There isn’t anyone that would disagree that satisfying member demands, delivering consistent and rewarding service and growing profitable member relationships are worthwhile goals. Making your members happy is always rewarding. However, quite often there are pressing business issues that get in the way when tasked with bottom line worries—i.e. improving your cost savings or increasing revenue generation. There may be an assumption that you have to choose—the time it takes to create the perfect customer experience, or the focus needed on the business of making money. Actually, they work hand in hand. There are solid statistics to show that when you make members happy, the money follows.
Here are three reasons why focusing on creating a stellar member experience is worth bottom-line time:
1. Soon, millennials will have the wallet
Millennials now surpass baby boomers as the largest generation in the U.S.—73 million strong according to recent Gallup estimates. Additionally, an estimated $30 trillion in wealth will transfer from baby boomers to millennials over the next 30 years. That’s some serious money. Figure out how to catch and keep them now by building a relationship before it’s too late.
Remember that millennials are all about the experience. This generation grew up with the Internet, so they are more digitally savvy than previous generations and demand a digital experience from the organizations with which they do business. To attract and retain this growing group, a credit union must go beyond the expectation for multichannel options. These customers are beginning to demand an omnichannel experience—one allowing them to begin a transaction on their smartphone and pick up the interaction later on their computer. Simply put, convenience translates into loyalty with this demographic. The good news is you don’t have to offer something only millennials will use. All your members will enjoy having communication options, as even baby boomers like doing transactions over different devices.
2. You get free advertising that pays big dividends
People talk about their experiences with a business in unexpected places—on social media, in a bar, a restaurant or in the office. For example, if you check social platforms, people typically don’t post results on social media, they share the process—what is happening at the time and how they feel about it, rather than what has happened; so it is worth the time to encourage a loyal member base with an experience that is worth telling others about. Creating a positive member experience can be as easy and inexpensive as greeting everyone warmly as they come through the door or taking the time to listen to their needs and respond to them with solutions that let them know you care about their patronage. By investing the effort in developing authentic relationships, members will not only be loyal, they will do your marketing for you through word of mouth. This type of “free” advertising is worth more than an organization can ever pay for glossy advertisements in magazines or polished acting in TV commercials. The additional payoff? Loyal customers that keep their money in your credit union.
3. The Bottom Line Benefits in the CX Journey
It is becoming increasingly common for organizations to use customer journey mapping tools to understand each touchpoint members experience when interacting with a credit union. To meet their growing expectations, it is important to create an infrastructure that has a clear understanding of the different steps in their journey with your credit union. Take a close look at what the experience is likely to be at each point. Some of those experiences will be good, some may need work. Start to think what your members would really want at each point—what you would want if you were doing business with your organization. Then take the opportunity to revisit your processes through the focus of this CX lens, and you’ll quickly see what is needed for improvement and the benefits this transformation will bring to your credit union and your members. Putting in that extra effort and investment to track touchpoints, understanding their connections and then setting priorities for any changes needed will get you closer to the kind of partner tomorrow’s members will seek—and will make you even more competitive today.
The Money Follows
There’s a common misconception that you have to choose: Either you can make people happy or you can focus on improving your bottom line. The reality is you can—and must—do both. You just need to add the CX lens to everything you’re doing today. Look at your existing infrastructure, your culture for dealing with members, your strategic goals for growth. A positive CX is not a nice-to-have, it’s a key component of the future existence of your credit union. Creating a stellar customer experience isn’t a line-item expense or a drain on time. Investing in CX needs to be an integral part of your existing efforts to enhance your bottom line and there is a guarantee the money will follow.