Originally published on CUInsight.com

This is part of the “CU That Could Be” series.

You pride yourself on amazing member service. If anyone has an issue, your entire team is equipped to handle it promptly, politely, and with a minimum of effort for everyone.

E-mails are answered within a few hours, and members get only personalized replies. No one deserves a generic response! If an issue will take longer to resolve, your team sends out a quick message informing of that fact, along with an estimated timeframe for the next reply.

Calls That Delight, Not Frustrate

Your credit union embraces a phone platform which automatically routes calls to keep hold times low. And, if someone needs to be transferred, it’s always done while the original agent remains on the line.

Having to start over with the 2nd (or 4th) person stinks! This also ensures no one gets disconnected and left for a lurch. On top of that, the menu system never says, “please listen carefully as our menu options have recently changed.” That’s old school. Your system lets members press a number or say a simple word (which it recognizes easily) to accommodate those driving or otherwise occupied.

Social Channels Worth Engaging

All social media platforms are centrally monitored 24/7 so complaints and compliments alike can be answered within a few minutes. Sure, you’re not solving a detailed account issue on Sunday, but you feel it is important to let the member know you are ready to help at any time.

And Yelp reviews? You’ve seen how many people view your credit union’s business pages (yeah, you check the stats); every single review gets an answer. You’re not going to be part of the 98% who never reply. If it needs follow-up, that begins right now.

2023 Update – Apple Business Connect

Most members use their phone as a primary device. Millions of Americans use iPhones. Thus, when Maps gets new functionality, you need to pay attention. Apple Business Connect is that new system.

Great member relationships that could be ensure these profiles are set up and kept current in Apple Maps. Such a credit union creates a compelling listing, using all available functionality to strip unnecessary friction from member engagement.

Imagine going seamlessly from a Maps listing, to starting a private iMessage conversation, or maybe even a direct link to opening an account. All this is possible if your member relationships are what they could be.

The technology exists…and the expectations are there.

Digital Platforms Which Deliver

Then there’s the interactions which don’t involve a person. Your member is looking to do something on your website, or in your mobile app. You realize they’re using those systems to make life easier.

So everything those platforms do is easily shown in device-specific interfaces. They’re fast, secure, and updated regularly. Feedback is encouraged, and suggestions are embraced in future revisions.

Culture is Culture is Culture (In-Branch)

You may notice I didn’t discuss in-branch interactions. There are a few reasons. One, branches are no different from other lines of communication. Sure, you are face-to-face, but waiting there stinks just as much as being on hold (depends on if you listened to a previous post and set up Mario Kart 64).

If you treat people well “virtually”, you’ll treat them fine in person.

Two, with web-based everything, there’s nothing a member can do which can’t be done online or over the phone. Three, I’m not sure branches will be a standard feature of the credit union that could be.

In my mind, if physical locations stick around at all, you might eventually see an extension of the “shared branches” concept take hold. Instead of banking at any credit union, there will be an unbranded CUSO operated “branch” where physical-contact holdouts can go to accomplish the same thing.

Branches simply cost too much for every institution to maintain them. A credit union near me just expanded their membership into new counties and stated they have no plans to extend their branch footprint to match.

They are no longer necessary to provide the member relationship of the future, or, that could be.

The next phase of the “CU that could be” wound up talking about digital transformation…and more. Go there now and continue your journey of financial empowerment.