The coronavirus outbreak continues to reshape how the American retail landscape looks and operates. In our new age of “social distancing,” curbside delivery is now the temporary norm for many businesses including restaurants, pharmacies and even some clothing retailers.
The “curbside” phenomenon has even hit our financial services industry as many credit unions and community banks are delivering variations of a curbside member experience. Credit Unions like Coosa Valley Credit Union (Rome, Georgia), Texas Plains Federal Credit Union (Amarillo, Texas) and Cochran County Schools Federal Credit Union (Morton, Texas) are literally serving members from the curb while members stay in their car for optimum social distancing.
A month ago, scenes like this would have been unimaginable.
However, in times of adversity, mankind realizes a unique opportunity to innovate and thrive. The coronavirus pandemic is one such opportunity. Make no mistake about it — your members will recall how your credit union or community bank reacted to this adversity and, more importantly, will recall you as the hero in their financial narrative if you play your cards right in delivering “curbside member experience.”
Delivering Curbside Member Experience Tip #1:
Mirror the high standards you already have
Whether you’re now serving members and customers from the curbside, the phone, video chats or appointment-only meetings, one thing is certain – it must absolutely mirror and reinforce the already high standards of experience your credit union or community bank delivers.
Your members and customers are extremely skittish about the current virus scenario and particularly how it will impact them financially. The last thing they want or need from your credit union or community bank is a drop in quality or unexpected alteration of service standards.
Delivering Curbside Member Experience Tip #2:
Maintain pre-crisis consistency
If your existing brand and member experience standards already call on staff to use certain brand language, you must continue to do this curbside. If your branded member experience already used a certain set of steps when interacting with a member, you must continue to do this curbside. (If not, journey mapping can help you develop those consistent steps).
The brand ambassadors you have cultivated amongst your staff for years must extend their ambassadorship skills and enthusiasm to members curbside just as much (if not more) than they did from behind a desk, teller line, pod or cubicle.
Delivering Curbside Member Experience Tip #3:
Your brand is everything. It is something your credit union has worked years and invested highly in to build. While the current coronavirus situation is certainly serious, it will pass and business will return to normal (or at least a “new normal”).
If your brand has weathered changing times until today, it can most certainly endure this scenario, as well. It will require focusing even more energy on brand training, member experience delivery and flexible options to meet evolving member needs.
Viruses go away. Damaged brands do not. Don’t make the mistake of pulling the plug on your credit union’s emphasis on brand and member service delivery excellence. Whether it’s inside, drive-through, phone, video, text or even curbside, your brand is everything.