First impressions count, no matter how much you want to believe otherwise. This is true regardless whether you’re talking about huge corporate endeavors or community-level organizations. When your credit union (CU) customers want help accessing your products and services, the frontline staff need to be well-versed ambassadors for your brand who are ready and capable of providing it. Here are our reasons for this:
Conquering the Technology Conundrum
The world is becoming increasingly digital, and while technology and mobile device use resonate comfortably with younger members, that isn’t the case with all your CU clients. Financial services are progressively shifting to a mobile environment, causing clients to change the way they conduct transactions. Discomfort with technology results in uneasiness with digitally-executed financial transactions, and causes many to shy away from developing a relationship with it.
Encouraging Digital Usage
To stay abreast of technology and reach the desired “top of app” status requires CUs to help clients get comfortable with new technology. You’ll need to provide a degree of handholding to migrate your members over to the new methods, and that puts the ball squarely in the frontline staff’s court. Encourage the shift to digital by having qualified employees engage with members first, whether in person in your branch, through your call center, or online. These “experts” can walk the clients through their first process, live and in real time, which enables them to see firsthand how it all works. Reinforce their adoption of technology by offering ongoing assistance that’s easily available, without the member having to search for someone to help them.
Maintaining Trusted Agent Status
Banks and other financial service organizations traditionally strive to provide a “trusted agent” role to clients. As a CU or community bank, you already have a closer relationship with your members than most larger finance houses do. When you have trained staff ready to help walk clients through the process of setting up apps and conducting financial transactions, you provide added credibility to your status.
Taking a Concierge Approach
Apple’s exceptional stores do this well, with their Genius Bars staffed by trained employees with real expertise in their products. These staff members walk around freely, approaching customers instead of forcing them to line up for assistance. The concierge method is rapidly being taken up by financial services, with companies like Capital One and Oregon-based Umpqua leading the pack. Capital One® Cafés offer a reimagined form of banking, where you can sit and work, conduct transactions, get help and have a free coffee in your hand while you do it. Umpqua has kiosks and floor walkers to complement the free internet access available, and a telephone that provides a direct line to contact the bank’s CEO.
Your members’ first impression of your CU is formed at the first interaction, and reevaluated at every subsequent touch point. Fumbling any of those interactions could cause them to lose faith in you. Ensure all channels are staffed by fully trained, competent employees comfortable in the use of new technology, who have the necessary people skills to deal with clients from every demographic. Whether their role is to offer suggestions for usage or to extend a helping hand to members after they express interest, your frontline staff are critical to enable you to pass muster.
Is your credit union ready to embrace the changes brought by technology? Training your frontline staff to be experts in the use of digital wallets will help generate the members' confidence in your services, and ultimately boost interchange revenue and your bottom line.