Okay, truth be told, I love this time of year. I love December and everything that goes along with it. I mean, a train ride on the Polar Express? Brunch with Santa? Annual holiday baking class with my daughter? What’s not to love?
It’s also a time of year to set goals and plan for the future. As a self-diagnosed “planaholic,” it doesn’t get any better than this. Now is the perfect time for credit union leaders to reflect on the year that was and outline key drivers for success in the year ahead. To remain competitive, many of those credit union plans and goals will focus on process improvements or technology enhancements to benefit members.
In fact, nearly 70 percent of chief information officers said they plan to spend between one and 10 percent more on technology next year compared to previous years, according to a recent survey published through SourceMedia research. The other third of the 300 respondents from various financial institutions intend on growing their IT budges by even more.
Looking ahead, here are three things I believe credit unions should focus on in 2017:
- Improve records management
Compliance certainly isn’t a new topic for credit unions. But it also isn’t a simple process for these providers either. In order to keep up with the growing number of regulations, and document/records and avoid fines and bad press, credit unions should be setting records management functionality as a priority in 2017.
Once digital, records management capabilities use pre-defined rules to automate records management processes, from record declaration through final disposition. Users can then place holds on those records to automatically destroy or purge them from the system, staying in compliance with the exact amount of time a records needs to be held and avoiding the risks associated with unsuccessful audits.
- Know your member
To support today’s crucial member-centric service strategies, credit unions should utilize technology such as enterprise content management (ECM). With electronic documents and information stored in a secure, central system, employees are able to access member information and documents directly through their core banking system or line-of-business interfaces without having to switch screens or applications. That means they can answer member inquiries with a simple mouse-click.
It also means they’re focusing on members, not looking for information.
Providing fast, accurate answers when a member needs help is vital. It’s the “core” of your business. This is not only a great time to make a lasting impact on your members, but also capture sales information, generate leads, make offers or create new sales.
- Wow your member
By integrating core banking software with ECM software, member service representatives have instant access to relevant information, enabling them to quickly and accurately handle inquiries, as well as up-sell products and services. ECM solutions also provide several mechanisms for customized, automated statement delivery. You can deliver compound statements with check images via e-mail, fax or posting on the Internet and then customize them to include member-specific marketing messages. credit unions can also provide secure online access to member documents, enhancing the member experience as well as reducing the workload on service representatives.
Don’t wait until the egg nog is gone and the ball has dropped, start now on your plan for success in 2017. Until next time, enjoy this most wonderful time of the year!