The Digital Experience Is Critical … For Now

man holding techy looking tablet with the label customer experience
By Steve Heusuk

2 minutes

How will you compete after the transformation?

Sponsored by CUNA Mutual Group

Today’s ultra-competitive financial services marketplace has credit unions hunting for the differentiators that will build member loyalty. Many, not surprisingly, are focusing on their digital experience. And that’s good, but it might not be enough.

Research from Bain & Company pinpointed 30 facets of customer experience that contribute to loyalty and grouped them into four categories: functional, emotional, life-changing and social impact. 

The Top Five Drivers of Loyalty

For banking, five facets, or attributes, stood out as loyalty drivers:

  • Quality, Saves Time, Simplifies: Functional
  • Reduces Anxiety: Emotional 
  • Heirloom (i.e., a good investment for future generations): Life-changing

Focusing on Functional

Since “quality,” often linked to fees/prices, branch networks, and products/services, is table stakes in terms of credit unions’ survival, many institutions have turned their attention to the other key functional attributes of the customer experience: “saves time” and “simplifies” (i.e., convenience).  

Hence, the mad rush to deliver a better, end-to-end digital member experience. However, there will eventually come a time when outperforming competitors on these functional attributes will become more and more challenging.  Ultimately, consumers will expect all financial institutions to perform at the same high levels on these attributes.

The Emergence of Emotion

Bain’s research indicates that financial institutions that take active steps to reduce consumers’ anxiety—aka financial worries—will have a leg up on the competition. 

So, what’s keeping your members up at night? 

Their overall financial picture? Major financial decisions, such as buying a house, and making the right choices? Not knowing if they will be approved for a loan?

Find out. Then use what you learn and help them minimize their financial worries. Perhaps solutions to address or eliminate their worries, such as digital tools and advice to aid decision-making, could be designed into your new digital member experiences? This could lead to improved perceptions of the experience your credit union delivers—and all the associated benefits of improved loyalty and differentiation from the competition. 

Credit unions have long been committed to knowing and meeting members’ deeper needs. Continue that tradition by reducing members’ financial worries and you’ll benefit them—and your credit union too.

Steve Heusuk is senior manager, competitive & market intel at CUES Premier Supplier member CUNA Mutual Group, Madison, Wisconsin. He recently oversaw an extensive research study designed to help credit unions understand the issues causing members financial worry and stress. Learn more about digital trends impacting the financial services industry here. For up-to-the-minute insights to help in crafting your credit union’s digital strategy, visit #cudigitaltrends.

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