What credit unions can learn from retail shopper trends

Member service is no longer based on transactions. The buying experience has evolved from a model focused on purchases to one centered on a member’s experience. Nowadays, what sets you apart is the satisfaction people derive from doing business with your credit union, from talking with a branch employee to speaking with a contact center agent.

Retail brands know all about member experience (MX) from the music they play in stores and the décor they use, down to the store layout. For credit unions, MX can be shaped by how they interact with their members at each touchpoint of their financial journey, like when they have questions about products and services or when they have problems. Members’ satisfaction stems from how they view your credit union based on those interactions. Their satisfaction is important because it drives loyalty, encourages repeat business, helps attract new members, and reduces negative word-of-mouth.

In fact, people are 3.5 times more likely to purchase more from a brand after a positive consumer experience. Consequently, a negative experience puts you at risk of losing 9.5% of your revenue. No one understands this better than retail brands, and they’re currently experiencing consumer trends that businesses in all industries, including your financial institution, could learn from.

Consumer trends for 2023

While retail shopping is a different world than financial services, there are some key takeaways from what the industry is currently experiencing. Understanding their buyer trends and using them to optimize member satisfaction is a huge benefit for credit unions.

Need for emotional connection

Central to customer satisfaction is the desire for emotional connection with a business. Even though that might look differently for different people, understanding that your credit union has an emotional impact on others—and what that impact is—can accelerate the growth of your member network.

According to the Global State of CX 2023 report, 35% of respondents identified customer loyalty and retention as the number one investment priority for 2023. When customers form a bond with a company, they are willing to continue with their products or services even when less expensive alternatives come along.

Convenience is king

One of the most important trends this year is convenience. The exponential growth of tech and the internet has contributed to a higher demand for convenience and speed. This is particularly true for younger demographics although not exclusive to them. In fact, 52% of buyers say that half or more of their purchases are influenced by convenience.

Get personal

Creating member-specific experiences is an overwhelmingly consistent expectation and trend. Of 4,000 online shoppers surveyed in the U.S., U.K., Italy, France, and Australia, 72% are willing to trade some of their privacy for meaningful personalization. When members feel like less of a target and more of a person (in the case of credit unions), you can open avenues to increased purchases, loyalty, and satisfaction.

Other things to consider about member satisfaction

Each member is going to have their own set of wants and needs. By digging into what they are looking for, you can better provide a solution that fits with their wants and ability to buy. A good start is asking how members’ quality perceptions have evolved regarding products and services. Are you meeting their needs? In most industries, quality is the biggest driver of satisfaction, overtaking price and value.

Member feedback is pivotal

A pivotal ingredient of member satisfaction is openly receiving feedback and implementing it. Taking complaints seriously is a great way to build stronger connections with your members. Complaints must be handled almost perfectly to retain that member; however, even without retaining that individual member, the product or service would benefit from the feedback. Such improvements create product growth and the opportunity to create more loyal members through continual product evolution. Member satisfaction is shown to be a positive predictor of stock market performance. It also affects other performance indicators like productivity, sales growth, and return on investment.

Closing the gap between your credit union and your members is more important than ever. With SWBC’s Total Contact Center Solution, you can provide members with the experiences and convenience they have come to expect, whether it’s through knowledgeable staff interactions, expanded member service hours that satisfy convenience, or easy self-serve options that let them take charge of their personal banking needs.

Visit our website to see how we provide a viable and cost-effective solution to meeting the ever-changing needs of borrowers and members.

Andy Hardin

Andy Hardin

Andy Hardin leads the TCCS Contact Center at SWBC. With nearly 25 years of experience leveraging innovation with financial services technologies, Andy uses that expertise to help clients maximize efficiencies ... Web: www.swbc.com Details