Every business unit must have a voice and be willing to share the effects this decision will have on their area. And decisions must consider the credit union as a whole.

3. Maintain accountability among decision makers. Before a decision is made—like adopting a new secure email system—make sure all business areas have tested the process and talked with leaders to verify possible outcomes on staff and members.

The process of engaging a team of decision makers will take more time, but you’ll avoid creating a negative experience—like the one I had—for your members.

JAYNE HITMAN is a business development manager for CUNA’s Creating Member Loyalty™ program. Contact her at

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.