Strategies for Meeting Needs of Multi-Channel Users

Online member feedback highlights opportunities to improve the credit union's service through better cross-channel coordination, communication, and follow-through.


As we head into strategic planning and budgeting season, understanding how your members use different channels can help you target your technology resources more effectively.

An online survey of almost 15,000 members conducted by Callahan's Internet Strategy Consortium found that, among online members, there are two distinct member segments that use on your e-branch for different reasons:

  • Branch Avoiders: This group has higher incomes and prefers online self-service to any other channel. They have the greatest interest in new technologies such as online account opening, online deposits, and mobile text alerts. In addition to using ATMs more frequently than the other group, they also use more credit union products and services, including auto loans, bill pay, and credit cards.

  • Multi-Channel Users: These are convenience-focused members who have wider use across all channels, including physical branches and drive-thrus, and your call center. They demand better coordination across channels and expect the same account information in all channels. Given their varied and frequent touchpoints with the credit union, these members tend to have higher loyalty ratings. These members expressed interest in self-service options such as online tools and email but also want contact with MSRs via online chat and call center access.

Which group dominates your membership?

Understanding the size and impact of these two groups within your membership can help you determine which technologies to prioritize. In the ISC survey the proportion of Branch Avoiders ranged from a low of 37% to a high of 65%. Credit unions who wish to target branch avoiders should consider offerings such as mobile banking, scanner-based deposits, and online account opening. While all credit unions should review their cross-channel strategies, credit unions with a higher proportion of multi-channel users should be leveraging the convenience message and promoting the range of access opportunities


Integration Across Multiple Channels

Credit unions need to consider how they support multi-channel usage:

  • Balances and transaction information: Are ATM balances, online banking balances, and IVR information in sync? A mobile text or email alert for transactions from two days ago is not going to be helpful to members.
  • Online promotions: Online banking users may not check their website frequently. Are you alerting them to specials of interest when they do login?
  • Use the online channel to support other channels: Enabling online sign-up for seminars and financial counseling makes it easier for working members to sign-up.
  • Call center coordination: Are MSRs familiar with the credit union website and your online services? Do they refer members to the website for additional educational resources? Can they walk members through the tools and capabilities of online banking or bill pay? Having your member service representatives walk members through online loan applications can increase their usage and member satisfaction.
  • E-mailed alerts and informational emails: Members see great value in both options. This can also be a way to keep the credit union top of mind, increase awareness of specific services and reinforce member value on an ongoing basis.
  • Other opportunities: Can additional services be placed online that not only help members but also reduce processing costs for the credit union?



Aug. 17, 2009



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