Digital Strategy – leverage member feedback from branch and contact center

How does your Credit Union’s operations strategy align with and drive your digital strategy?  Credit Union mergers and consolidation has caused the number of CU charters to decrease by 35.3%, down to 5,859, since 2005 (bank charters are down to 5,856).  Undoubtedly, online and mobile app usage continues to increase due to ease of use, efficiency, cost and availability.  The average number of branches per CU charter has increased (likely due to aforementioned consolidations).

Credit Unions should keep a watchful eye on spending.  Staff and expenses associated with running branches and contact centers aren’t cheap.  Member service organizations can, and should, leverage member feedback to drive digital strategy.  

Aligning brick-and-mortar branch and member support operations with a future of financial services in support of customer’s opportunity to use mobile and online channels over branch visits. One way a credit union can do this is by establishing their contact centers as omni-channel hubs for customer interactions. Contact centers can be a powerful tool for digital strategy in the new era of financial services.

Bain & Company has highlighted multiple ways to transform contact centers into a mission-critical core of the institution.  The company’s suggestions include:

  1. Consider the end-to-end customer experience.Contact centers are distinctly positioned to identify friction and failure points in the digital experience. Callers can provide valuable insights into how credit unions can improve the digital experience.
  2. Actively manage customers’ migration to digital.Contact center agents can help drive digital adoption by prompting members to do more of their routine transactions digitally. As members adopt the digital way, agents can devote more time to supporting complex interactions and advising on higher-value products.
  3. Train and reward agents.Agent scorecards should be less oriented around internal metrics and more aligned with customer outcomes such as call interaction or the Net Promoter Score. The NPS is a proxy for gauging the customer’s overall satisfaction with a company’s product or service and the customer’s loyalty to the brand.
  4. Take advantage of technology.Give members choices for interactions that go beyond phone, email, chat, and social media. Video and co-browsing, for example, provides a richer experience for members.
  5. Be agile.Take feedback from members and bounce ideas off front-line employees to improve and innovate products and services.

Branch visits are decreasing and mobile usage is increasing.  Despite the statistics, the number of branches in service are increasing.

Average number of branches graph
Average number of branches graph

Over the past 12 years, credit unions over $500M in assets have increased their average number of branches by more than 60%.  According to Callahan & Associates CreditUnions.com

Read more: Is The Branch Dead?

Hayden Technology Innovative Consulting

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