The summer of 2020: post-pandemic what-ifs

Ask what you've learned and how member expectations have changed.

August 13, 2020

I don’t know about you, but I feel like February was just yesterday, and I’m at a loss for how we got here. Have you noticed that virtual meetings are a whole lot shorter than face-to-face meetings, and we pretty much tossed out the old rule book—right?

In March, I saw the business community spinning in circles, not really knowing what decisions to make. In May, a new nimbleness emerged with strategic plans being put into place, and now we seem to have settled into the next norm with healthy forward momentum.    

I’m so impressed with our industry and how many of you adapted to running your credit unions remotely. You transformed your contact center by repositioning staff and equipping them with access to your phone systems. You kept your drive-thrus open and extended hours to better serve your members. You rushed online to order laptops for your team to work remotely. You used barcode scanners on your cell phones to identify members wearing masks. You explored flexible work hours, which helped your teams cope with homeschooling and the other distractions of working from home.  Hats off for your creative thinking.

I’m just sitting at my laptop in my home office reflecting on all the positive changes accomplished. When excuses are removed, we can move mountains.   

Now, I want to challenge everything we’ve done as a result of this crisis, ask why we shouldn’t keep doing it this new way, and I want to get real about not even for a minute thinking about ever returning to the old normal—there’s no looking back now, friends.

Moving forward, ask:

  • What have we learned?
  • How have our members expectations changed?
  • What does our 2020 Member Experience look like and how do we make it happen?

Think outside of the box—and continue thinking about the what ifs:

What if we had a team working the drive-thru line with a tablet? They walked car to car engaging with the members, answering questions—even conducted business that didn’t involve cash. Talk about an opportunity with a captive audience—this is a huge opening to gather the voice of your members. They’re stuck in their car waiting in line, we engage, we ask questions around their needs and share a heartfelt thank-you for being a valued member—that’s a win.

What if we offered a 24/7 contact center? Now that many of our call centers have transitioned to work from home, why not? We serve members all over the world, and even those in your neighborhood may find 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. access challenging. Don’t farm your after-hours calls out at an additional cost. Save money and ensure all your members are served with your DNA.

What if we use a video platform for conducting the lending process—from application right through to funding?

What if we create a virtual town hall meeting to gather ideas and expectations from our members?

What if we ask our teams what’s working and what’s not? What should we continue?

However you decide to move forward, keep in mind that it needs to fit your culture, the members you serve, and your environment—not everything is going to work everywhere. If your decisions are rooted in your mission, vision and core values, you’ll be golden.

Jayne Hitman is national relationship manager for CUNA Creating Member Loyalty.