When it comes to achieving excellence, the term “experience” gets thrown around a lot. Companies and industries are constantly brainstorming ways to connect and build relationships with the consumers they serve, ultimately by providing a certain type of experience.
But how can credit unions ensure that their products, services and strategies create a superior member experience?
Service Is the Defining Factor
PwC produced an interesting study that found that when it comes to how consumers interact with brands, experience is everything. In fact, consumers are willing to pay up to a 16 percent price premium on products and demonstrated increased loyalty to brands when they feel appreciated. That’s great news for credit unions, especially when surveys indicate that members are generally more satisfied with their credit union than other banking customers are with their banking provider.
What is the differentiating factor to make up for PwC calls the “experience disconnect”? It turns out it is what credit unions have known all along: service. People like friendly service; they like a human touch. According to the PwC survey, 50 percent of U.S. consumers surveyed named friendly, welcoming service as the defining factor for successful experiences.
In the age of everything digital, it is crucial that credit unions retain that quality and make it a focal part of their member-centric strategy.
CO-OP CMXO Samantha Paxson breaks down what a member-centric strategy means at THINK 18
The Importance of Branches
In an increasingly digital economy, service matters, relationships matter, and branches matter.
A recent Celent study reveals that three quarters of U.S. consumers have visited a physical branch for a transaction in the last two years. Half of all consumers – including Millennials – visited a branch to open a new account, take out a loan, obtain information – or simply to get a question answered.
While some suggest that branches are there merely a safety net for members when digital and mobile channels fail to get the job done, this survey and many others suggest otherwise. The Financial Brand summarizes the survey findings aptly: “Americans don’t feel that they are being forced to use branches at all; they actually like using branches for many banking activities, particularly those involving more in-depth and complex matters.”
This is a big reason why CO-OP continues to make strategic investments into technology that supports the 5,700 locations in our Shared Branch network.
Getting the Member Experience Right
While convenience and a personal touch are vital to the member experience, we must also continue to invest in technology that helps us exceed our members’ expectation. Members are telling us that if we find that “sweet spot” that blends technology with the human touch, we have a huge opportunity to exceed expectations.
Missing that the opportunity, however, has a price. PwC estimates that in the U.S. one third of consumers will walk away from a brand they love after only one bad experience. That is why it is so important for credit unions to keep members at the core of their product and technology decisions, leveraging data and analytics to better understand their members’ needs.
The member-centric approach has underscored the credit union movement from the beginning and should drive our strategies, innovations and service practices now and in the future. Even as we strive to provide increasingly sophisticated and convenient digital solutions, at the heart of everything we do should be the friendly, personalized service that our members want.
At CO-OP, we are putting the member at the center of our digital transformation. Every new technology or product we are investing in is designed to help credit unions deliver a superior member experience. Contact us to learn more about our solutions.
Join us at an upcoming CO-OP Roadshow event, where we’ll be sharing strategies for developing a member-centric strategy at your credit union: