Social distancing is a concept of which we are acutely aware now that we’re 5 months into the COVID-19 pandemic. But online and self-service options have been gaining traction in almost all business processes for years. Success in self-service doesn’t happen overnight, but it’s paramount to the success of your credit union, maybe now more than ever before.
In a 2017 article from the Credit Union Times, 85% of the customers’ relationships with their credit unions were expected to be performed with no human interaction by 2020. And COVID-19 has expedited many more solutions than we could have imagined even a few years ago, but how do you set yourself up for success in self-service?
Check Your Tech
If your system makes certain functions hard for your trained employees to navigate, adding these functions as self-service options may not be the best idea.
You should start by breaking down the pros and cons of your current core system. Does it need a few small tweaks to be an efficient asset across the board, or is it time for a total upgrade?
If significant changes are needed, then it’s time to make a plan: consider rolling out these changes over a 12- or 18-month period and working out the bugs as they come rather than pushing one giant update and watching the chaos ensue.
Integrate a Variety of Tech Services
New technology arrives faster than most of us can get used to current technology, which is why you have to put yourself in your members’ shoes early and often.
People spend far more time texting than they do talking on the phone, so beefing up your text message services could be just what your customers need. Allowing loan interactions and other account setup and maintenance to take place via chat or text messaging can cut down on calls and reach a more text-savvy demographic.
As cellphones evolve from mobile calling to being able to have your whole life at your fingertips, incorporating more mobile solutions like texting, apps, and account transfers and monitoring will only become more essential.
Educate Members from Start to Finish
As you implement new technology strategies to keep costs low and efficiency high, remember that your tech is only as good as its accessibility.
When you want members (new and old) to migrate from calls and in-person deposits or transfers, create training tools and teaching aids to help them adopt this new process quickly. Having one-on-one sessions or even a large education-based video catalog on your website can help ease members into their new self-service role and will also cut down on mistakes and call volume for your staff.
Easy Authentication is a Must
We all do it: when asked for a secure password, we choose one of our favorite weaker passwords and then add a few numbers or special characters in. Not so hard, right? That’s true until your customers are faced with coming up with in-depth passwords and security answers in a lengthy authentication process on their third or fourth banking app.
Make sure your credit union’s authentication systems are powerful, but easy to use. For example, giving members the ability to reset a forgotten password or to seamlessly transition from a phone-tree to a real person can increase retention in your self-service programs.