What job causes your credit union to hire a website?

What job causes your credit union to hire a website? Famous Harvard professor Clayton Christensen asks a similar question about milkshakes, which has become the most well-known example of his Jobs to be Done theory of innovation. He asks, “What job causes you to hire a milkshake?”

For the milkshakes described by Christensen in the video above, morning commuters bought them for entertainment during long, boring drives to work. An article on the website of Harvard Business School tells the rest of the story: “Understanding the job to be done, the company could then respond by creating a morning milkshake that was even thicker (to last through a long commute) and more interesting (with chunks of fruit) than its predecessor.”

By understanding the jobs of your credit union website design, you can identify ways to improve it.

The jobs of a credit union website design

As with milkshakes, there are insights that come from asking, “Why did we hire a website?” I’ve talked with over 200 credit unions about their websites and have learned credit unions hire websites to do at least six jobs.

1. Grow deposits and loans

Credit unions receive deposits and give loans. When consumers come to your website to consider your accounts and loans, you want your website to capture their interest and help them begin an application.

2. Provide a hub for self-serve technologies

Most credit unions care deeply about providing personal service, but also want to offer convenience. For instance, members strongly prefer self-serve technologies like online banking and bill pay because they’re incredibly more convenient than calling or going into a branch for every transaction. Your website is the hub where people go to access these services.

3. Answer FAQs and reduce call center costs

Members have lots of questions and many of them are repetitive.

“What’s my routing number?”

“What’s your phone number?”

“How do I reset my online banking password?”

With a good search experience, a website can answer most of these questions so your call center agents don’t have to.

4. Educate members 24/7/365

As not-for-profit organizations, many credit unions see education as an end in itself. Providing educational resources that are accessible 24/7/365 on your website can help members make better financial decisions.

5. Attract employees

Some of your website visitors are job seekers who are trying to decide if they want to work at your credit union. You want the website to attract these potential employees and get them to apply for a job.

6. Communicate notes and alerts to members

Credit unions frequently have notifications they want to share with members on their websites. Examples:

“Online banking will be down for maintenance this Sunday from 1-2am.”

“We will be closed for St. Patrick’s Day.” (For all you Irish credit unions)

“There is a problem with Bill Pay and we’re working to fix it as quickly as possible.”

Improve the job performance of your credit union website design

Remember how the milkshake company improved their product: They found out people were hiring shakes for entertainment on long, boring commutes, so they made the shakes thicker (so they last longer) and added chunks of fruit (to make them more interesting). Similarly, by considering the jobs of your credit union website design, you can analyze it and ask, “How could the website be better at [this job]?”

For instance, one of your website’s most important jobs is to generate applications for loans, as mentioned above. So, you might ask, “How could our website be better at generating loan applications?” To get started, you would need to know how many applications your website is currently producing (per month, let’s say). If you don’t know (and in my experience, most credit unions don’t know), then your first task would be to implement a simple tracking system.

As with loan applications, you can go down the list of jobs and figure out how to improve your website. Start with the job that will have the biggest impact on your credit union.

What are the jobs of your website from the consumer’s perspective?

The jobs I’ve listed above are from the perspective of the credit union. Now, if you step into the shoes of your website users, you’ll come up with a somewhat different list that will be just as insightful: What job causes members to hire your website?

Derik Krauss

Derik Krauss

Derik is a cofounder of BloomCU, an award-winning website design agency for credit unions. His agency's design work has received recognition from CUNA (Diamond Award), TheFinancialBrand.com, and others. He ... Web: bloomCU.com Details