In a world that battles competition daily, the “members first” approach guiding credit unions comes as a breath of fresh air. Focusing on profit margins isn’t what drives this industry but an all-inclusive “what’s best for the members” approach. In the hustling world we live in, the sense of community is exciting in the world of banking. You may be wondering “How can credit unions keep this philosophy alive and thriving amidst a technology filled world?” On top of that, how can credit unions guarantee expansion and member loyalty?  The secret lies in creating a top notch member experience.

Whether members visit you at a branch, online or through mobile channels, they expect fast, easy and high-quality interactions. By leveraging Enghouse Interactive’s innovative software and a few reliable tips listed below it’s easy to be well on your way to building credit union members for life.

#1. Provide simple digital self-service touch points

Members expect simple and convenient support. With the rise of rise digital technologies members are looking to self-service first.

A study conducted by Dimension Data found that 73% of customers prefer to use a company’s website, instead of using social media, SMS and live chat for support.

Not only does this suggest members crave convenience, it shows that when a member encounters an issue or has an inquiry they will likely visit a website first in search of answers. If they cannot find what they are looking for they will likely escalate their inquiry to a web-chat or phone call. In the case of an existing member not being able to address their concern quickly and conveniently can create a decrease in member satisfaction. In the case of a new prospective member this can potentially result in them navigating away from your site to a competitor and ultimately losing out on their business completely.

In both cases, providing simple web self-service options is in the best interests of the business and ultimately the members.

The notion of self-service implies that it’s a simpler faster approach, however studies are showing that consumers are not having their expectations met. 55% of consumers report that companies do not make it “easy” to contact them using web self service.

When applying self-service technologies you need to make sure that it’s done correctly or it can end up frustrating your members rather than creating efficiencies. Here are a few tips on how to optimize your Web self-service tools to create a better overall member experience.

Use data to optimize the FAQ experience

By understanding the top questions your members are calling about you can take a proactive approach and include the recurring questions in a featured area on your FAQ’s.

For example, “How do I cancel a lost card?” is one of the most frequently asked questions and can be remedied with a quick process easily communicated in a few sentences on your website.
Working with your support team to compile the list of top questions and including these in a “Top Questions” section within your FAQ is a great place to start.

Keep Content Current

One thing that might be worse than no information is bad information. Working with your support team to put a maintenance workflow in place will help keep your content up to date. Knowledge based and FAQ’s are not a one and done. These require constant upkeep as changes across the organization occur.

Use images and Videos
Screenshots and videos can be a helpful way to guide your members through a particular process, especially if what they are looking to do requires multiple steps. Catering to people that prefer a more visual set of directions is imperative to foster clear communication.

#2. Don’t forget about human interactions

Because of the shifts towards digital service, human interactions have become a last resort. Self-service tools have removed many simple requests from the contact center resulting in agents having to deal with a higher volume of complex requests.

As useful as self-service can be there are some issues that are too complex or urgent and require immediate human help. Here are some examples where members will expect personal and highly relevant interactions:

-Financial advice from an expert when researching home loans, or investment planning.
-Making significant changes to an account
-Inquiring about fraud or unfamiliar charges

#3. Quick, accurate, answers on first contact
First contact resolution is all about the ability to answer your members questions and resolve their issues within a reasonable timeframe.

Members don’t like waiting and they don’t like having to ask the same question multiple times. If they are reaching out they are expecting to connect with someone with enough expertise to resolve the issue. When your members can count on fast accurate service you’ll earn trust and loyalty.

Contact Babel 2017 DMG says, “It can be stated with some confidence that first-contact resolution is seen as the key to a successful contact center: 76% of the report’s respondents place first-contact resolution as being one of the top 3 metrics that are most influential on customer satisfaction, with 31% stating it as being no.1.”

#4. Have a 360 degree view of members

You may have heard the phase “taking a 360 degree view” but what does it actually mean?

Simply stated a 360 degree view is about making sure members get a personalized experience no matter who they communicate with across any channel.

For example if a member calls in to discuss progress on a loan application the agent should be fully up to speed on all conversations that have taken place up until this point. The goal is to not have members repeating themselves every time they interact with your company.Not only does the 360 degree view allow for easier service but it also allows you to anticipate members needs, and then upsell. You can also flag potential problems before they even arise.

