Make your Members Feel Like Regulars, No Matter the Channel

Just like Norm on the 80’s sitcom, Cheers, many consumers enjoy feeling like a “regular” at their often-frequented establishments. From a server at your favorite restaurant knowing your order before you do, to having your perfectly brewed cup of joe (with your name on it) ready for the taking when you arrive inside your beloved coffee shop, to the teller at your credit union knowing your name and asking about your daughter’s volleyball game, personalized attention and service makes people feel good.

Does your credit union make your members feel like regulars?

Omnichannel marketing, or the strategy of using digital, analog and physical channels to interact with customers while creating a seamlessly linked experience AND delivering the personalized attention credit union members have come to expect can be quite challenging, but it’s necessary. In today’s world, it’s critical to maintain deep engagement with your members – in every interaction – so you can make good decisions regarding how to service them and keep them happy. And while all credit unions don’t have access to sophisticated AI-driven analytics to give them the detailed data necessary to create the “hyper-personalized experience,” that the Amazons of the world can, there are still many strategies you can deploy to make your members feel like regulars, no matter the service channel they use.

Keep it all consistent

As younger, more mobile-centric consumers influence buying behavior, credit unions must create consistent brand experiences for members across online, physical and mobile touchpoints. First, all channels of communication need to reflect each other and work together. Members don’t think about their interactions with the credit union in isolation. If a member interacts with your credit union on their mobile one day, they expect that you’ll know about that interaction when they re-engage with you via another channel on a different day.

Along the same lines, members who frequent your website and become comfortable navigating your departmental segmentation, product jargon, service explanations, job titles, calls to action and more expect the exact same segmentation, language, etc. to follow suit in the branch and across all communication vehicles they might use. Consistency is key.

Beyond this, your channel platform needs to manage and  track cross-channel customer activity so you can develop a deeper understanding of member behavior, preferences and product/service choices, and then create that personalized, one-to-one relationship members seek…and trust.

Make it all personal

In a world of voice-activated personal assistants, watches that track our body’s physical behaviors and smart products that call us by name, personalization has become the norm. Sending one email to all your members can be effective but might not make your members feel like regulars.

You can deliver more personalized attention by using the data you already have at your fingertips as a financial institution. Purchase patterns, merchant choices, financial transaction history, donations, etc. You have access to a wealth of information about your members that you can use to get to know them better. What’s more, you can couple your system’s data with additional tools such as a marketing automation program, online community, customer engagement software or other resources, to learn more about the single member.

You can then use the data to customize your products, tier your pricing platforms and design more targeted marketing programs that deliver the right message to the right individual.

Use member journey mapping to find your gaps

In order to ensure a memorable  and personalized member experience across channels, you must map your member’s journey with the credit union. Conduct an assessment of your member interaction processes by going through the experiences yourself. Study the member experiences at your credit union from A to Z, across your different delivery vehicles, and then evaluate for gaps in need of improvement. Do the processes make sense? Are the communication methods effective? How can you alter the processes to make them more personal? How can you personalize your communication with each touchpoint?

One example is to track the process from when a potential member first inquires about your credit union and completes an application. How many personal touch points follow? Do you use the same cross-sell message for all new members? How can you personalize and tailor the follow-up communication to ensure each individual member becomes a regular? Is the follow-up recorded and progress appropriately tracked?

When putting forth new ideas, products and conveniences, always think about how the process will work for the member. Think about the level of effort necessary on the member’s part, potential frustration points and most importantly, how it can be delivered in a personalized yet consistent manner to specific members across all channels.

Involve all team members

Your credit union staff members are key to making your members feel like regulars. Beyond the technology, your employees can also work to understand and track member behavior. Through every interaction, credit union employees can listen for cues, engage with members, gather insight into their preferences and then personalize each experience as much as possible using that insight and the information on the screens in front of them.

Your staff must also be knowledgeable on your full product and service portfolio. Your members want to engage with a staff who understands the product (any product), its features, benefits and uses. They want the credit union staff member they happen to see on any given day (or talk to on the phone, or chat with online) to be able to define all the reasons they need that particular product or service in their life. Or when they have an issue, they need any given employee they interact with to quickly explain why a certain service may not be working for them, and then offer the solution so the member can quickly get back to their day.

Although omnichannel personalization, in its truest form, could become an expensive task when trying to delve into the finest analytics and deliver hyper-personalization, there are takeaways credit unions of all sizes can deploy to create a customized, memorable and relevant experience for members. By focusing on making your members feel like regulars, no matter what channel they’re using in the moment, you can keep your members happy, satisfied and coming back for more.

Fonda Semerjian

About Fonda Semerjian

Contributing Writer

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