The COVID-19 pandemic turned member experience and engagement into a new battleground. While it’s no secret that the world is turning digital, the virus significantly accelerated the pace at which that’s happening. In the blink of an eye, we saw daily life in the United States change. COVID-19 changed our economy, healthcare, even our lifestyles. It forced the adoption of online and mobile channels and created a tipping point for digital and contactless payments.
Keeping Pace With Digital Adoption
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry saw 35% of consumers increase their online banking usage. Mastercard reported more than 40% growth in contactless transactions during the pandemic; and in the first quarter of 2020, Visa saw more than 13 million customers in Latin America make their first-ever online transaction. What’s more is the digital trend doesn’t seem to be going away. Of the 48% of consumers who have shifted their shopping online, 86% intend to stick with those experiences and 63% plan to maintain at least some of those digital behaviors.
To maintain relevance to the Modern MemberSM, credit unions will need to continue focusing on enhancing the digital experience to drive adoption and engagement. However, you can’t lose sight of the importance of high-touch human service options when and where members need it. It’s digital plus human that will win the heart, mind, and loyalty of the Modern Member. We need to stop talking about just the “digital channel” and start shifting the conversation to digital experience with an emphasis on the basics: simplicity, convenience, the human touch, and trust.
In the battle for member loyalty, delivering digital products and services isn’t enough on its own.
Understanding Your Modern Member
The Modern Member needs to feel valued, understood, and protected. To know that you are there with them, by their side, during extraordinary moments of need. Because in addition to being anxious about contracting the COVID-19 virus, members are worried their finances will suffer when or if they’re forced to take pay cuts, laid off, or furloughed. The economic fallout from the pandemic has already claimed more than 30 million jobs. While credit unions alone can’t alleviate all those fears, taking the time to listen to and understand your members can go a long way toward building trust and providing a sense of relief and normalcy.
In early 2020, Jack Henry conducted a survey of more than 600 credit union members and bank customers and found that 47% feel financially stressed, 25% lack financial confidence, and 58% think they’re bad at managing their money. Not surprisingly, members are most worried about getting out of debt, unforeseen large expenses, paying household bills, and healthcare expenses. They’re also worried about the survival of their businesses. In the first wave of the CARES Act Support Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the United States saw 6 million employer firms and 24 million non-employer firms compete for funding to stay afloat during the economic shutdown. As your business borrowers reopen at reduced capacity and feel the lingering effects of COVID-19 on their bottom line, they’re going to continue looking to you for assistance.
The reality is your members need you now more than ever. They need to trust that you’ll be there for them. To build that trust, they need to see you as honest and ethical, reliable and dependable, easy to do business with, financially strong, and a provider of good service.
Meeting The Needs Of The Modern Member
The first thing members need from you is to be able to trust you to handle the basics. They want to make sure they can pay bills online and deposit checks remotely. The next step in building trust with members is addressing their concerns. They need you to help them get out of debt, resolve problems, pay bills on time, and handle unforeseen large expenses. And finally, members need to trust you to guide them in meaningful moments like addressing account fraud, buying a home, starting a new business, and planning for retirement.
Modern Members are looking for their experiences to be empathetic, authentic, relevant, seamless, appropriately simple, and personal. According to a Salesforce Research survey of 6,700 consumers and business buyers, 84% of consumers say being treated like a person, not a number, is very important to winning their business. Delivering personalized experiences drives loyalty, with 70% of consumers saying a company’s understanding of their individual needs influences their loyalty, and 69% saying the same of personalized care.
Delivering On Expectations
In this world of personal-meets-digital expectations, credit unions rely on technology. That technology should be more than a series of individual pieces — but instead, a comprehensive platform that fuels growth, innovation, and member trust. To deliver on the services and personal touch your members need, it’s vital your technology is customizable, scalable, intuitive, and — perhaps most importantly — open. Your technology partner should never hinder integration opportunities that are in the best interest of your credit union or your members. Open, powerful, integrated technology means you can reach your members in their moments of need with the personal service they deserve.
Watching Loyalty Pay Off
Members who feel their credit unions are there for them, and help them gain financial confidence, are eight times more likely to consider their credit union for a new product or service. They’re five times more loyal, give 1.5 times more share of wallet, and use 1.3 times more products. They’re also 14 times more likely to recommend you to family and friends.
Taking advantage of the current digital shift to accelerate your growth — and using that technology to provide personalized service and support — will strengthen your credit union’s credibility, undoubtedly leading to member trust and loyalty.
When you partner with Symitar, you get a comprehensive core platform as well as access to Jack Henry’s leading digital, lending, and payments capabilities — so you can improve the Modern Member experience across all of your member touchpoints and digital channels. Symitar’s powerful and integrated technology means you can reach your members in their moments of need, building member loyalty and growing your membership base. And because we’ve always had an open approach to working with credit unions, Symitar will never hinder integration opportunities that are in your best interest. We’re dedicated to offering a platform that allows for open integrations so you can serve and safeguard your business and member needs.
For more content like this, visit symitar.com/modernmember.