Credit Unions are consistently dealing with the gap between their member’s expectations and the actual level of service their member receives. Today’s member is counting on accurate and consistent information every time, and they want to be able to have access to that financial information instantly, whether in person or virtually. The question remains, how can a Credit Union deliver the same level of service in a traditional brick and mortar branch at the same time as growing virtual branches without a dramatic push for added staff and financial resources?
Smart Financial Credit Union (SFCU) headquartered in Houston, Texas has an 80 year history of providing financial services to their growing membership of over 75,000 account holders and various branch locations. Smart Financial was struggling to offer an experience that far surpassed their member’s expectations and at a cost that made business sense. That was when SFCU embraced the use of innovation and technology to lower operating costs, grow members, and enhance the overall experience; thereby strengthening their brand and their mission.
“We have pushed the Credit Union towards a self-servicing organization and as a result has deepened our relationships with our members,” stated Susan Chapman, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Smart Financial Credit Union. “The expansion of our virtual and concept branches has allowed our members to access their Credit Union when and where they want.”
Mastering this business challenge can be very easy. Since SFCU’s transformation, they are instantly answering thousands of member questions, and have saved close to $50,000 in just months. Below are several approaches SFCU is taking that any institutions can benefit from:
1. Expanded communication options. SFCU has enabled self-service access for their members to gain answers to their questions in real time whether they are conducting transactions virtually or in person. With 24/7 access to products, members have the same access to information at the click of a button. The benefit to Smart Financial doesn’t stop at a better experience for their members. The value continues through to each of their 16 branches, which are all delivering a consistent and accurate message, thus supporting an alignment of SFCU’s service offerings with their brand.
2. Understanding their members. US adults who bank online have steadily risen in the last 5 years. According to Forrester Research, three in 10 adults use multiple channels monthly to interact with their financial institution. In SFCU’s case, this adds up to approximately 22,500 members using multiple channels on a monthly basis. This is a valuable opportunity to learn from the type of questions members are asking. Deepen member loyalty and engagement by targeting messages based upon real feedback and inquiries.
3. Enhanced efficiency. Member service agents often wear multiple hats. The story is no different at SFCU. Generally, the time needed to navigate to the correct response can be cumbersome, increasing hold times and leading to decreased satisfaction. This also impacts the ability to promote products and services available at the institution. With an intelligent technology solution in place, SFCU agents instantly serve up answers to member questions, lowering hold times and abandonment rates, and increasing selling opportunities and member interactions.
These innovative approaches have improved SFCU’s member experience through increased satisfaction, a growth in membership and a more robust bottom line.
On May 29 at 2pm Eastern, Susan Chapman, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Smart Financial Credit Union, will share their approach to the member experience. Attendees will walk away with an innovative solution to tackle this business challenge by plugging member interactions into the heart of a multichannel strategy. We invite you to join this free, hour-long, informative webinar hosted by SFCU, Allied Solutions and SilverCloud, Inc. by registering here:https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/542601120.