When pursuing customer experience initiatives, don’t forget your people

My conversations with Credit Union managers regarding their CX thinking and efforts regularly reveal their wholly appropriate pursuit of “member understanding”, “digital experience improvements”, and “Improved sales experiences”, all leading, hopefully, to greater topline growth.  But what I hear much less of are the steps to engage and include staff members in the effort to capture member experience, redesign traditional and digital processes and, most importantly, define CX success for the organization. And without their involvement or that definition of “success”, it’s not clear to me how a Credit Union can employ appropriate initiatives, nor measure their success.

CX Success Requires Staff Engagement

It may true that burgeoning efforts in customer data analysis, including behavioral analysis, will become the key explainer and driver of future efforts to deliver successful engagements and improved performance.  But today, no one knows your members better than the employees who interact with them on a daily basis. Yet, I see few Credit Unions choosing to take advantage of that valuable employee knowledge, thus losing a key opportunity to understand their members needs and wants, both fulfilled and unfulfilled.

CX Success Requires Filling the Experience Knowledge Gap

While we often want to believe the “member is always right”, we know it’s not true.  And it’s not true, in part, because the member’s feedback is incomplete, and is only part of the story of any individual or sustained engagement. This is why feedback from engaged staff members is so important to your CX plans, initiatives, measurements, and adjustments. Unsurprisingly, research has shown that employee feedback provides important context for how members perceive their experiences with your brand.  Employee feedback fills in gaps in the member-to-Credit Union exchanges and, thus, helps you to identify gaps in your processes, policies, and technology that may be keeping your members from having the best experiences possible. That’s why it’s so important for Credit Unions to build both Voice of the Member (VoM) and Voice of the Employee (VoE) programs. You need to gather feedback from members AND employees, to uncover any CX issues, implement changes based on that feedback, and let both members AND employees know how their feedback is being considered and used.

CX Success Requires a Plan to Engage Employees

Some businesses have begun to deploy Voice of the Employee applications to complement their Voice of the Customer solutions.  They seek to fill that gap in knowledge in order to improve their thinking and decision-making. But there is still more to do. Along with VoM and VoE applications that capture feedback, Credit Unions need to look at each of their CX initiatives and identify ways to include employees in the efforts to plan initiatives, deploy them, measure them, evaluate them and adjust them.  With this goal in mind, Credit Unions need to:

  • Create organization-wide understanding for CX plans and initiatives – Include all levels of staff in efforts to define goals, strategies and tactics, and to make sense of feedback received.
  • Add context to the mapping of member journeys and the identification of pain points — When looking to find gaps or issues throughout different points of the member lifecycle or member journey through service channels, include employee feedback to understand better “what really happened.”   And use employee feedback to those member interactions when developing plans of action.
  • Train employees on how to provide feedback — When seeking feedback from non-system means, be specific with employees about what kind of feedback you want them to provide and what information to collect from members. Don’t assume they already know how to share the feedback you need. Also, teach them how to investigate problems with members to gain better insights.
  • Make feedback a requirement, not an option — Participation rates on optional surveys will always be lower than wished for, so make sure your employees (and managers) understand that providing feedback is an important part of their job. And make sure they are given adequate time to complete any surveys or other feedback-related tasks. Lastly, make sure they know that their performance measurements can be affected positively by the actions they take, not only to serve your members, but also to improve the means by which your Credit Union measures that service.
Greg Crandell

Greg Crandell

Greg Crandell provides strategy, market planning, business development, and management consulting to financial technology firms and their clients – Credit Unions and Banks. For more years than he wishes to admit, ... Web: queryconsultinggroup.com Details