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4 ways Credit Unions can achieve tremendous growth 

Ganesh Mukundan | Mar 14, 2017 195 views No Comments

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Credit Unions

Talking about anomalies in business, Credit Unions make up for an intriguing study. Although they fall under the category of ‘financial services’, their business model is quite different in comparison to banks and other financial institutions. Also, surprisingly enough, every member is an owner at a Credit Union. Unique, right?

Despite not possessing the conventional customer-brand interaction platform, Credit Unions still have to ensure that they keep their members happy. Because, just like brands from other verticals, members can get unhappy, dissatisfied, leave, quit and join other Unions. So, if you’re asking whether Member Experience applies for Credit Unions, the answer is a YES!

Here we take a look at some of the areas these institutions should focus on to achieve relentless growth, boost retention and deliver amazing experiences.

1. Abolish Process Silos

While Credit Unions have been traditionally associated with higher member satisfaction in comparison to banks, there is a dearth of technology to understand the ‘WHY’ behind such high scores. Most times, Credit Unions function without knowing what works and what doesn’t and also what needs to be done for further improvement of the overall experience.

For instance, a member at the Vice President level handles Sales, Operations, Member Services, Branch Operations, and even Contact Center Management. But he or she is attacked by disjointed and disoriented member data that comes from all these various departments and there is no single platform or dashboard that processes all this data holistically and presents the entire member journey of the members – portfolio of products they’re using, duration of membership, account balance details, ratings on multiple delivery channels/touchpoints, etc. Unless there is a platform that empowers department heads to collate and monitor member feedback in real-time, you’ll be left in the oblivion as to why members are leaving, or staying.

One way you can start collecting actionable insights holistically is by deploying a Member Experience platform for one delivery channel to start with and then push it throughout the organization. The member experience program is a process that needs consistent improvement and a CX platform, with dynamic customer support from the CX solution provider, would be an ideal fit in your Credit Union.

2. Drive Marketing through Personalization

Tt wasn’t very long ago when members did not have much choice with Credit Unions. Now, however, they have a plethora of options when it comes to choosing a Credit Union. So, it is important to create a personalized experience for each and every member. This not only helps drive growth, but also promotes cross-selling. And the key to personalization is listening to your existing members across all delivery channels, gauging expectations, deriving insights based on their experiences, and also understanding the products and services that resonate the most with them.

To make life easier in this regard, you can adopt a Net Promoter Score platform where the first level of segmentation is by promoters, passives and detractors. You can then map the NPS ratings across that particular deliver channel and that particular member interaction. Once this is done, map the ratings to your CRM data to get a more comprehensive picture of member behaviour – are they happy or dissatisfied? How much business do they conduct? What are the specific touchpoints across which a particular member has given you a low NPS scale rating?

Quality insights like the above mentioned ones give a 360 degree perspective on all members which means more personalization when it comes to marketing.

Note: It is important to ensure that the process/technology that maps the member insights data into your CRM is automated. Else, your marketing team’s work would only pile up even more – better embrace automation!

3. Break down your Member Survey Program

Most Credit Unions run surveys over email to collect feedback and in most of these institutions, the surveys are generic – in the sense that the questions don’t differ for different types of members. For instance, when a member uses their credit card to check account services, asking them for feedback on mortgage services would not just be out of context but might also irritate them. It eventually leads to misleading insights that forms the basis of altering the member experience.

Another issue here is that depending too much on E-mail surveys might be detrimental for your Credit Union. Customers today are using multiple channels for engagement and they channel hop at a crazy rate. So, you need to be present where the customer is to improve response rates and also get a holistic, and not disjointed, understanding of their experience.

So, how can Credit Unions solve the issues of relevancy and multi-channel availability to listen to their members?
Firstly, Credit Unions have to design member journey maps by understanding and segmenting their members. Segmenting can be done based on,

• Duration of memberships
• Number of products/services used
• Satisfaction scores or Net Promoter Score

Once you have done this initial segmentation, identify the channels through which they interact and deploy a platform that enables your Credit Union to run targeted surveys to track their experience. Some of the common channels that members use include,

• E-mail
• Phone
• Mobile

In fact, mobile has grown in popularity of late. The Member Experience platform you go for, therefore, should be able to integrate with all the above mentioned channels – that is a minimum necessity!

4. Start Investing in the right Technology

Charting journey maps, creating targeted surveys and collecting data about your members across each delivery channel individually would mean nothing if your Credit Union doesn’t have the right sort of dynamic technology that collates, organizes and analyses all this data in real-time.

So, why is there an underlying necessity to have the right technology to bring the best out of all efforts put into improving the members’ experience?

Let’s say that a member visits a particular Credit Union branch and after a frustrating experience, leaves negative feedback. In today’s world, such an incident could result in serious blow back if the member resorts to social media or online forums to tell the world about the poor experience. Which is why the branch head/branch manager should be notified in real-time about the issue – as soon as the member enters the negative feedback! When this happens, the manager can get in touch with the member while they are still in the branch and do their best to understand the issue, and resolve it.

The same process applies to any other channel. Only with the right technology can Credit Unions stay on top of their members, proactively address issues and ultimately win them over by showing that they care about their members’ experience.

How do you arrive at the right piece of technology to kick start your efforts in winning over the loyalty of members?

• The platform you adopt must be omni-channel in nature – have the ability to listen to members across multiple delivery channels.

• At the same time, the platform should have a single view dashboard that allows the executive team to track member experience in real-time, and also other metrics like the Net Promoter Score and the Member Satisfaction Score.

• The platform should have the option to create customized views for each department within the Credit Union. This ensures that the relevant teams view relevant data. More importantly, the creation of customized views shouldn’t be time consuming, involving complex integrations and interference from IT. Any user should be able to create a view within minutes!

• Moreover, the member experience platform is not a one-time implementation. It is something that requires a high level consistently. So, make sure that your provider of Member Experience Solutions has a dedicated team who are like partners along your Brand’s journey.

Member Experience Improvement is very much untapped in Credit Unions. These brands should make it a priority to keep their members happy. Because without members, there are no owners, and ultimately, no one to take responsibility to run these unions and give back something to the community.

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