The other night, 60 Minutes had a very engaging discussion with Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon.com. Amazon started off as a place to purchase books and continues to innovate and evolve into a powerhouse that serves so many (and so well).
How Amazon serves up ecommerce to their consumers and facilitates the cloud for businesses is absolutely amazing. Jeff spoke about innovative new products, same day delivery for markets (including groceries), and even using drones to deliver items to your front door.
While the press really got excited about the drones, Jeff also spoke about three key fundamentals which in my opinion are destined to make Amazon even greater. These fundamentals are what credit unions need to keep in mind as we seek innovative ways to leverage big data, serve omnipresent consumers, and respond to the challenges of real time fulfillment.
Fundamental Number One: Stay Connected to Your Consumer
Amazon does not listen to “experts” or pundits – they rely on their consumers to provide insight. They do this in two ways – by observing how their consumers respond and by seeking consumer opinion through surveys.
The lesson for credit unions? Stay in touch with the members you serve. Know what they buy from you, know what other financial institutions serve them, and continue to solicit member opinion on what it would take to become their primary financial institution.
Fundamental Number Two: Make Your Supply Chain Efficient
Who doesn’t like “one-click” shopping from Amazon? It is efficient and very welcoming. When you order something from Amazon the fulfillment of your order is a logistician’s dream.
The lesson for credit unions? You have the same opportunity! If a member needs to purchase a car – why send them to multiple places? Calculators, loan forms, insurance information and upsells should all be available through that one click.
Fundamental Number Three: Anticipate What They Need
Why do consumers stay so engaged while they are on Amazon’s website? I recently purchased a replacement phone charger but ended up adding a pair of running shoes and a few pairs of gardening gloves to my order. Three unrelated products! Why? It was simply a matter of relevance. Amazon keeps track of what people click on and what they purchase – and they use this data to personalize your next experience.
The lesson for credit unions? As member based organizations, we should know who we are serving and leverage the information collected to create a very personal experience. Take a chance and serve up insurance advertising to someone that just used an automobile purchase calculator on your site. Your member will be impressed and might actually purchase it from you.
To recap, consider doing the following –
1) Recognize your member across various channels but make them feel secure.
2) Leverage every interaction – if you cannot track what they are doing, use a simple survey to learn more about their needs.
3) Make them want to come to your channels – a more efficient branch, a frequently updated and informative website, and a quick self-service experience.
There are five big trends driving member engagement. See if you can leverage them.
You are the financial institution, and your member trusts you with their money – you have the ability to be a mentor. Now, go serve them.