Human vs. digital interactions with our members, the much debated and often maligned choice to be made. Do we sacrifice service or costs? Today it’s a greater question than ever. Conventional views would say it’s top of mind due to the “Silicon Valley Effect” of the Amazon.coms of the world, but I would say that while contributory to the changes, the real catalyst is the modernization opportunities our technology platforms now provide.
Jason Schwabline, Chief Strategy Officer, Alogent
Technology in the digitization of our interactions should not be approached in a legacy view of a replacement to the personal impact. Instead I profess we should use it as the enabler for greater personal experiences in the financial services realm. Strong, openly architected platforms for a digital experience should allow us as providers of financial services solutions to build bridges with our members like never before. Open integration layers that allow for rapid adoption of new ideas in how we engage with the public should take precedence over our other choices.
Many say that we now live in a world where everything is connected – the internet of everything. Rather than let technology take over, let’s take a step back and look at the ways that we can use it to build stronger engagements. Let’s pair the "cool new solution" with the human touch.
Even so, members look for those self-service capabilities for routine transactions. It’s the way of our world today. Despite this, modern platforms have positioned us at a place where we can offer competitive digital capabilities, but still let members know their team of experts isn’t so far. It’s even more important now to deliver personalized and humanized touches to members – they no longer want to just keep their money safe. Instead, members want assistance with other services like advice or opening a new account. These are value-adds that make the human touch ever-so important, and unable to be fully met by technology.
A major notion for why members engage with branch staff is security. Not just the physical model of what’s more secure, i.e., in a person-to-person exchange, but more in the conceptual sense of the feeling of being secure in those exchanges. A robust digital platform in the credit union should be the glue that holds those member-centric interactions together. Starting a transaction from a digital experience should be just as fulfilling as one in person.
We can accomplish such through creating robust, secure experiences from the moment we begin originating relationships digitally. From voice banking to other conversational interfaces like chatbots, the human touch never has to be so far. There are always ways to bridge that self-service vs in-branch experience, allowing members to start a transaction at home, and seamlessly continue in-person.
As the playing field becomes even more aggressive, from large banks to even nonbanks trying to claim market share, the credit union’s relationship with its members will remain key to keeping that human feel in a digital world. This is truly a differentiator and one that delivers that competitive edge.
In essence isn’t that what we are all striving for in labeling it a “digital human experience?” Rather than putting blockades before us that translate to those into the member world, let’s instead try our best to get out of the way, support the interactions with digital tools, and build those secure relationships that not only we desire, but the member does as well.
To learn more about Alogent and the ways that thousands of credit unions leverage our solutions to engage their members, visit www.Alogent.com.