Happy New Year!
What a launch this new year… A short holiday shopping season, tremendous shopping activity across channels, and then we even had the big breach at Target. Many in the financial industry did not just come back from vacation; we have been busy – we were actively taking care of our members.
In 2014, we are waking up to a financial industry with a lot of competition where digital is enabling financial awareness – instant access to information to today’s electronically savvy consumer. Financial institutions need to seek ways to enhance trust, build relationships, and leverage technology.
2014 is the year to become a mentor! You can do this by focusing on what members want.
What do members want?
First, the member seeks an expert. The member will only visit with you (your virtual site or physical locations) if they are convinced that you can provide the expertise that they need. Members expect you to be on top of your game providing them with all the information that they need. Website, branches, self-service, mobile, etc. – your channels have to be consistent and exude expertise.
Second, the member seeks convenience. They want the ability to start transactions at any channel and finish the transaction off at the channel of their choice. A very important consideration here is that they expect to find information easily on your site. Convenience is not about having a 24×7 branch or ATM or even offering digital information – convenience is about simplifying transaction flows.
Third, the member seeks knowledge. They don’t just want to sign on the dotted line or just take your word for it. They want to be educated and want you to explain things to them. If they are buying a home they want to understand the financing options clearly, while if they are seeking references – they want to find real testimonials. Use your calculators, frequently asked questions, and experts to serve the members’ need for information.
Fourth, the member seeks recognition. Calling a member by their name will not get you very far. Member service becomes more personalized if you remember the preferences of that member. How often should your member have to tell you that they speak English and always withdraw $60 from your ATM? Recognition of the consumer goes a long way in building up a relationship – selling after that is easy.
Fifth, the member seeks excellent service. The bottom line is that the member expects a perfect transaction. A perfect transaction means that the member has been recognized, the member got the information or product or service that they wanted, and the member is satisfied.
Be careful not to make every communiqué on selling or transacting. Your goal really should be to inform, educate, or inspire. You should use it to answer questions and provide information to help members make decisions that are beneficial to them (and ultimately will be for your Credit Union).
The key element to becoming a mentor is that your Credit Union is viewed as the expert, that your members begin to use more of your products and services, and you leverage your member relationships to seek new members.
Stay in touch with your members – know what they want and seek ways to mentor them into making positive financial decisions.
Happy new year, good luck and best wishes for a very successful 2014!