Does your credit union operate on a “members first” mentality? If you’re working at an operational credit union, there is probably a good chance you said yes to this question. Credit unions have always been hyper-focused on making meaningful improvements to the member experience. However, many credit unions overlook some key ways to put members first, such as benchmarking their members experiences and so on.
The current makeup of the typical credit union’s member base is now more diverse than ever before. It’s no surprise that for the last few years, credit unions have targeted millennials as the next generation of financial service users. The result of this is that credit unions are now faced with a new and potentially more challenging dilemma: how to engage not only millennials, but also an aging boomer population and emerging Gen Z.
Engagement is one of the key fundamentals of member experience and the ability to provide a consistent member experience is the key to a successful credit union. Now you’re asking yourself, how do you provide a consistent member experience to an ever-changing membership in an ever-changing digital landscape?
The obvious answer is technology. Although that is partially true because technology is definitely a major tool you can use to help measure and improve member experience, the answer is not quite that simple. Here are 4 real ways you can begin to improve the customer experience of your credit union.
Although you will have some members that never step into your branches (or if you’re a branchless credit union), the truth is over 60 percent of Americans would still rather open a new checking account in person at a bank branch than on a phone, tablet, or desktop computer, according to a 2018 study.
Anytime your members step into one of your branches, it’s an opportunity to provide an exceptional experience and drive loyalty. Every exceptional branch experience starts with your employees. Make sure your employees are not only knowledgeable in all of your financial products but make sure they are properly trained on having a “members first” mentality. Make sure members are greeted as soon as they walk in. Always address a member by their first name when dealing with their account. Make sure your branch is well-staffed during peak hours to ensure wait times are kept to a satisfiable minimum.
Continuing upon the theme of keeping employees knowledgeable and sharp to ensure a positive member experience, an employee intranet/knowledge-base is one of the most powerful vehicles toward engaging employees with the credit union’s brand and institutional goals. A well-managed intranet serves as a linchpin for how employees operate effectively daily.
Whether checking for credit union announcements; reviewing training materials, policies or procedures; or reading blogs and articles from co-workers, an intranet allows employees to engage with the ethos of their organization and understand the role they play in its long-term goals. Ensure your member experience fundamentals are in solid working order and you have the right leaders, metrics, and accountability models to keep the fundamentals in place over time
It’s crucial for members to have a seamless experience whether they are in a branch, as previously mentioned, or using any of your digital channels (online banking, social, etc.) The only way you can achieve this is by having your marketing and IT departments work closely together to create and integrate member-facing technology. IT, marketing, and operations must align at each member touch point.
The path to membership will often start with a google search, so your website has to be well-done. Next is the online banking experience - much like your branch experience, this is a crucial step to gaining and keeping members. All member-facing team members must be well-connected to the online experience and ready to answer questions when the member is ready to move to the offline world. Make sure each of your channels - including your branches, online banking, website and social - are all working together to create a seamless member experience.
Collect Feedback & Analytics
One of the most crucial parts of becoming great at anything in life is measuring your success and failures - it’s how we know what we need to do to improve or know when we’re on the right track. Your credit union is no exception to this rule, so if you’re not currently collecting member feedback on a DAILY basis, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.
It’s almost impossible to measure member experience without the feedback of your members. I’ve worked with a number of clients before who would only collect member feedback on a quarterly or even yearly cadence. If you’re only collecting feedback once a year from your member base, you will miss out any many potential operational deficiencies that are hurting your overall member experience.
Here at Benchmark Intelligence, we help credit unions collect member feedback on a daily basis. We focus on in-branch feedback, but we also collect feedback from your call centers and online channels. Our feedback is real-time and most importantly, we give you the opportunity to converse with your customers in real-time after they leave feedback, so that you can alleviate any issues or answer any questions they may have. Our tools have been proven to reduce online negative reviews by up to 50%.
We provide an exceptional customer feedback tool but we’re not the only way to collect feedback. The important thing is, whether you’re using us or another tool, you need to collect member feedback on a daily basis to not only measure your member experience, but to gather insights that will help you provide the best member experience possible.