7 Steps to Transforming your Credit Union to a Digital Economy

It’s not a matter of if or even when, it is happening now. PNC, Wells Fargo, Key Bank, BofA, and Chase are experimenting with digital transformation now. What does your credit union/bank need to do to stay relevant in a digital economy?

  1. Create a digital strategy – This isn’t about SEO, SEM, websites, email, FaceBook, Twitter, online banking, or mobile banking, it’s about creating a digital presence and purpose. A digital strategy is an operation and a cultural shift for the entire organization.
  2. Define where a digital transformation impacts for your organization – If it goes beyond the website, social media, email, online banking, mobile banking, SEO, and SEM, what else does it include?
  3. Hiring right – Your employees must be digitally savvy. Part of the hiring process must be to understand their digital and web awareness.
  4. Train the right skills – Employees need to be users, teachers, and ambassadors of the digital services and applications.
  5. Streamline your processes – All processes touching the member need to be without unnecessary friction. In banking, process, procedure, risk management, underwriting, compliance, and regulation is seen as friction by your members. Not all friction in the processes can be removed, but we force members to do many unnecessary steps, often because “we’ve always done it that way.” The digital consumer expects a frictionless free process to purchase and problem resolution.
  6. Redefine service – Branches need to become digital delivery centers. Almost every credit union is using a teller platform when the member is using a browser/mobile platform. The teller platform must be abandoned, so when a member goes into the branch; the service person is helping them through the same process they would use at home or work. The hardware options should replicate what they use, desktop, laptop, Mac to PC, tablet or iPad, iPhone, or Android. The service staff can aid and demonstrate the software so the member can “self-serve” the next time. Also, branch staff either spends a lot of time balancing drawers daily or the organization has invested in cash recycling teller stations. Consumers are savvy on ATMs so cash in, cash out and check deposits should transition to deposit-taking ATMs in their branches. The instant issue of debit cards will be required for new account openings.
  7. Reinvent the call center – a call center’s purpose needs to change from answering phones and being driven by call times and wait times to become the voice and face of the credit union. Call center staff need to be equally adept at chat, text, voice, or video. They need, just like a teller, to bring personality, conversation, emotion, expertise, diagnosis, recommendation, and CONTEXT to conversations. The digital/virtual world is a powerful influencer of decisions, and the right personalities must be engaging consumers in a digital world.

Our consumers expect a frictionless, accurate, trustworthy, and “friendly” experience as they will find with other retailers. I purposely put friendly in quotes because the consumer sees friendly differently today than they did with the mom and pop stores (banks) of the past. Today friendly can be realized via digital channels, emoticons, avatars, and live chat and video, not just through face-to-face engagement.

The world of Big Data and online intimacy is here now. Our consumers will be driven to decisions with the digital pieces, whether we are ready or not.

About rich@leading2leadership.com

Rich Jones is the Founder/Principal of Leading2Leadership LLC. Before starting his strategic planning agency, he spent over 20 years in leadership roles in the financial services sector. Before becoming an executive in the financial services sector, Rich was an entrepreneur, building and selling two businesses and working for early-stage start-up companies in executive roles in marketing, business development, and seeking investment partners. With more than three decades of experience, he brings innovative thought to companies and executives. Rich published “Leading2Leadership, a Situational Primer to Leadership Excellence.” The book is available on Amazon.com and was designed to be used as a book study for leadership development programs; it breaks leadership skills into manageable situations for discussion and reflection. Rich works with credit unions, CUSOs, and vendors, designing digital, data, culture, marketing, and branding transformation strategies. In 2014, Chosen as a Credit Union Rock Star by CU Magazine, and in 2018, Rich received the Lifetime Achievement Award from CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council. A Marine and graduate of Colorado State University, Jones shares his expertise at www.leading2leadership.com.

Leave a Comment