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
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
1) Usability. Provide quick, simple navigation
to key elements including real time rate sheets for all of
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
6) Support. Honestly evaluate both your transactional
capabilities (online banking, bill pay, etc.) as well as your sales and marketing
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
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
here or to learn more visit their web site at www.experionsystems.com.