Your website is failing your credit union – and your members

The top characteristics credit union members rank to earn their satisfaction are trust, lower fees and data security, and each grew in significance among those surveyed in a survey from 2022.

At the same time, Finalytics.AI’s The 2023 Credit Union Digital Experience Report stated that 76% of member interactions are occurring online. “By 2024, the digital channel will be the source of most product applications for CUs. The digital channel is growing in criticality,” the report read.

Digital is the primary modern communication and service method for credit unions, the center of your digital marketing and member journey, yet of the credit unions Finalytics.AI reviewed last year, just a few had updated their sites between reports much less redesigned their websites for the optimal member journey.

“Those who are slow to embrace digital channels risk falling behind as new industry leaders rise to meet higher member expectations,” according to Finalytics.AI.

Digital member service paradox

So, if trust is the most important characteristic for credit union members…

And digital is the most important service channel…

We simply cannot stand to let our credit union websites collect dust. Your website is very frequently your credit union’s first introduction to a potential member, as most do their research online before making their purchase decision. When your credit union website does not feature a modern design with simple navigation and clear Calls to Action, it calls into question whether your credit union can be trusted to provide top-notch, reliable digital services they can access anytime, anywhere.

If your website doesn’t portray your credit union in an innovative, member service-oriented light, it is failing your credit union and your members. In fact, 81% of consumers do their research online before making a purchase decision, so your site must represent your credit union, its capabilities and digital-forward mindset to build credibility that your credit union is a trustworthy choice. “If people like you, they will listen to you. But if people trust you, they will do business with you,” well-known salesman and author Zig Ziglar is attributed to have said.

Building a killer credit union website

What can an optimized website do for your credit union?

  1. Provides brand visibility, awareness and clarity. When a consumer sees your site, they begin to understand what your credit union is about. If your site looks like something from the 90s or is a mishmash of updates and Band-Aids that have become unwieldy, potential members will run the other way. Similar to dressing for the job you want, your credit union website must be ‘dressed’ for the members you want. Look sharp!
    I’m sure you’re heard the old saw; people don’t want a drill – they want to hang a picture. According to the Finalytics.AI study, just 7% of the website homepages studied focused on goal-based behavior, instead simply promoting products and rates.
    Think about the journey like a member. Create content around a needs-oriented member journey.
    For example, pointing back to the three factors for choosing a financial institution data security was No. 3, yet one element sorely lacking from the surveyed credit union websites was data security and privacy information. How better to build trust with members than to explain how the credit union is protecting member data and how members can protect themselves?
  2. Increases traffic to your website. With expert search engine optimization applied during the build and to the content, your credit union website will attract the right traffic. Paired with marketing messaging that speaks to your credit union’s ideal member, your site can become the center of attention. Also, provide educational information and tools that address the needs your ideal member has to help build trust that your credit union is there to help as a trusted partner.
  3. Grow deposits and loans. All that newfound traffic from members and potential members doesn’t amount to much if it doesn’t lead to growth at your credit union. And if the website is the pinnacle of your credit union’s marketing, the primary navigation bar is its most crucial element.
    Product categories are critical here, according to Finalytics.AI, which found that more than one-third of the sites studied made members dig through to find this information, causing extra clicks and friction – not to mention headaches. Only half made the grade for Finalytics.AI with another 7% completely burying or missing CTAs and 43% needing improvement, making for a less-than ideal member journey.
    Engineering an improved member journey with clear, well-placed Calls to Action will yield more conversions.
    Think of your website as a part of your member service team that doesn’t require sleep or sick leave, so make it work for you!

Credit unions have historically prided themselves on member service, but digital moved your cheese. Adapt with the right credit union website to present your credit union as innovative, tying together all the offerings you can bring to bear, and serve as the center of your strategic marketing universe. The return on investment for a new website includes better brand awareness and understanding, enhanced member service, increased lead generation and conversion and much more. Push your limits of what you think your credit union website is.

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Bo McDonald

Bo McDonald

Bo McDonald is president of Your Marketing Co. A marketing firm that started serving credit unions nearly a decade ago, offering a wide range of services including web design, branding, ... Web: Details