In an Amazon world, keep loan applications and other interactions simple, personal, intuitive, immediate and social.
Fifty Northwest credit union CEOs gathered last year, and the topic turned to Amazon Prime. Nearly all were members and enjoyed Amazon’s “One Click to Buy” feature. Convenient, cool and a new normal most agreed. One CEO lightheartedly asked, “Could we ever see a day with ‘One Click to Borrow?’” All in the room favorably nodded.
Retail is retail. Consumers/members have expectations of their experiences in retail, regardless of product. What they receive through digital engagement, real-time status and anytime access outside the credit union is exactly what they expect when engaging with the credit union. Review this list of consumer expectations of retail experiences and consider added ways that your credit union can enhance its commitment to members.
Simple. Apple refined the ease of navigating a computer in your hands and now members primarily engage with credit unions from their handheld devices. How many transactions can a member complete digitally? How many steps are necessary to conduct business? Could a member go “branch-free” and still deepen a relationship with your credit union?
Personal. For all the mobile-first and do-it-yourself habits of members, sometimes a face-to-face conversation is necessary. How advanced are your front-line leaders in their communications and consulting skills? If a member completed “Steps A through C” on her own, could your front-line leaders pick up at “Step D?” How skilled are your front-line leaders in showing empathy and interacting with diverse members?
Intuitive. “Readers like you also enjoyed…” is alongside every book we download. It’s a smart cross-sell because it’s linked to a single buyer’s potential interests. Do your member service systems have “Next Best or Likely Product” for recommendation? How tightly targeted are your marketing initiatives through your marketing customer information file system? Have you shifted significant resources toward digital marketing?
Immediate. “Chat Now” features allow consumers to engage, with live professionals, on their terms and time. How many channels are available for members to engage with your credit union? Have you considered extended or weekend hours? How quickly can your credit union convert a “look-to-book” loan opportunity?
Social. “Like, Follow and Share” options allow members to do more than see what your credit union is accomplishing; connecting through social media also allows members to be your brand ambassadors, influencers and quality control analysts. How active and consistent is your credit union on social media across how many channels? Can your members engage with you through social platforms? Are you open to receiving, and potentially acting on, social feedback from members?
The next time you find yourself wondering, “What’s next in member service or expectations?” look no further than your own consumer habits. Every time you check, research, join and buy; ask, “What about this experience might be helpful for members? What are consumers liking that is a part of this experience, and how might our members expect and enjoy the same?” Odds are good that what you believe and appreciate as a consumer mirrors what your members want.
Jeff Rendel, CSP, president of Rising Above Enterprises, works with credit unions that want entrepreneurial results in sales, service and strategy. Each year, he addresses and facilitates for more than 100 credit unions and their business partners. Reach him at 951.340.3770. ©2020 by Jeff Rendel. All rights reserved.