If greater innovation is a goal at your CU, member service is no doubt the first place you’re aiming to tackle. But it can be tricky…The world’s changing every day, and people expect more. Period.
So, where do you start?
Glad you asked, because, as it happens, I sat down with an expert on this very subject. Cori Poland, Chief Experience Officer at Rivermark Community Credit Union offers top tips around how CUs can implement more innovative ways to service members—this week on CRMNEXT’s Banking on Experience.
The biggest challenges CUs face around member service in general.
Just as all industries have had to adjust these past two years, Cori’s CU has undergone some major changes in how it does business with members. For her, it’s looking at, “How are we serving, what’s the experience that we’re providing, and how can we adjust and adapt to the environment to be able to serve them more effectively and efficiently?”
Part of that involves learning and incorporating members’ preferred methods of communication, focusing on convenience and access, and—perhaps most especially—personalizing the experience with the use of the right technology. In Cori’s mind, “If we can use technology to have a better conversation with our members, I feel like we’re being successful.”
Cori’s implementation of new technology + the failures she learned from.
Rivermark is generally considered a more “tech savvy” CU, and for good reason. As far back as 2014, they redesigned their branches to what they call their member resource center and implemented Interactive Teller Machine (ITM) technology.
Cori discusses some fascinating bumps she’s encountered and learned from throughout their implementation of new technologies, and you’ll definitely want to listen in. But one in particular came in the form of unexpected pushback from some millennial members. Even after collecting member feedback and 100% taking it into account, not everyone was immediately happy when changes were put into place.
As she says, “Our target market is that credit-driven, tech savvy, tech-enabled member…And we continue to ask for feedback. Asking what ways you can better retrofit to be able to serve is just a good practice.”
Working with younger members.
A large percentage of Rivermark’s membership is comprised of the younger generation, and the CU has put a deliberate focus on checking account and engaging members to utilize it. They have almost 80% checking penetration with their membership base and are working to expand that into their other products.
When it comes to their success with millennials, Cori attributes much of it to financial education. They recently launched a financial wellness department to offer support both internally and externally and have been working to certify front-line staff as financial coaches through the CUNA FiCEP program.
Why offering options is so essential.
“A lot of times,” says Cori, “we’ve been asked: if you’re going to use video technology to supplement the teller transactions, does that replace a branch? No, it doesn’t. It supplements our branches. It supplements the structure.”
Cori emphasizes the need for physical branches, as some members just prefer it. She’s a big fan of technology but knows that video can’t entirely replace the personal interaction. Options matter.
Credit-driven, tech-enabled members & the role employees play.
Simply put, “The staff is the most important piece of all of it. You can’t have technology without a person behind it.” And Cori wouldn’t want to. The goal, ultimately, is to “personalize the experience for our members through the use of technology.”
Want to contact our expert?
Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her directly at (503) 906-9479.