“I opened one account online without signing anything because the institution had robust verification tools and used my digital footprint to identity me,” VanGraafeiland says. “That was a great experience.”
The Civic FCU team also uncovered differences in the types of accounts new members can open online. Some credit unions allow new members to open only deposit accounts initially; others allow new members to also complete loan applications.
Civic FCU focused primarily on the member experience and the time it took to complete the application, with a goal of completing the personal account process in five minutes and business account process in 20 minutes, but the team also discussed credit reports at length.
“To pull credit, or not to pull credit, that is the question,” VanGraafeiland says.
The team had different opinions on whether the credit union should pull credit reports for members opening only a deposit account. It ultimately decided to pull credit for loan applicants and ask deposit-only applicants if they’d like to see if they qualify for a loan. Only then does the credit union pull a credit report.
Civic is still fine-tuning its online account opening experience and has already optimized it for mobile devices. It breaks up required information into easily digestible bites, with some pages requiring only one or two fields to make the process simpler.
“Without any branches, we have to do everything electronically,” VanGraafeiland says. “Our strategy is to allow members to do everything easily and securely from their phone, tablet, or laptop.”
Lastly, VanGraafeiland notes that many credit unions have beautifully designed websites that seemingly disappear when prospective members click on the “Open an Account” link, which redirects to a white-labeled site that looks completely different.
“We want members to have a great experience throughout the process,” VanGraafeiland says. “This includes not feeling like they are leaving the main credit union website to open an account.”
One Viewpoint Across the Organization
CU QUICK FACTS
Orange County’s CU
HQ: Santa Ana, CA
Data as of 09.30.18
12-MO SHARE GROWTH: 4.6%
12-MO LOAN GROWTH: 9.4%
Orange County’s Credit Union ($1.6B, Santa Ana, CA) aligns around easing pain points in the member experience. The cooperative has been mapping the member experience since 2015 and using an organizationwide net promoter program to resolve pain points.
“Every branch manager or department has their own method of going through the member journey,” says Azul Sanchez, associate vice president and regional branch manager. “Our executive team also reviews every single member comment and looks for patterns that we can learn from.”
Azul Sanchez, AVP/Regional Branch Manager, Orange County's Credit Union
Such member feedback has led to simple fixes, such as removing an unpopular Coinstar fee and forming a committee to reduce check holds, as well as more complex projects including an online and mobile banking conversion. Orange County’s Credit Union also is replacing all of its ATMs in 2019 because of member pain points.
The credit union doesn’t limit its member experience comparison set to the financial industry, though. It has asked member service representatives to visit financial and non-financial organizations alike to witness firsthand their customer experience and bring back ideas to the credit union .
“We are continuously looking at what others are doing — whether an online bank or a non-financial retailer — and learning from that,” Sanchez says. “We don’t have a traditional hierarchy here. Our CEO instills the collaborative spirit in all of us. Everyone contributes ideas, regardless of title.”
The credit union’s focus on member experience has resulted in exciting changes internally as well. Amber Cisneros recently took charge of the member experience as vice president of member and community engagement, and Donald Carazo, vice president of loan servicing and collections, is now overseeing the member experience program from a support channel standpoint.
“There have been so many positive changes related to the member experience,” Sanchez says. “We all get to be a part of the decisions that impact our members.”
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