Credit Unions – how to stand out in the new digital terrain

As the coronavirus pandemic accelerated the shift to digital means of living, shopping and banking individuals are lost in the all-digital landscape. Between mobile banking apps, automated marketing emails, online bill pay and analytical insights into financial wellness (the list goes on and on), consumers are inundated with digital tools intended to improve their interactions with financial institutions and their money. With too much, impersonal, confusing tech, the member experience can be derailed and completing the simplest task can become overwhelming.

Credit unions must be precise when deciding which tools to implement in their digital transformation. Finding the sweet spot can be done by using intelligent technology designed to simplify the complex.

differentiated credit union technology

Keep it Personal

People want personalized interaction from their credit union. It has become more important in times of social distancing when they can’t be face-to-face in a branch setting. Even online, people like to be recognized as individuals rather than just an IP address. Credit unions need to focus on developing a true understanding of their members’ needs and implement processes to fulfill them. Consistent and personalized engagement will ensure members have an exceptional experience which will in turn help credit unions attract and retain members.

Credit unions are already at an advantage over big banks when it comes to offering a personal experience to their members. However, now is the time to take that experience to the digital domain. By digitally transforming member engagement, credit unions can continue to give personalized and valuable service, but in a capacity that consumers expect and even demand in this age of digital engagement. Advanced, easy-to-implement and easy-to-navigate member engagement technologies can launch credit unions into the digital world while increasing member satisfaction.

Rather than dreading the inevitable technological transformation, credit unions can embrace these advancements to strengthen their digital offerings and drive a personalized experience. Investing in solutions and technology that transform the member experience will ultimately help credit unions set the stage for future success.

Not all technology is created equal

87% of consumers begin their shopping for financial services online. Credit unions can give members the feeling of being recognized as an individual through digitizing engagement to strategically intertwine an intuitive design, ergonomics, interactive features, compelling products and descriptions, and an emotional connection. Combining these components to create outstanding member engagement is easy with AI and analytics-enabled technology presented in the form of guided conversations and accurate product recommendations.
Members can be saying “Wow, I love it!” when interacting with their credit union’s website or mobile app and truly valuing the information they receive. With AI, credit unions are empowered to make even the most complicated and daunting tasks manageable and enjoyable.

For example, if a member or prospect needs to open a credit card but can’t go to a branch because of social distancing, they will turn to their credit union’s digital resources. If the credit union’s digital platform isn’t specific and gives that member a long list of options, it will be too much for them and they will leave with a negative experience. There are lots of options that are just a click away.

However, with decision tree science, that scenario can be turned around by building dialogues unique to each member based on their responses that provide real-time insights and recommendations. Through AI-powered, dynamic conversations, credit unions can accurately match members with the necessary product or service to meet and fulfill their financial needs. That member that was previously drowning in credit card offerings can now work through a guided, self-serve conversation at their own pace from the comfort and safety of their home.

AI-enabled technology can create consistency while streamlining member engagement, regardless where a member or prospect are geographically. With AI, members are offered the same personalized experience without physical connection. As a result, credit unions can meet their members’ needs and deliver a better member experience in the “new normal”.

Staying relevant and engaging – It is time to reinvent the wheel

Through guided, digital conversations that are unique to each individual, credit unions can engage as well as educate members. These digitized conversation flows can also provide accurate recommendations. This is helpful for not just members, but employees as well. Member specialists could be equipped with the same tools and offer accurate, helpful information in video chats or phone conversations, consistent, relevant and helpful recommendations with each interaction.

Member-facing conversation guides give credit unions more opportunity to learn more about members and dive deeper into their financial needs. Concurrently, members and prospects can gain insights into how their credit union can meet their needs and help their financial well-being. With this technology, members can still benefit from a personalized experience while staying safe at home.

Less is sometimes more

While there is no denying that branches are not going anywhere, the dynamic of them will change in a post-Covid19 world. Branches have the potential to operate with more efficiency, fewer frontline staff, and more self-service options. Maintaining member engagement and working to discover their financial needs will be just as important. Digital guided conversations can help your credit union build relationships and rapport with members interacting with you on a PC or tablet in their own home. Keep in mind there are consumers that still want face-to-face advice when needed. See in The Financial Brand’s article “After Coronavirus, Branch Banking Will Be Very Different”, the eight branch-related issues to consider for the future of branches.

The right technology can help your Credit Unions stand out in the new digital terrain. We are here to assist and guide your CU. See how we can help.

By Whitney Loe, Director of Business Development for Credit Unions, Ignite Sales

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