Credit union members are among the happiest consumers out there. Satisfaction is through the roof, so to speak. Credit unions rank high on the American Customer Satisfaction Index year over year, routinely beating banks (though that gap is closing quick) and other financial services institutions.
So the challenge isn’t how to make your members happy. It’s how can you make them even happier? Here are three ways to knock member satisfaction off the charts.
1. Satisfy your employees first
Member happiness starts with engaged employees. That shouldn’t be a surprise. Think about any situation in which you encounter a service provider, whether that’s the server at your favorite restaurant or the CEO of a vendor partner. Their demeanor makes all the difference, regardless of the situation.
It may be hard to believe, but technology can help boost overall employee satisfaction. You’ve heard of a low-value task, right? Tasks that often involve moving paper from one person to the next. Or manual data entry. Or searching for member information in siloed solutions disconnected from the core. There’s a solution. Content services is the low-value task killer.
Here’s a story to illustrate. Whatcom Educational Credit Union, a fast growing financial services company in Whatcom County, WA, was overflowing in loan applications, membership profiles, you name it. It was all physically stored in its main office, so whenever a team member at a branch needed to access a member’s file – while the member was standing at the teller window, no less – someone at the main office would have to find the file, find the right document within the file, and fax the paperwork to the branch.
Stop and think about that for a minute. Think of the time wasted calling the main office, finding someone to retrieve the file, time spent retrieving and faxing the file, and reviewing the fax once it came across.
Now consider the member at the teller window and how those low-value tasks impact service times and satisfaction.
It’s been a while since Whatcom connected its core system to a robust content services platform, and employees are still instantly accessing member files and information. Time previously swallowed up by calling, faxing and waiting is spent helping members reach their financial goals.
2. Make sure members’ information is safe and secure
By the time June 2018 rolled around, more than 660 data breaches had occurred at businesses large and small. Those breaches represented nearly 23 million exposed records, according to Identity Theft Resource Center and CyberScout. Financial institutions, including credit unions, made up 12 percent of those breaches.
In other words, if you think your credit union is too small or too unassuming to be a target, think again.
“Security by obscurity” – or believing your organization is too small to be a target – is no longer a viable strategy for information management. Smaller, less protected companies and organizations are prime targets, and these breaches are more likely to go undetected and under reported.
Today information theft is a volume business with a rather mundane objective: Plunder caches of personal information from average people. This personally identifiable information (PII) might include email addresses, website logons, social security numbers, and bank and credit card accounts.
Don’t treat security as an afterthought. Start at the beginning, prior to evaluating your current legacy core system or implementing any new software solution that is going to touch your members’ personal information. Make sure the vendor considers security at every phase of the solution’s product lifecycle, including development, testing and support. You could go so far as to ensure the vendor gives its development and quality assurance employees the tools needed to detect and prevent software vulnerabilities.
3. Engage in the larger financial services digital ecosystem
No doubt you know a lot about digital transformation and how it can help propel your credit union beyond the competition. But what do you know about digital ecosystems?
In the simplest of terms, a digital ecosystem comprises people or companies, data, processes, and connected technology via shared use of digital platforms. Digital ecosystems encourage collaboration between credit unions and members – and even other credit unions.
In may still seem far in the future, but the industry is moving toward a digital financial services ecosystem – one of a dozen or so major business ecosystems – that will provide consumers with an interconnected set of services. Members will easily and effortlessly fulfill financial needs from a variety of providers through a single integrated digital experience.
To prepare your credit union for inclusion in this digital ecosystem, digital transformation efforts should focus on use of advanced data analytics, machine learning and AI and even open banking APIs. Remember what we’ve said in the past, too. Don’t put off digital transformation because you think it is too big to undertake. Understand that you can take these big ideas back to your organization and move the needle on digital transformation.
Credit union members are a happy lot, but there are ways to increase satisfaction and strengthen relationships. That includes a smart content services strategy and a focus on digital transformation and ecosystem alignment.