Meaningful customer experience continues to be a determining factor when consumers look for a primary financial institution. According to a J.D. Power 2022 study, customers are more satisfied with banking's performance in areas such as digital channels and overall trust than in previous years. However, a lack of financial support during economic downturns may motivate people to switch financial institutions.
Of those surveyed, 63% of customers would stay with their bank or credit union if they provided better financial support. However, one-third of members will change their primary financial institution in 2023.
Because of economic pressures, more people are looking for personalized engagement that includes help with resolving problems, growing their money, and surviving a recession. If credit unions want to grow their membership, they need to improve the customer experience.
Although the terms are used interchangeably, they are not the same. Engagement is a brand's action to build a long-term customer relationship. Experience is what customers encounter when they interact with a brand.
For example, credit unions with a digital-first mindset offer omnichannel products and services, building a large membership. Members are happy with the convenience and speed of their digital interactions. Their experience meets their expectations.
Later, customers wonder if their accounts are the best for maximizing their financial resources. The members can only find details such as minimum balance and fees when they look for information. They want someone to show them which account is right for them and why. Also, they want the credit union to proactively engage in suggesting ways to maximize their deposits.
Banking consumers want financial institutions to take a personalized interest in making their money work for them. So, how can credit unions deliver exceptional customer experience while providing personalized engagement?
Before credit unions can engage, they must meet customer expectations regarding daily interactions. Websites have become table stakes for members. If credit unions haven't updated their websites or re-evaluated their digital offerings recently, they need to work on the update before moving to the following trends.
A 2022 survey by JP Morgan Chase found that 90% of consumers want to manage their finances from a central location, and for two-thirds of respondents, their mobile banking app is the channel of choice. Having a multi-channel strategy that provides frictionless customer experience is essential to building a relationship based on engagement.
Artificial intelligence (AI) can help credit unions make faster and more accurate credit decisions. Predictive models using AI can look at more than credit scores and income. They can look at factors outside the traditional to identify credit-worthy members. This capability allows credit unions to become more inclusive regarding lending without increasing risk.
AI can also help personalize member interactions. Identifying member needs and providing a solution before they ask can improve on-target marketing campaigns. Contacting members at the right moment can increase the probability of engagement. Personalization can extend to engaging members who are delinquent on loan repayment to find solutions that help maintain their financial health.
Credit unions are moving to the cloud because of its ability to move their digital transformation forward. Cloud implementations are less costly and have faster implementation timelines. The cloud provides credit unions the scalability, reliability, and agility to build strong member relationships.
Financial institutions face technical requirements of ongoing digital transformation. Added to the continuing demand for digital services is rising inflation that has consumers looking for financial advice. That same inflation raises the cost credit unions pay for funds and impacts the bottom line. These factors challenge credit unions as they try to leverage customer experience into customer engagement.
A Forrester study found that banks and credit unions fail to deliver digital management tools that meet consumer needs. The current one-size-fits-all approach places too much effort on the consumer, resulting in poor customer engagement. Less than half of banking customers use money management tools their primary financial institution offers.
Financial institutions lack the technology to deliver personalized digital money management tools. They struggle to find a tech stack that can integrate legacy systems with advanced technologies or find third-party suppliers who can help. They need proactive interactions that notify members if they're overspending or automate transfers to savings.
Consumers are looking for more than seamless experiences. They seek personalized engagement that informs, advises, and supports their financial needs. The uncertain economic environment has customers looking for more from their financial institutions.
Consumers seek personalized experiences tailored to their needs. They want credit unions to reach out with possible solutions if they struggle financially. If members are looking for loans, their credit unions must ensure they've done the heavy lifting when finding the right product to meet their needs. The following are ways that credit unions can improve customer experiences.
Customers expect their credit unions to meet them where they are. That means delivering consistent messaging across all platforms, whether online, on mobile apps, or live chat. It's no longer an option, with 75% of consumers expecting a seamless experience. The expectation has become almost channel-less, allowing customers to transition from live chat to video to SMS messaging with complete continuity.
Giving consumers the ability to find their own solutions rather than waiting in a phone queue or for an email response is part of an exceptional experience. However, the information must be readily accessible—not hidden three layers down in a menu. It must also be presented from the end-user perspective.
Applying for loans can become a self-service option. With automated solutions, credit union members can complete an application at their convenience. With AI capabilities, credit unions could deliver prompt loan approvals online.
New members should have the option of opening accounts online. Completing the onboarding process in person lacks the speed and convenience consumers expect. Automating the process, especially with integrated AI, can give members what they expect without increasing the risk to a financial institution.
Allowing members to create added accounts online is a way to support financial planning. Having separate accounts can help members control spending and increase savings. It's an effective way to provide solutions for those wanting financial advice.
Credit unions continue to struggle with using their data effectively. As Forrester's study concluded, many institutions lack the technical capabilities to use their data to deliver actionable insights. Some banks and credit unions lack a tech stack that allows integrating multiple data sources into a coherent whole. Others do not have the technology to process structured and unstructured data.
Credit unions cannot deliver authentic, personalized experiences without accurate customer data. They are forced to use more generic communications that lack individualized touch.
Ensuring that members are financially literate requires engagement. It means meeting members where they are on their financial journey. Some members may need budgeting assistance; others may have questions about investing. Making sure that information is available online or providing tools are added ways to engage with members.
Educating employees on digital services and how to move seamlessly through the various channels is essential to a positive customer experience. When members call with a problem, agents must understand exactly what they are experiencing.
Training should include more than what products and services there are. It should provide real-world examples of when they would be appropriate for members. Knowledgeable staff is crucial when members are looking for financial advice.
As the world moves toward more digital services, the financial sector must ensure it delivers exceptional e-banking experiences. A platform like Cotribute allows credit unions to leverage technology that helps deliver exceptional customer experiences.
Let's take a closer look at how credit unions can use Cotribute to deliver exceptional experiences to their members:
Cotribute provides credit unions with a robust digital platform that allows them to deliver exceptional customer experiences across multiple channels. Contact us today to schedule a demo.