Automation: Great for processes, not-so-great for member services

I love automation and streamlining and efficiencies and…well, I could go on and on. Anyone who knows me knows this is true. Oh, and I love commas. But that’s a whole different topic.

I love cutting out the unnecessary anything. The world is saturated with line extensions (like 472 different flavors in the toothpaste aisle), visual clutter, and an endless array of stuff. Not that long ago, I reached a point in my life where I wanted to clear the clutter. My minimalist efforts started with the crap all over my desk at work. After that clean sweep, I quickly moved to my home, where I conducted an extensive purge of things that hadn’t been touched in years. (Thank you, Williams Sonoma, for the part-time job and the 39 pieces of French ceramic bakeware). I ran out of physical items to eliminate. Next up? Wasted time. It needed to go.

How could I do away with unproductive time, particularly in the workday? For many of us, our task saturated days are as overwhelming as the options in the toothpaste aisle mentioned above. When we really examine our to-do lists, we realize many of our daily tasks are redundant. There is so much squandered time to reclaim. Luckily, my manic self loves creating efficiencies! I get a high from finding ways to make things run more smoothly. But while streamlining has done wonders for my productivity, experience has shown me that there’s a danger in trying to automate everything. Some things require more personalized attention.

Take credit unions, for example. Every credit union wants member growth. And while some do an excellent job of onboarding their new people, most aren’t doing anything exceptional. They stick with the same methodical process year after year—an approach I find maddening. Same old same old exhausts me. So many of the things that we are conditioned to do as credit union marketers frustrate me.


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