Four Ways to Streamline the Digital Member Service Experience
Consider this scenario: A person walks into a hardware store, looking to purchase a drill bit. Buying the drill bit is not their ultimate goal; what they really want is to be able to drill a hole in something. What they expect to find is a quick and simple way to meet this immediate need.
What does this have to do with credit unions? A member coming to you for an auto loan doesn’t want a loan — they need the loan because they want a car. If it’s too hard for the member to get what they need from you, they may turn to a competitor who makes the process more convenient.
Rapidly evolving technology has led to a shift in the way consumers prefer to do banking. Factors that once made a big difference in determining which financial partners consumers chose for their needs, such as specific interest rates and loan terms, are being overshadowed by the growing demand for convenience.
Given this shift in member expectations, credit unions must further sharpen their focus on elevating the member service experience to be quick, efficient, and more convenient than ever.
CUNA Mutual Group shares four strategies to get started:
- Look Outside-In
When considering system or process changes, don’t take an “inside-out” approach, in which operational considerations like staffing, cost savings, etc., drive how you engage members. Instead, take an “outside-in” approach, and let how you want/need to engage members drive the changes you make. The internal benefits will naturally follow.
- Members’ Who/What/How
A key step to understanding how to engage members is gaining deeper insight into who they are, what they want, and how they expect to get it. You have a wealth of data available — start analyzing it to identify trends and patterns that can lead to insights about member expectations and behavior. These insights can help you deliver a more relevant and personalized experience.
- The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of the Parts
Just putting your loan application forms online doesn’t mean you’re offering a digital lending experience. Do members have to print, fill out, scan, and submit forms to apply? Do you still require a trip to the branch to close the loan? That’s not what members expect or prefer these days. Conduct a journey mapping exercise to experience exactly what your members go through from beginning to end, identify pain points, and develop solutions to streamline the process.
- It’s Not Just Amazon
As you consider improving your member experience, don’t judge enhancements solely on what you delivered before. Your members live in a digital world and are comparing their experience with the credit union, to every other company they encounter. As more and more businesses step up their game and streamline consumer journeys, fewer members will ask, “Why can’t you be like Amazon?” Instead they’ll ask, “Why can’t you be like everyone else?”
Before walking into the hardware store, the customer from the above scenario would likely have researched online to see which retailer carried the drill bit they needed, compared prices, and maybe even found out which aisle they’d need to visit. To save shipping costs, perhaps they’d pre-order the bit, so it’d be waiting for them at the store. Whichever store offered them the best overall experience would get their business — not just for the drill bit, but likely for all related needs in the future.
What happens next week when this same consumer realizes they need a car loan?