It’s that time of year…sick season. And in the credit union industry, something’s going around.
This mysterious illness striking credit unions nationwide is a loss of service prowess over their competitors. A Financial Brand report describes an ever-narrowing gap between credit union and bank engagement with their consumers (engagement establishes loyalty). The American Banking Journal writes that “banks now surpass credit unions in nearly every service category as rated by U.S. consumers.”
So, what is hindering your current credit union member experience? Here are five common pain points and tips to address them immediately.
- First Impressions – Some credit unions have abysmal first impressions – a fact driving away members and prospective members right off the bat. People make a decision about you within the first seven seconds of an interaction, so you can’t fail here. Yet many do. Wait times are long, employees are unhappy, the branch is messy, call center staff have attitudes, websites take too long loading or look ugly. Your credit union member experience must master first impressions. Train employees to smile, redesign your website and so on. No detail is too small.
- Lack of Passion – Your credit union member experience lives or dies with your employees. If they don’t live the brand, members will never love the brand. Our own mystery shops encounter employees who direct the shopper to a competitor. The credit union’s employees simply aren’t passionate about the brand. Ask yourself: does leadership dictate your brand from above or is it a grass roots effort? Did you orchestrate training to explain your brand and hype up the staff? People won’t believe something unless you help them believe it and give them a stake in the process.
- Back-Office v. Front Line Staff – Silos damage your internal culture and your credit union member experience. That’s because your level of external service will never rise above your level of internal service to each other. A back-office/front line split means staff aren’t receiving the support they need…which means members aren’t getting the service they want. Eliminate silos and teach back-office staff they are “member impacting.” Everyone affects the members, whether they are face-to-face with them or not.
- Robots and Automation – Automation is a blessing and a curse. Certainly, it grants credit unions greater efficiency. But don’t sacrifice a good credit union member experience for efficiency. That’s like dumping out your hiking snacks so you can move faster – you’re getting rid of your fuel source. Put members at the center. Many people dislike phone trees and “just want to speak to a real person.” In fact, 88% of people prefer speaking to a human! Eliminate the robots and stay old-school where needed to maintain positive member relationships.
- No Differentiators – Every credit union member experience claims to have a differentiator…but “service,” “people” and “community” are hardly differentiators when everyone claims them. It’s time to establish real differentiators. What guarantees are you offering members? A three-click guarantee, one ring answer or five-minute wait time are all interesting places to start. You can also make a more interesting brand with compelling values. Venture out of your comfort zone and try something new. Now’s the time!
And if you need help eliminating pain points from your credit union member experience, visit the doctor. On The Mark Strategies provides mystery shops, journey mapping sessions and member experience training to make service your differentiator once again. Book a free consultation today!