Credit Union Geek

Marketing, Strategy, and The Force by Joe Winn

Category: Articles (page 2 of 50)

How a crying baby can help you serve your members

Originally published on CUInsight.com

A few weeks ago, old friends were kind enough to host me for a short vacation. The deal was that I help entertain their kids (1 and 3). In the words of my friend, “every kid should have an Uncle Joe”. (While I was explaining the physics of rocketry to a 3 year old). As you would expect, the younger one had a few upset moments. What was the problem? Sometimes, it’s obvious: he bumped his head or wants something just out of reach. For a few days, he also felt a little under the weather. I’d be cranky too. Other times, the issue was a complete mystery. “What is it?” Since his vocabulary is roughly on par with the use of “bigly” as an actual word, clarification is a challenge.

In a way, he is just like your members. Though they probably have a better vocabulary. When your members have a problem, their frustration is not always expressed as a direct reaction to the issue. Maybe they are angry about a new fee on their account. Or that it always seems to take a while to get a support response. “This credit union is simply the worst.”

The member who was angry about a fee may actually be upset that your communication of how to avoid fees was insufficient. Or maybe they just learned about an account available with far more benefits at the same price they end up paying after fees. Yet no one told them.

Instead of giving negative reviews about long hold times, perhaps that member found it annoying they couldn’t get their questions answered or tasks achieved through the mobile app.

What people complain about is rarely the real issue. 

Sure, we could delay my nephew’s whimpering with a different book, toy, or snack, but it was only temporary. If we didn’t solve the primary issue, he would struggle against us again. And it progressively gets more intense. Just like your members. Imagine being caught up in a cycle of unfulfilled customer service. As the little problems pile up, you get more frustrated, until you’re throwing toy trucks around the house because NOTHING IS GOING RIGHT!

Let’s work together to keep them from throwing their stuffed animals in your face.  You know, your nephews…obviously.

Image credit: My friend (Nephew while watching a SpaceX Falcon 9 landing. Yeah, he’s a rocket scientist in training.)

Are You Bluetooth Or WiFi? Why Not Be Both! (Part 2)

When this blog was much younger, I shared a post asking if you were Bluetooth or WiFi.  The premise was simple: Bluetooth represented slower and small-scale, with the added benefit of low-energy. You could make numerous connections nearby and interact with them all seamlessly.  Does that sound like you?  If not, perhaps you were WiFi.  Like your electronic namesake, it stood for high-speed, long reach, and high energy.  Decisions happened quickly, decisively, and everything was high-energy.  However, everything came back to a central location, rather than the point-to-point nature of Bluetooth (Mesh WiFi wasn’t yet a thing).

One wasn’t better than the other, simply a different approach.  Which is necessary in our varied industry.  What works in one place may not provide the same results elsewhere.

And then I got myself an Apple Watch.

What does that have to do with the topic?  As I learned about its capabilities, I discovered an interesting feature.  The normal operation is for the watch to remain connected to my iPhone through Bluetooth (the Low Energy standard, actually, taking our previous metaphor to the next level).  However, if the phone is not available or otherwise out of range, the watch will attempt to connect to known WiFi networks.  It’s the fallback, since, as you learned, WiFi uses more power, thus decreasing the battery life.  Yet the watch adapts as it must.

An important lesson the watch brings to us all.

If you read the original and, before finishing, exclaimed, “yes, I’m definitely WiFi,” take this opportunity to…slow…down…and…look…around.  Switch to Bluetooth and see if there’s anything you can bring from its close-knit and low-energy platform.  On the other hand, if you studied each sentence of the first post, deliberated over it, shared with your close colleagues, then decided that you seem to be Bluetooth, there’s value for you, too.  Go outside your comfort zone.  Give that SVP acquaintenance of yours a call.  You know, the one who exhausts you just by talking.  And if you’re that SVP, force yourself to slow down and connect with your immediate network.  Recharge, breathe (as my Apple Watch just guided me through a “mindfulness” session), and absorb what you can from your calm, collected colleague.

When I wrote the first post, I made a mistake.  I assumed (you know what happens then!) you could only be one or the other.  Why limit yourself?  Be like my Apple Watch and do what works best for the situation, your credit union, and your members.  And be sure to close your rings!

Image credit: https://openclipart.org

Data Security: Car Edition. Really.

Originally published on CUInsight.com

When you hear “data security”, what comes to mind? Your laptop? Phone? Internet of Things “smart” oven? (I’d hate to let a hacker know how badly I burnt that casserole)

Anything else? How about your computer on wheels?

Modern cars are rolling supercomputers. They have dozens of systems collecting unique data to make your driving experience safer, more enjoyable, and sometimes more distracting. For example, the traction control computer collects information on road conditions hundreds of times a second. However, it’s probably not a source of identity theft (though what could be learned from its records would surprise you). Nor is the network of proximity sensors to help you navigate tight areas.

Your car does contain a number of personalized systems. Let’s look at the big ones:

GPS: Your car knows where it is at all times, where it has been, the paths you take, and even the speed at which those drives were made.

Bluetooth: When you pair your phone, it does more than share a 4-digit code. To automatically reconnect, the car remembers your phone’s unique ID. This isn’t a huge privacy issue on its own, but today’s cars save far more. To make dialing easier, a lot of systems import your contacts and synchronize your text messages. No big deal, just your entire phone book and call/text history.

HomeLink: Do you have buttons on your mirror or visor? Do they open your gate/garage? Then you have HomeLink. These can even support turning on/off lights, though new smart integrations have made that a bit redundant. Combined with the GPS history, this is the biggest privacy risk in your car. The former tells anyone in the car where your house is located. The latter Opens. Your. Home.

Those are the big three. Others vary by manufacturer and features. Things like a custom entry code (many Ford vehicles still use this feature…do not choose a birthday!) are seen on occasion. App integration is becoming more common, making your phone an advanced car key.

So, what of all these features? I’m a huge fan of integrations which make sense, and I use them often. However, I also know there is a level of security necessary. To add a small degree, I never program my actual home address into the GPS. The “point” is around the entrance to my community, not in my driveway. Do you really need those last 4 turns? Granted, someone could just find my address on the registration, but I’m hoping a potential thief is just too dumb to consider such an option. Why make it easy? Note: My garage opener doesn’t reach from the home “point”.

It’s good to know what these features can reveal while you have the car, but what about when you sell it?  Given the privacy/security risk inherent, I find it almost criminal that an easy “I’m selling my car, delete everything” button is not available in every car. For mine, I’ve had to do the following:

  1. Delete my phone pairing from the car.
  2. Remove the “Home” location in my GPS.
  3. Remove all recent waypoints in the GPS.
  4. Reset the HomeLink buttons.
  5. Cancel/transfer satellite radio service (technically, with an active Radio ID, one can use a phishing strategy to get my personal information from SiriusXM)

You’re right, there is no direct credit union guidance in this post. However, given my recent experience in buying a new car, I felt it necessary enough to share. Be honest, how many cars do you think are traded-in with the prior owner’s home address and garage code?

Help protect your staff and membership by sharing this with everyone! (And along with every booked loan)

Image credit: That’s me, while owning two cars.

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