The most dangerous words to credit unions: “We’ve always done it this way”

The “we’ve always done it this way” mentality will cripple your credit union as your competition adopts the latest technology and business practices to maintain success and growth. Continuing to operate as-usual year over year without change creates challenges for your credit union operations, and ultimately your members. Therefore, it is critical to continually evaluate new processes and opportunities to achieve your credit union’s current and future goals.

Today, we have outlined the top business challenges facing credit unions that are opposed to change, as well as a few ways to effectively implement change.  

  • Challenge: We’ve always relied on face-to-face interaction
    The Wall Street Journal recently released an article claiming retail banking automation could take over 30% of credit union and banking jobs across the United States within the next ten years. The rise in digital banking has forced credit unions to think differently about member engagement. As brick and mortar locations are closing all over the United States, most that remain open are downsizing employee counts in lieu of Intelligent Teller Machines (ITM).

Solution: With the rapid decline of face-to-face interactions, most of your members will develop their opinions of your credit union based on your website, online banking, ePresentment, and print & mail communications. These communications should be designed to give your members a streamlined, personal experience. Think self-serve options, ease of use and mobile responsive designs!

  • Challenge: We’ve always assumed our vendors are doing what is best for us

The old saying “you don’t know what you don’t know” rings true with many organizations — especially when it comes to trusting that your vendors are continually investing in what is best for YOUR credit union today and for the future.

Solution: Booz Allen Hamilton issued a report describing “a mixed report card on traditional outsourcing.” It did, however, highlight that companies that outsource services outside of their non-core functions experienced an average of 15% in cost reductions. How do you know if your vendor is keeping up with the latest solutions and technology? Here’s a helpful tip: If your vendor is not bringing new ideas to the table, you are most likely with the wrong one. A good vendor will work with you to solve your specific business challenges with their products/services suite. They should be heavily invested in ongoing technological solutions that enhance your member interactions, growth and communications.

  • Challenge: We’ve always thought SSO is the way to go

Single sign-on (SSO) has been widely implemented in the credit union world to seamlessly transition members from online banking to their forms, statements and notices. However, while SSO makes sense for the majority of members, those with non-transactional accounts such as mortgage or auto loans should have a direct way to access documents outside of online banking. This missing key to your online banking strategy is critical to minimizing fees while maintaining effective contact with your member.

Solution: A right-minded ePresentment strategy can lower your online banking fees while creating a streamlined digital member experience; and both single sign on (SSO) and direct sign on (DSO) can greatly benefit your credit union. While DSO and SSO both have different features and benefits, it is a best practice to implement a combination of the two in order to have the most cost-effective, comprehensive online solution. Revolutionize the way you communicate with non-transaction accounts by providing them DSO to your ePresentment platform to access their documents.

  • Challenge:  We’ve always used buck slips

Printing, ordering, shipping, and warehousing traditional buck slip inserts is cost prohibitive and inflexible. The time it takes from creation to printing can take weeks, which makes adding a timely marketing piece to your member communications impossible.  

Solution: Communicating timely promotions and marketing is essential to up-selling products and growing your member base. Inline inserts, or marketing pieces printed directly with your member documents, are the most convenient way to market to your members. While this may not seem groundbreaking, it will allow to you effectively market to your members and change messaging up to the minute before your member documents are printed.

  • Challenge: We’ve always marketed to the masses

The old adage, “Any marketing is better than no marketing at all” is lost in today’s need for custom, personalized messaging and communications. Yes, your members demand more than generic messaging. In fact, studies show that 73% of consumers prefer to do business with brands that use personal information to make their experience with your organization feel more relevant.

Solution: The most effective way to reach your members is to utilize segmented marketing in conjunction with a digital platform that allows you to implement dynamic, real-time messaging. This solution combination will provide you with the capabilities to present personalized, strategic messaging to your members both digitally and via print and mail.

The Bottom Line

A status quo business strategy impedes credit union growth and success. Just because someone says “we’ve always done it this way,” does not mean you cannot search for better solutions that will ultimately prepare your credit union for future market changes. Look ahead at strategies and technologies that move with the times and support your credit union’s operational and strategic goals. By doing this, you will stay relevant, streamline processes and increase member engagement — which will all positively impact your bottom line.

Callie Cady

Callie Cady

Callie Cady is the Communications & Marketing Manager at Lanvera, a world-class provider of end-to-end outsourcing solutions for transactional documents. At Lanvera, cutting edge technology solutions are coupled with industry ... Web: Details

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