Building Member Relationships in the Cloud Computing World

by Jimmy Banyas, OMI

A lot of people are talking about Cloud computing these days, and for good reason.

Analysts estimate that Cloud-based services now account for over 50% of the new demand for technology services. Using the Internet to access information, storage and software can dramatically lower your costs, improve flexibility and workflow, and bring about higher levels of scalability. But many adopters are now discovering that providing the necessary level of personalized service is a contrary to the notion of “The Cloud.” Indeed, a renewed attention on old-school customer service is needed in order to ultimately succeed in building lasting customer relationships in the Cloud computing world.

Cloud-based computing and mobile technology is spurring a massive evolution in financial services. Driven by smart phones, iPads and 24/7 connection to the Internet, bank performance these days is less about a physical branch experience and more about the real time experience customers have when interacting with the firm. Indeed, according to The Economist, at least 15% of current branch networks crossed over into unprofitability in 2012. As a result, nearly one in five banks are likely to reduce the number of branches they maintain.

How can you boost member relationships in the face of new and evolving platforms in Cloud computing and mobile technology? Here are a three old-school tactics to consider.

Plain Old Phone

The telephone is often overlooked in the face of the rising popularity of e-mail, video conferencing and social media. But successful salesmen and marketers know that the plain old phone endures as the most personalized means of communication that we now use. Automation is great, but it is hard to get a handle on what your client is feeling in the virtual world. Are they stressed out? Do they have a deadline to meet? Is this an immediate issue? One phone call and a few minutes can give you all of this information. Plus, members and customers need to hear your voice. A brief conversation can calm a lot of emotions and instill confidence in you and your organization.

Be Social

It seems like everyone is using social media these days. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn have become modern social channels that have changed how consumers interact with friends, family and businesses. Indeed, for many people, social media has become so pervasive that it is hard to imagine not using it to communicate in everyday life. Since credit unions are focused on community and member value, it makes sense that they should embrace social media as a way to establish and foster relationships with members and encourage member loyalty over time. After all, social media provides a unique platform to connect with members, ensure them that you will be there for them, and build awareness of your programs, initiatives and services.

Face to Face

The most effective customer service is delivered face-to-face. In our virtual world, working face-to-face is increasingly rare, but it wasn’t that long ago that banking meant going to the branch on Main Street. Instead of using the ATM, customers talked to tellers and even knew them by name. Customer a service was, for the most part, a result of that face-to-face interaction. As humans, we often rely on facial expressions to help us gauge one’s feelings or emotions. But we don’t really have that capability in the world of Cloud computing. There is no better tool in customer service than to have a physical presence with your members. In our increasingly virtual world, credit unions must look for every opportunity to take advantage of that personal, face-to-face engagement.

Moving Forward

As our world becomes more technology-driven, spurred by ongoing developments in Cloud and mobile computing; it will be increasingly important for credit unions and other service-based organizations to look proactively for ways to create a personal connection. Automation makes many things easier and most often saves money, but technology also works to dilute our ability to make true, one-on-one connections with members and customers. To be successful in the Cloud computing world you must start with the maximum amount of human interaction that can be part of the process. To find out more visit or call 1-877-377-7274

Jimmy Banyas

Jimmy Banyas

Jimmy Banyas is Director at OMI, a Cloud-based managed communications provider and consulting firm. You may contact him at 877-377-7274 ext. 724 or visit Web: Details