Tapping the power of data: Analytics help you connect directly to your member

The value of data for improving the customer experience (CX) is widely recognized across every industry today. Credit unions, in particular, are faced with a wealth of information, coming from members and from within the organization.  It stands to reason that in today’s data-driven environment, the organizations that will succeed are the ones that can make the best use of the data at their disposal. However, then the question to ask is: “Are we analyzing available data to the fullest extent possible?”

It’s a question that can be posed concerning every aspect of banking operations. For example, member communications are one area that can both benefit from and feed into data analytics, but too often it falls short of its full potential to impact the CX. Over the past several years, credit unions have been making a solid effort to engage targeting members, understanding their needs and ensuring they are receiving offers and rewards that are tailored to them. But more can be done.

Taking data analysis to the next level

The second question to ask is: Is our credit union looking closely at the channels its members are using to communicate? For example, your member may be sent a perfectly targeted, elegantly designed offer. But if they never open the mail, never click on the email or never reply to an SMS message, then the communication effort was wasted. Deeper analysis can ensure that your member is always sent the right message over the right channel.

The next consideration is content. Most members have widely varying tastes when it comes to content, but the member communications sent don’t always reflect this fact. A promotion, such as a direct mail piece on home equity lines of credit, may have some degree of personalization, but the message and content surrounding the personalization remains the same for every member. That’s a missed opportunity to improve effectiveness and speak more directly to your members’ needs.

In the current competitive environment, credit unions cannot afford to view members as a single, unified mass. They must be engaged as specific individuals and communications with them need to reflect this approach. Credit unions are investing significant amounts of money and effort in analytics for back-office functions, so extending that investment to the front lines of member communications is the next important step.

Member communications and analytics feed each other

There is a critical two-way relationship that exists between member communications and analytics. Every communication will, in turn, generate its own data which can then be put to use in the business. As members respond to offers, promotions and other communications, your credit union can build an increasingly accurate picture of them.

This process can then lead to more accurate predictions, more effective communications and ultimately a greatly improved member experience. For example, if an email communication announcing a mobile banking app leads to a member downloading it, you have engaged that member and know more about their preferences. You can then follow up with targeted offers and other suggestions, secure in the knowledge that the member is listening.

Analyzing communications can also help improve the communications themselves. For example, even the smallest factors in an email or website can make a great difference regarding how engaged members are and how they respond. Elements such as color, fonts and even the size and shape of images can all be the final push to entice a member to interact.  Using analytics, your credit union can track member interactions with these communications and pin-point exactly how to maximize their effectiveness. For example, do members click more on square or round buttons? Do they respond more to specific wordings in messages, even if they lead to the same action?

With the right analysis, it is possible to refine your member communications dramatically, until they are optimized to the right member, time, channel and message.

A holistic approach is required

In today’s environment, no credit union can survive as a disparate collection of entities—whether those are regional offices, branch locations, departments or business functions. Data and analytics have to feed into every corner of the organization, however varied, in order for them to work as one. Member communications are no exception.

In designing and implementing a data analytics strategy, it is important to have executive buy-in, but also to seek collaboration from every department and functional area within the credit union. Moreover, developing a successful analytics program requires more than finding the right technologies and tools, it also requires aligning the program with the credit union’s overall CX objectives and training staff how to glean insights from the data collected and utilize it to enrich the member experience. Particularly for smaller banking organizations, the best approach is often to start with pilot projects and build from there, rather than seeking to implement an organization-wide analytics strategy from the outset.

Data and analytics are a robust source of business value. The more they are used, and the more places in which they are used, the greater the ROI. Finding ways to let critical member touch points like communications be shaped by data and analytics represents a powerful advantage and a strong potential differentiator for every size of banking organization.

Antoine Hemon-Laurens

Antoine Hemon-Laurens

Antoine Hemon-Laurens is Banking Industry Expert at GMC Software, a provider of customer communications management software. His focus is on helping credit unions better engage with their customers through mobile ... Web: https://www.gmc.net Details