Damien Simmoneau

Building member relationships in a digital world

CUs see the benefits of face-to-face video collaboration.

October 11, 2018

Today’s banking ecosystem is evolving as digital banking, mobile apps, and omni-channel banking experiences move from nice to have to necessities.

In fact, a PwC survey shows that 60% of smartphone users reported using mobile banking in some way, up from 36% just four years ago.

Additionally, according to Vidyo’s 2018 Video Banking Report, more than 80% of financial institutions are planning to deploy video capabilities in the future.

While in-branch banking is still a preferred choice for some members, it’s clear they’re adopting other channels as well—and by nature these interactions are devoid of any human touch.

With the increasing use of digital channels, it is now more important than ever for credit unions to focus on their relationships with members as a key to sales and retention success.

The importance of relationships when it comes to banking success cannot be emphasized enough, as it can lead to a longer lifetime of member accounts and increased use of products.

With the rise of mobile banking and video banking, both remote and in-branch, members are leaning more toward digital options.

A credit union’s staff, therefore, needs to capitalize on the face-to-face interactions they do come across.

According to a recent Harvard Business Review study, a face-to-face request is 34 times more successful than an email-based request, and email carries many similarities to online and digital banking. Both, for example, are primarily text-based and impersonal.

One could even argue that an email is more personal than online banking because the email likely comes from an individual vs. a financial institution pushing information to you.

In either case, it is not hard to see why cross-selling or customer service is a significantly more successful experience if it happens via face-to-face communication.

Face-to-face communication is key. But how can a credit union bring it to digital banking and use it to build member relationships?

A common half-step solution many financial institutions employ is adding phone support customers can use for complex or high-level transactions.

While it’s a step in the right direction, it falls short in mimicking the in-person experience that has for so long helped build critical relationships with members.

For that reason, enabling a real-time video option is the best way to bring the human touch back to these important transactions and create the trust that can only be built through shared human experience.

And even for those members who prefer visiting a branch, video can also be beneficial as it offers access to additional expertise and can help get them served more quickly.

Face-to-face collaboration

I’ve had the opportunity to witness the effects of this at Springfield, Mo.-based BluCurrent Credit Union, which is seeing the benefits of face-to-face video collaboration.

The $186 million asset credit union leverages video to ensure members can connect with subject matter experts. Through these face-to-face interactions, BluCurrent has seen its cross-sales rate increase 20%.

Diamond Credit Union in Pottstown, Pa., has been using face-to-face video interaction for loan applications, and the results have been spectacular.

Members at the $619 asset credit union love the video experience and have rated it 4.93 out of 5 for satisfaction. In fact, many institutions report a 70% increase in Net Promoter Scores, with a 50% increase in first-call resolution with video vs. phone support.

Banking is becoming increasingly digital. But the human touch and personalized relationships that drives success in banking is just as important as ever.

In fact, through the use of technology, you can meet members where they are and show a genuine desire to connect with them.

DAMIEN SIMONNEAU is director, financial services solutions marketing, for Vidyo, a CUNA Strategic Services alliance provider.