The digital divide: Why employee and member experience matter more than ever

Editor’s Note: CUInsight is hosting a free webinar on this topic Wednesday, August 5 titled, Navigating Uncertainty: 3 Ways to Prioritize Member Experience During COVID-19. We hope you’ll join us! Register here.


While saving is generally a pretty sound practice, investing is also a critical part of future planning. If you’re a credit union, the best investment you can make is in experience.

What is “experience” and why does it matter?

Satisfaction is great, but it’s only part of the puzzle. Keeping both your members and employees engaged through uncertain times requires a more holistic perspective.

Experience is a complete view of all of the interactions someone has with your brand, and therefore their impression of who you are as an organization. For members, these interactions are the steps along the customer journey — touchpoints like opening a new account, making withdrawals and deposits, or applying for a loan. The employee journey has similar touchpoints, from hiring and onboarding to training and reviews.

While checking in on a single interaction can help you understand someone’s satisfaction, understanding experience requires a more systematic approach.

Doubling down on digital

The transition to a primarily virtual experience means that you no longer have the luxury of seeing everyone in person. Instead of smiles and casual conversations, your interactions are reduced to transactions. Now, if there’s even a temporary issue with your mobile banking app, satisfaction plummets. If your team needs to launch a new product awareness campaign, the pressure to produce while dealing with a reduction in in-person interactions and a lack of “real life” opportunities to connect can cause stress to skyrocket.

Credit unions are traditionally community oriented. How can you maintain that same level of community in a digital world? A systematic plan for feedback collection at key touchpoints can help you to identify rough spots before they become disasters. Plus, keeping communication open ensures that your community members know how to reach you if something goes wrong — or if something goes amazingly well!

For example, one of our credit union partners uses an automated approach to follow up with multiple touchpoints — opening and closing accounts, transactions, loans — and is able to see the shift from in-person to virtual options in real time. This visibility allows them to address pain points before they escalate, and to identify strength areas that can drive training and service improvements.

Pricing pain points

You can’t put a price on meaningful feedback. Unfortunately, sophisticated experience management tools have historically been out of budget range for small- to medium-sized businesses. The good news is that the recognition of the power of experience management has led to rapid advancements in technology, leading to more affordable options gaining market share.

One of our client credit unions used a “secret shopper” method in the past, in order to gain an outside perspective on member experience. Now, though, they’ve found that it’s much more effective to reach out directly to their members for the inside scoop. The insights they’ve uncovered have improved their policies and professional development, and member satisfaction is on the rise.

Member experience program priorities

To make the most of your resources, review your priorities. Do you have the expertise in-house to run a successful member experience program? Do you currently have tools you can use to measure what matters? How will your systems work together?

In some cases, working with what you have may be just fine. If you find you’re missing a few ingredients, though, make time to research your options. Even the best efforts can sometimes benefit from outside support. Sure, the technology is important — more engaging participant experience, better quality reports and dashboards — but the people who power the program are critical. While you know your members best, look to member experience experts and resources for advice on continuous improvement.

One of our long-term credit union partners originally connected with us for help with a member satisfaction survey. After some feedback and updates from our team, our partner CEO was shocked to find how high response rates suddenly jumped. It’s not magic, but the combination of her experience and our expertise made for a winning combination.

Times may be tough, but smart investments in experience now will continue to pay off down the road, no matter what the new normal brings. Your employees, your members, and your bottom line will thank you.


Don’t forget to join CUInsight and SoGoSurvey for our free webinar titled Navigating Uncertainty: 3 Ways to Prioritize Member Experience During COVID-19, on Wednesday, August 5. Register yourself and a colleague here.

Melissa Krut

Melissa Krut

Melissa Krut is a writer, a teacher, and the Senior Director of Success at SoGoSurvey. Beyond supporting client success through trainings, managed projects, and content resources, she prioritizes employee success ... Web: Details