Credit unions and other financial institutions provide key services for consumers and businesses, but many have difficulty connecting with customers in the digital space in a meaningful way. Digital customer engagement platforms allow credit unions to enhance communication with customers and improve their overall customer experience, which can help them stand out among their competition and bring in more revenue.
Learn more about digital customer engagement platforms and how they can benefit credit unions and other financial institutions below!
Digital customer engagement is how credit unions, and other financial institutions interact online with prospective or current customers. The main goal of digital customer engagement is to build a meaningful relationship with members, which helps them trust your brand and drive loyalty.
Consumers are continually losing trust in brands, which makes it essential for your business to find ways to forge connections and enhance its brand image. Digital customer engagement may include communication via social media, email, chatbots, and other channels that allow for direct interactions with customers or financial accounts.
Digital engagement platforms for credit unions can provide a better customer experience, lead members through their journey, and ensure that communications are as effective as possible.
The pandemic disrupted many aspects of how the credit union industry operates daily. Many credit unions had to close their doors for weeks and months. Credit unions with some online banking infrastructure could quickly pivot, but those that didn't were left scrambling to move many of their in-person services to a digital experience. Now that most financial institutions offer at least some online services, critical banking services have become more accessible to those who may not have had the opportunity to visit a physical branch in the past.
Digital communication is more convenient for most, but it can make it more difficult for banks to facilitate a human connection with their members.
A digital engagement platform can have many functions, but it is a central location for financial institutions to manage communications with customers via various digital channels. Regarding digital banking trends, engagement platforms can help banks reach out to potential members through digital marketing channels, serve current members with mobile banking app notifications, and provide many important digital tools that enhance communication.
Modern engagement platforms also provide opportunities for credit unions to gain key insights into member behavior, allowing them to offer additional services at the right time and prevent customer turnover. In the end, engagement platforms promote digital transformation in credit unions and help financial institutions provide the modern tools members are increasingly demanding.
Customer engagement can provide many vital benefits for credit unions but the three most important benefits include the following.
Data is a powerful tool in many industries, and banks that use data to better understand their customers can provide more personalized services and experiences that customers actually want. Member data can also provide insight into multiple communication channels, helping your company determine which platforms offer the best ROI and which channels could use tweaks. Data also helps financial institutions see disparities between member expectations and actual member experiences, allowing them to work to bridge the gap for better overall results.
Credit unions that use engagement strategies and platforms can better track member touch points and provide notifications or communications at key intervals for improved member relationships. It's difficult to figure out how often to reach members; too many times is annoying, while too few interactions can make members feel uncared for. Engagement platforms can help you strike the right balance, helping members to view you as a helpful resource without seeming too pushy.
Members who feel more engaged with a company they purchase from are more likely to continue making purchases and tend to be more open to upsell opportunities. The ultimate goal of the sales funnel is to turn members into brand advocates who spread the word about your services without you having to invest additional advertising dollars. Reaching out regularly, but not too regularly, to see if members need additional help or services can play a role in converting one-time members into long-term loyalists.
Mobile banking tends to be far more convenient for most of the population, especially younger generations. That doesn't mean it doesn't come without its challenges for financial institutions, namely the following.
Companies of various sizes have had the unfortunate experience of suffering from data leaks that have compromised member privacy. Data leaks are a major concern for financial institutions, especially once they move many services into the digital space. Members expect credit unions to protect their data, and 81% of consumers say they would stop engaging with a company that has experienced a data breach.
Carrying out transactions and handling most banking tasks digitally removes many opportunities for financial institutions to build personal relationships with clients. Digital engagement platforms can overcome some of these challenges by offering help and resources to members at key moments in their member journey and by providing personalized recommendations for current and prospective employees that make them feel their needs are truly understood.
New technology comes along fast, and it can be difficult for financial institutions to determine which technological advances can actually benefit their brand and members and which won't provide enough ROI to pursue. Credit unions can overcome this by testing out solutions on a small scale to get a better idea of how they work before integrating them into their entire system.
Credit unions all across the country have introduced dozens of digital engagement strategies to better connect with their customers. Some of the most effective strategies include the following.
Numerous barriers stand in the way of people visiting their local credit union branch and opening an account in person. Credit unions that can offer self-service on many of their financial services will likely see more revenue because most of those barriers no longer stand in the way of prospective members doing business with you.
Face-to-face communication has traditionally been the most common way consumers interact with financial organizations. The inconvenience of this option provides banks with limited touch points to reach out to customers. When credit unions use personalized automated emails and text notifications for communication, they can cut costs and improve engagement. SMS notifications allow customers to seamlessly engage with their financial accounts, while personalized emails provide details about products and services most likely relevant to their needs.
Fintech companies that can make customers feel as though the brand understands exactly what they want can drastically improve member experience and forge lasting relationships. By using deep insights available on some engagement platforms, you can suggest services that most closely align with the needs of new and existing customers, allowing you to cross-sell additional services for more revenue.
When a credit union decides to use a digital banking platform, it can be overwhelming to narrow down which one will provide the most benefits and best ROI for your company. Plenty of engagement platforms have tons of bells and whistles, but a digital banking platform should have the following features at a minimum.
Nobody wants to spend time filling out complicated forms, and members will often seek services elsewhere if the core banking digital onboarding process is too lengthy and complicated. A digital banking platform should offer easy and smart onboarding forms that guide members through the process in minutes. The less friction involved in signing up for something, the more likely customers are to actually complete it.
An engagement platform that offers automatic follow-ups can save your company time by reducing employee workload. It can also guide members back to your business if they haven't engaged with your company in a while. Existing members can benefit from automatic follow-ups that recommend new products or provide finance-related tips, and they simply help members avoid feeling like they have been forgotten about.
Banking engagement platforms can help your business grow substantially when they provide business intelligence. Business intelligence uses data about your members to make recommendations to help your employees and the company make smarter decisions. Business intelligence is a platform's most important key capability, as banks that opt not to use data to inform decisions are likely to be left behind by the competition.
Many financial institutions opt to handle engagement and communication all on their own, but this is typically an inefficient and ineffective way to interact with customers. Digital engagement platforms offer a comprehensive solution to managing your digital communications, which can help you attract more members, reduce member turnover, and grow margins. To learn more about how Cotribute can help your bank, schedule a free demo today!