NOW HEAR THIS! – The Internet Channel is here to stay

According to Forrester Research your members are nearly as likely to research their next financial service purchase on your web site (41%) as your branch (52%) or call center (44%). Here are 10 steps you can take to insure success with this increasingly important channel.

 

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According to Forrester Research your members are nearly as likely to research their next financial service purchase on your web site (41%) as your branch (52%) or call center (44%). Here are 10 steps you can take to insure success with this increasingly important channel.

Myth #1 debunked. “I’ve heard all the hype about the Internet. It really doesn’t apply to my credit union, because my members just aren’t Internet users.” We know that the 71% of Americans who use the Internet are more upscale and better educated than those that don’t, but did you know that two thirds of non-users make less than $30,000/year and more than a third of those have credit problems? Ignore your web site and you are unknowingly targeting this segment.

Myth #2 debunked. You’ve read the research and the forecasts and you’re still not convinced the Internet channel is anything to get excited about. “People are still filling my branches and flooding my call center aren’t they?” Have you considered that perhaps that’s because your members can’t get the information they need themselves from your web site? It’s the proverbial chicken and egg. The Internet will never replace your branches or call center, however, your web site can relieve some of the pressure. Remember, your self serve member is generally your happiest and most profitable member.

Your web site is the preferred channel for a growing number of your members. In addition, more than 50% of their usage happens after hours. This is important to consider because if your member doesn’t get the information they need from your web site and can’t contact your call center at 10:00pm, they may well call WAMU or Countrywide who have 7X24 call centers staffed by product experts.

Think of your web site not as a challenge, but as an enormous opportunity. Remember that 41% of your members are visiting your site today and they’re ready to buy. Here are 10 steps you can take to start capitalizing on this opportunity today:

1) Usability. Provide quick, simple navigation to key elements including real time rate sheets for all of your products.

2) Content. Give your members access to rich educational content on your complex array of services e.g. IRA’s, mortgages, retirement planning, CL&D insurance. Members are hungry for information and a well informed prospect is more likely to buy.

3) Fullfillment. Include links to fulfillment wherever possible, with simplified versions of your applications (25% of members abandon online applications)

4) Cross-Channel Support. Post a call center support number prominently on your site

5) Leadership. Appoint a VP/SVP of e-commerce. Choose a respected senior member of your team with a business background and focus

6) Support. Honestly evaluate both your transactional capabilities (online banking, bill pay, etc.) as well as your sales and marketing capabilities online.

7) Real estate. Put your online banking log-in on your credit union’s home page. Your homepage is the most valuable real estate you have. Don’t let members skip it by going directly to a generic log-in page.

8) Promotion. Promote your site with opt-in e-mail marketing pieces that feature links back to relevant elements on your site

9) Navigation. Pay special attention to navigation. Look at your site through the eyes of the member. Redundant navigation is a good thing. Ambiguous navigation is a killer.

10) Feedback. Survey your members regularly to solicit their feedback for site enhancements and problem areas. Ask your members if they are pleased enough with your site to recommend it to a friend. That’s the acid test of member satisfaction and a terrific way to generate organic growth for your credit union. Your enthusiastic members are your very best sales representatives!

Experion’s trusted advisor solution is generating outstanding results at a growing number of credit unions. To sign up for their periodic e-newsletter click here or to learn more visit their web site at www.experionsystems.com.

 
 

July 26, 2004


Comments

 
 
 
  • good stuff
    Anonymous
     
     
     
  • Some facts, more advertising for Experion.
    Anonymous