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 – Throughout the organization, the 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 of it can be removed, but I submit there are a lot of steps we force our members to do that are unnecessary, optional, nice to have and grandfathered into the process because “we’ve always done it that way.” The digital consumer expects a friction-less 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 the 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 becoming 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.
Just because we are a credit union doesn’t mean our consumer doesn’t 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.