This entry authored by Taylor W. Wells, Communications Director with On The Mark Strategies

I’ll be the first to admit it — I have a problem with change. For the most part, change for me is an uncomfortable process. For example, take my recent iPhone operating system upgrade.

Apple, in all their wisdom, regularly bugged me with on-screen reminders about the system upgrade. I eventually just gave up (I think this is their goal) and did the upgrade. Thirty-odd minutes later, my phone woke up, a different animal. Gone was my traditional swipe right. Gone were my good old-fashioned power-up and power-off sounds. And gone was my revolver emoji (replaced with a ridiculous-looking water pistol).

It’s been several weeks and I’m slowly growing accustomed to this change (in advance of the next round of radical changes in a future upgrade, no doubt). And I don’t think I’m entirely alone when it comes to this resistance to change. Banks and credit unions must also consider the changes they make and how they affect consumers.

For example, sometimes core processing upgrades are a must. Bank and credit union veterans know these are a pain in the rear and take months to accomplish. But how do they affect our consumers? Are we providing them with relevant information as to how the changes, both before and after the conversion, will directly affect them? Or are we simply dumping a new system on them and expecting them to “suck it up, buttercup?”

There are many other examples to consider. Home banking systems, for example, go through regular upgrades. Most banks and credit unions do a good job letting consumers know about downtimes, but are we also filling them in on how things might work differently or look differently? The same applies to your app and the many updates that occur there. You can also go totally brick-and-mortar and consider more physical changes. Are you doing renovations that will require consumer change? Are you altering hours of operation or something as simple as re-striping the parking lot?

Change is difficult and most people don’t like it. However, change is also something we all must embrace in order to achieve and succeed. It is incumbent upon banks and credit unions, therefore, to inform their consumers about changes, regardless of how trivial we on the inside may consider them, to make the transition as easy as possible.