Credit unions, like all financial services institutions, find themselves in an increasingly competitive and challenging marketplace. Industry deregulation, increased competition from new entrants into the marketplace, challenging macroeconomic conditions brought upon by the ongoing market downturn, and other factors have complicated member acquisition and retention beyond anything credit unions could have envisioned even a few short years ago. Perhaps one of the most challenging issues with respect to acquiring and retaining members in the new competitive environment is being able to add and successfully service new communications channels as members call for them.
For most of its history, the credit union sector of the banking industry relied upon one major communications channel, the branch, to communicate with its members. Technological advances of the last 30 years brought the introduction of such new channels as Automated Teller Machines (ATM's) and with the advent of the Internet in the 1990's, online banking. With the introduction of these new channels, credit unions that want to survive and thrive in the new era must have effective strategies for adding, AND servicing, these new channels as they are demanded by members. Among the many approaches that credit unions can take to becoming more ''member-centric'' in the ''new era'' of banking and financial services, 5 stand out as being especially effective when it comes to integrating and servicing new member communications channels. These are:
- The addition of ''eService Channels''
- Integrating Branch, Contact Center, and ATM Member Information
- Implementing ''First Call Resolution'' Technologies in the Contact Center
- Integrating Member Views Across Channels
- Employing Advanced Member Service Technologies
Lest anyone in the credit union community doubt the importance of shifting from a ''product'' focus to a ''member'' focus, or of the importance of adding and integrating multiple member communications channels, A. T. Kearney and the Tower Group have this to say in a recent joint report:
''Today, few would argue that the basis for acquiring and retaining customer relationships is the financial institution's ability to deliver a differentiated member experience…Many banks still face difficult challenges in achieving integrated, multi-channel experiences for various customer segments, but this is a necessary ingredient for delivering the next generation of relationship products…''
Part 1 of this series briefly discusses each of these strategies and how they contribute to increasing the competitiveness of credit unions with respect to integrating and servicing multiple member communications channels. To download the complete paper please visit www.apropos.com/cu1.
With 10 years' experience of successfully meeting the customer contact management needs of credit unions and other financial service institutions, Apropos Technology has the background and experience needed to assist your credit union improve its competitiveness by improving its member service capabilities through the integration of multiple member communications channels. For more information about Apropos solutions for credit unions, please visit www.apropos.com/cu, or call 1-877-APROPOS.
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