Listen to their voices

Listen to their voices

Consider what members want when crafting a member experience.

January 23, 2018

Do you hear voices?

I’m talking about the voices of your members and your team. Well, do you hear them? If you don’t, you might be making decisions based on other factors, which could negatively impact your member experience.

I spend a lot of time flying Southwest Airlines, and I always look forward to reading the monthly article that CEO Gary Kelly writes. Recently, Kelly spoke excitedly of the airline’s new Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes. He started by talking about his continual commitment to improve reliability and hospitality. With the MAX 8 planes, Kelly says, “The new customer experience is sweet!”

We’re not running an airline, but aren’t we focused on ensuring our member experience is sweet? Sure we are. We’re seeking out and hiring the best and brightest employees. We’re remodeling or building modern branches, adding technology, and incorporating video tellers.

This is exciting, right? Yes. But do your key members want these enhancements? Have you asked them? And how will these new enrichments affect your team? Will they find parts of their jobs more challenging? Will this lead to front-line staff having awkward exchanges with members?

Often when someone from a credit union goes to a conference, they hear a speaker who shines a light on an exciting innovation or idea, and decide their credit union has to have it. Or we talk with another credit union we aspire to emulate and want to implement exactly what they did to become successful.

I encourage you to be “all ears,” but whose voices are you listening to?

Following Kelly’s lead, we need to listen to what our members and our team are saying before we make any big, changes that will impact members.

Here are a few simple ways to ensure you’ll build a sweet member experience.

  1. Determine whose voices are most important to the overall future success of your credit union. You can’t listen to and follow everyone’s ideas and thoughts. You’d be going in all directions and getting nothing accomplished.
  2. Conduct town hall meetings. Invite your target markets to participate in sharing their experiences and banking preferences.
  3. Use the information gained from those target members and follow up by conducting a town hall meeting with front-line staff to explore possibilities.
  4. Investigate what your organization would look like if you made the enhancements your members suggest.
  5. Engage with members to share developments for upgrades and enhancements.

Following this process not only ensures that you fulfill members’ desires, but also increases buy-in to the change at hand and ensures you win their hearts in the process.

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