Stop reacting: use your data to lead member expectations
In the fast-paced world of finance, ‘service’ is being rapidly redefined as member expectations change. Credit unions can either be at the forefront, adapting to and hopefully leading changes in member behaviors, or find themselves stuck playing catch up and reacting to standards set by others.
Historically, members have expected basics like quality service and fair pricing, but today’s members have much higher expectations. They want their experience to include proactive and personalized service and to be consistent at every brand touchpoint.
For credit unions still relying on in-person member experiences to meet expectations and build brand equity, COVID-19 has changed that. Today, in order to succeed you must adapt to the expectations your members have for your business or risk losing them altogether. Brand loyalty isn’t a foregone conclusion. According to Salesforce, 76 percent of customers now report that it’s easier than ever to take their business elsewhere, switching from brand to brand to find an experience that matches their expectations.
Better than playing catch up trying to adapt to member expectations, credit unions could be leading them. By interacting on an individual basis with members, credit unions can better understand a member’s individual needs according to their lifecycle stage and personalize marketing journeys to provide informed unique member care. All of which sounds like a daunting task. But, the great news is that most credit unions likely have the data needed to begin their personalization journey.
Here are few tips to get started using your data to provide individualized member experiences and lead the way in setting member experience standards:
- Leverage the power of first-party data: Don’t get stuck in the dark guessing your member’s needs. Look into direct member interactions with your business and analyze their behaviors. These data points can tell you a lot about your members’ needs and help you make insights-driven business decisions. For example, when you look at acquisition and product-usage trends, do you see products that members tend to sign up for only during specific times of year? These seasonality patterns can help you identify the right time to promote those products so you can personalize your offering based on your member’s interests and needs.
- Bring first-party data together with cross-platform tools: When you communicate with your members across numerous platforms, connecting data and synthesizing insights can be difficult and messy. In a recent survey conducted by Forrester, more than half of marketers around the world said they struggle with managing the range of data they have access to. Quantity in this case is not leading to quality. In order to synthesize data and glean actionable insights, work smarter. Discover unified insights across multiple platforms and devices by adopting a cross-platform analytics solution. Gathering cross-platform data lets you garner a more complete view of your members’ individual journeys. Don’t just look at how they’re interacting with your website; look at how and when they use your app, consider how they got there. Determine how and when to interact with your members based on how and when they are already looking to interact with you. And it comes with the added bonus of making your media efforts more efficient and minimizing waste.
- Pay attention to what you don’t see: Friction points cause members to have a negative experience. They leave members saying, “Well, that wasn’t convenient.” As you are looking at your data, also consider what your members are not doing. You can see where they drop off and stop interacting with your brand. That’s a friction point. Mapping these points and understanding them from your member’s perspective should be a strategic goal. Start small, you don’t have to solve for all friction points right off the bat. An easy place to start is to consider your application sign up process for a new checking account. Is it on par with your competitors? Does it meet the standards you’ve set for your institution? How can you improve this experience and lessen the barriers to entry for members?
Predicting behavior is the first step in truly allowing your organization to lead member expectations vs. simply reacting to them. By leaning in to your first party data, you’ll help shape your business and personalize the experience for your current and potential members. In doing so, you’ll not only continue to build the value of your credit union, you’ll also continue to invest in differentiating yourselves from banks and fintechs nationwide.