Developing your own 360 degree view will involve creating a central database that’s available to the right people at the right times, putting systems into place that quickly and efficiently share data. Investing in education and proper staff training will empower your employees and provide them with clear access to the information needed.

Deciding to commit to develop this system is not a simple task. However, implementing these systems will help your brand stand out among your competitors allowing you to understand your customers on a far more personalised level.

Real Example:

Partner Colorado Credit Union,  like many financial institutions, was hamstrung by legacy contact center technology that hindered their ability to collaborate with both internal and external stakeholders. The platform’s lack of interoperability with Avaya IP Office, the telephony platform used across the credit union, forced the contact center onto a completely separate phone system, isolating support and collections personnel on an island, away from the rest of the organization. The impact on service levels was evident, and both employees and customers suffered from the disparate phone system’s tendency to drop calls.

The legacy call center system’s inability to integrate with Partner Colorado’s home-grown CRM system was as big of a problem as its limited functionality.

Agents wasted both their own and members’ time by making multiple callbacks to people whose problems had already been addressed. Call times skyrocketed and members were often stuck in queue longer than they should have. The resulting confusion was clearly detrimental to customer experience and unnecessarily consumed time and other Partner Colorado resources.

Partner Colorado Credit Union embarked on a search for a new contact center platform with several key criteria in mind.  Core requirements included seamless integration with Avaya IP Office and its home-grown CRM system, as well as ease-of-use for agents and flexible reporting.

By selecting Enghouse Interactive Communications Center (CC) and Quality Management Suite (QMS), Partner Colorado Credit Union found a solution that was intuitive, highly functional, reliable and that provided visibility into each touchpoint of the member experience.

Enghouse Interactive’s technology appealed to Partner Colorado for several reasons: streamlined integration with Avaya IP Office; omni-channel functionality; agent-centric design; as well as the breadth and depth of the company’s engineering and support teams.

For Partner Colorado, Enghouse’s use of open APIs allows integration with the in-house CRM. Instead of having to toggle back and forth between different screens and applications, agents proactively receive relevant and useful data on callers via ScreenPop. Communication Center’s extensible tabs for CRM and other resources reduce app hopping and enable efficient call handling, transfer and conferencing through an optimized UI. Read the full study here

#5. Use journey analytics to drive better experiences

What are journey analytics? Member journey analytics is collective whole of every touch point that a member interacts with across multiple channels over time.

Gartner defines customer journey analytics as the process of tracking and analyzing the way customers use combinations of channels to interact with an organization and covers all channels present and future which interface directly with customers.

In the contact center it all comes down to interactions. For example let’s say a members goal to apply for a home loan, first they visit your website, start web chat, which eventually turns into a phone call.  All of these touchpoints build important big picture that gives you insight into your member.

Journey analytics give you the opportunity to understand and engage with your members in a personal level. You can also use this data to increase revenue, reduce, and improve the member experience.

According to Forrester Research, better customer experience actually correlates with higher revenue growth. CX drives three types of customer loyalty: retention, enrichment, and advocacy. Increased customer loyalty in turn tends to drive increased revenue growth.

this chart shows the relationship between CX and revenue varies depending on the industry.

Customer journeys are a set of interactions a customer has with a brand to accomplish a task. Understanding and addressing those journeys creates real value for companies much more so than fixing the performance of individual touchpoints. Given the myriad of paths that each journey can take as credit union members move between different channels over time, identifying which paths are getting in the way of company growth, member loyalty and satisfaction is a big data and analytics challenge.

Using the data to understand member journeys creates a bridge by providing behavioral data that is both observable in operations and more predictive of true member needs and wants. Mapping member’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors at all touchpoints can help you focus on what members are doing and what they are likely to do next.

Creating great member experiences can seem difficult in a digital age when many credit union’s rarely see their members face-to-face. However, the same digital revolution that made digital consumerism a way of life also makes it possible to unify members’ identities across all digital platforms and channels. That unified view can and will allow you to customize your outreach and connect with your members in ways that were never before possible thanks to digital advancements.

At the intersection of your personalized service and contact center technology, you can ensure a consistent, unified experience across all channels of communication for your members. From start to finish, your members should expect and receive exceptional service during every interaction. For more information and to learn how Enghouse Interactive can elevate your credit union, download our free e-book HERE.