Mobile utilization is now the preferred method for consumers to manage their money and make deposits, transfers, and payments. Too often, credit union staff is not keeping pace with member adoption of the digital channels. What can a credit union do to prepare their team to support their member’s digital needs?
- Nurture a digital culture – Most credit union staff has the traditional access channels at their fingertips. They often have access to their accounts directly from their desktops. As a result, their need for the consumer digital channels is not as “urgent” as a member that has to drive across town to do business with your credit union. In working with credit unions, this lack of need compounds their lack of awareness of how these channels work and how to use them. To reverse this trend, the credit union needs to train staff in the use and navigation of the digital channels and incent them to use these channels.
- Staff often feel digital adoption by consumers threatens their jobs; that the digital channels may replace them. This feeling is not only a belief; it is a fact, it is already happening. Branch sizes have gotten smaller with few teller lines. We see that robots will do any job that involves repetitive actions with little human intervention. ATMs, online banking, and mobile banking already do most of the functions of a teller. We need to give these essential employees a career path that protects them from losing their jobs to robots. Sure, they will need to be ready to learn new tasks, but today’s employee needs to be a life-long learner.
- Create a role in your branches that is similar to the “Genius Bar” at the Apple Store. A person or persons trained to help members adopt and use digital channels. If you’ve visited an Apple Store recently, you know these people are in high demand. This tech role requires a lot of the same skills that tellers now have, their people skills and understanding of the platform; they need to learn how to nurture others in their use.
- Expand your call center to include specific technology related skills that are deployed to navigate the applications and online/mobile tools remotely. The staff that has invested in training to become tech specialists be rewarded with a pay incentive.
- Make your digital efforts a strategic initiative with a specific owner. It’s not just about applications and tools; it’s also about having an executive driving the culture forward. What does a VP of Digital Strategies do? They own all digital initiatives, they push the strategy forward, and they report the attainment of strategic milestones, wins, and losses along the way.
We are still not to the point of becoming branchless. We need to be very agile in responding to our members as they migrate to the digital channels both from a service as well as a sales standpoint. Is your digital strategy preparing you for member migration?