Maintaining personal touch in the new digital age?

Many credit unions today worry about how to attract and retain members with more and more members never walking into a branch. Members now can do all their financial transactions online via their smartphone, tablet or computer.  Can we successfully maintain human contact with our members without interacting with them in a branch? Is there a balance we should be looking for in the cooperative movement that will stabilize personal face-to-face service using technology?

The technology we use today to complete important transactions with members can enhance face-to-face communication. Credit unions are adopting video conferencing to hold frequent education sessions in order to reach more members at more branches.  Numerous technologies already exist and others are still sprouting that will allow credit unions to continue personal interaction with their members into the future.

1.     3D Technology

MidUSA Credit Union based in Middletown, OH is experimenting with 3D technology through Buffalo Pacific LLC and Telepresence Technologies LLC. The 3D Omni-Suite kiosks give members real-time video experience with a staff member including full eye contact and quality of sound.

2.     Video Kiosks

Video teller kiosks allow face-to-face interaction with members through video screens.  Members can do business at a branch while staff members are at other locations.  Skype and FaceTime have made video conferencing the technological replacement for physical face-to-face contact.  Credit unions can adopt Skype, FaceTime or other technologies such as GotoAssist to maintain human contact with their members in addition to in person or phone communications.

3.     Tablet Transactions

Credit unions across the country also are embracing the use of tablets for daily member transactions and teller interactions. Using this mobile technology allows the teller to move about the branch lobby to assist members in a timely and effective face-to-face manner. Tablets eliminate the need for costly teller counters and give members a more personable experience with the credit union staff.

Moving forward, credit unions need to re-think their current processes and make changes to their delivery while still maintaining the human experience.  A task as simple as incorporating phone calls to members to remind them their documents are ready for eSign  gives credit union staff a chance to verify the member’s identity, cross-sell, provide any additional information or answer any questions they may have.

Technology will not replace the quality of face-to-face interaction with members, but the technology available today can complement it. Thinking outside the box and finding technological ways to adapt to meet your members’ needs and the needs of your credit union while still maintaining a personal relationship is the goal.

Carol Middaugh

Carol Middaugh

Carol Middaugh is a Regional Sales Manager for eDOC Innovations. In addition to providing paperless solutions to credit unions, she assists credit unions by delivering convenient services to their members ... Web: Details