Making the digital-savvy feel welcome

Koren Gruebel’s mission is to show that credit unions can compete with the big banks.

August 21, 2019

“My mission is to show consumers that credit unions are innovative and we can compete with the big banks,” she says. “For somebody who is digitally savvy, becoming a credit union member isn’t always an obvious choice.”

Changing the perception of limited technology drives Greubel to continually show members how West Community brings them the latest digital products.

“Our best campaigns are when we market innovative products that make us unique,” she says. “Marketing is so much more than a creative ad. It’s critical for credit union marketers to embrace innovation to be competitive.”

For example, $267 million asset West Community is an early adopter of the Credit Sense product that’s powered by SavvyMoney and integrated into Fiserv’s online and mobile banking. The product guides members to use credit wisely and aims to maintain or improve their credit ratings.

The credit union also is one of the first in its region to partner with Plinqit, a platform for financial management that offers consumers an easy way to save while being rewarded.

Greubel says innovative approaches are critical for West Community’s growth in an oversaturated banking market.

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To greet members online, the credit union launched—an artificial intelligence chatbot to add a personal element and improve the online experience.

“Our website is our busiest branch, but we didn’t have anyone to greet a person shopping or researching and give them that positive first impression,” Greubel says. “That’s where Jane came to life. She’s able to greet visitors who have a question and provide an immediate response.”

Just as important, Jane has been collecting data analytics since she was introduced in fall 2018 to provide detailed information about what visitors seek on the website. Greubel’s team uses that information to make website links and content more responsive to member needs.

Using the Baldrige Excellence Framework for strategy-driven performance, along with an amazing marketing team and West Community’s culture of work/life balance, is what Greubel says helps her thrive at work and at home.

Greubel and her husband, Nick, are raising a toddler son. A two-year-old can be the ultimate “disruptor” at home, which parallels Greubel’s interest in following financial industry disruptors at work.

“You have to be prepared for those disruptors to be competitive.”

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