Credit Union Geek

Marketing, Strategy, and The Force by Joe Winn

Tag: adaptable

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

Be Plex for Your Members

Originally published on CUInsight.com

Each time it works, I feel like Merlin.

I’m talking, of course, about Plex. Consider it a software platform made of pixie dust, magic, and a bit of alien technology. Or just years of dedicated effort from a small team of developers.

“What is Plex?” you ask. Great question. Plex lets you access your digital library on any device, anywhere on Earth (or on the International Space Station, since they have internet now, too), at any time, with no additional effort. It also will add all appropriate information onto your movies, music, TV shows that help sort and access (like episode descriptions, air dates, ratings, etc.). As a long-time user, I’ve watched it grow from a buggy computer program into a must-have feature on any set-top accessory. Pulling up shows and movies within the home is neat enough, but the crowning achievement was when I was waiting for my flight in LAX. I pulled out my phone, opened the Plex app, and it immediately connected to my computer at home. Then, I proceeded to watch one of my movies, 2,000 miles away, as if it were saved within the device. Ask your IT person how many steps of awesome needed to occur for that to work.

Be Plex for your members. No, I’m not suggesting hosting your credit union’s new reality TV series on it, rather, follow their mission: Empower your members to access all services no matter where they are or what device they use. Further, like Plex recognizes a movie and adds all pertinent information, consolidate and organize the member’s relationship as such. A list of transactions and services held is fine, but what about more? If a member doesn’t have a credit card with you, what does your system display? Imagine a dashboard that can adapt to all screen types/sizes and has all of your potential services included. However, it will highlight and feature only those the member holds, to keep the experience focused. Of course, this enables tailored marketing based on their activity. What would help them most based on their current habits?

Before you go rushing out to replace your internal systems, remember, being Plex for your members isn’t about fad desires (they’ve been working on the software for many years). I could be wrong about the dashboard approach. The key is being adaptable. Just because Virtual Reality gear seems awesome doesn’t mean you need an Oculus Rift app for your credit union…yet. Feel free to swap VR for anything else your board or executives claim is essential today.

Even from this geek, at the end of the day, a great experience which fulfills my expectations is golden. Whether I want to watch an episode of my favorite show or check that last swipe on my card, tapping it and watching is all I need.

Image credit: clipshrine.com

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