When the benefits of digital transformation are too high to be ignored, even a sector as deep-rooted as banking needs to align with trends to meet member’s needs.
If the last few years has taught us something, it is key that credit unions need to keep working to meet the demanding expectations of their members. In our annual customer survey, we heard that our credit union clients want more guidance from Celero on trends in the industry and how technology can enable a better member experience. That’s why we’ve identified the top five member experience trends for banking in 2022 that credit union leaders should be aware of. They include automation, artificial intelligence, self-service, online advisory services and hyper-personalized experiences.
A key trend to improve your members experience is the ability to integrate automation in various processes including onboarding, balance inquiry or other frequent reasons a member would want to contact chat. Automation will not only optimize interactions with members but also increase employee efficiency.
An accurate integration of automation allows to reduce the amount of time, effort and resources that are needed to complete tasks which drives member satisfaction. First of all, it is essential to proceed with the analysis of your member journey map and then with the integration of a virtual agent as a support to your employees. This way, employees only focus on high value activities that require personalization, empathy and a profound expertise in communications via call, chat and messaging apps.
Onboarding is another key process where automation comes in handy. A satisfying member experience is usually based on a good first impression. For most members, that takes place during onboarding. Traditionally, this process involves reviewing and signing huge amounts of documents, which increases the risk of delays and tests members patience. By transforming onboarding into an electronic process rather than a manual one, your credit union can make it easy for your members to provide essential onboarding information whenever and wherever they prefer. From there, you can use automation to expedite key parts of the process, so members can open their accounts much faster, without necessarily go in-branch, further optimizing the overall member experience.
02./ Artificial Intelligence
We discussed the importance of automation to improve member experience and now we want to discuss the importance of artificial intelligence (AI). The difference between AI and automation is that AI aims to simulate human thinking. Automation works with data whereas AI ‘understands’ data.
There’s nothing more frustrating to a member than calling their credit union’s helpline to report an issue, only to be put on hold. With the volume of incoming calls steadily increasing and not enough employees on hand to field them, it’s becoming an increasingly difficult situation for credit unions to manage.
Rather than wait on the phone, members now have the option to consult AI-enabled chatbots when faced with challenges. These chatbots pull and process information from various sources, such as your credit union’s knowledge base and CRM member profiles, to respond to incoming requests. That will allow to transform your chat in a source that generates more knowledge (available to your staff and members) but also to make sure that your bot never stops learning and becomes more independent on a wider range of topics.
Should a particular request exceed the chatbot’s capabilities, it’s automatically escalated to a live service representative who can help the member work toward a resolution.
Credit unions and their members can both benefit from AI as members no longer have to waste valuable time waiting to talk to a representative, while credit unions can now repurpose employees that would be otherwise funneled to their call centers. Some financial institutions have even used AI to improve the member experience even more by developing AI-enabled virtual assistants to provide money management tips and tricks (more on that later).
Executives believe that a coherent and optimized member experience across channels is a key factor that more and more credit unions are taking into consideration. However, one service capability continues to challenge them.
While there are multiple obstacles to a seamless member experience, the biggest challenge is actually the ability to provide enough self-service options for members. Sometimes they don’t want to spend time waiting on the phone or trying to explain an issue to a bot via chat; what they actually want is a FAQ section or a guided procedure on your credit union’s website or app so that they can handle things on their own.
Artificial intelligence can be extremely helpful when it comes to improving self-service. It can help you aggregate information from various channels and touchpoints and provide insights and useful information on the most frequently asked questions, and related answers, so that the company can continuously update the knowledge base in the FAQ section and improve services so that they are more user-friendly.
04./ Online Advisory Services
During the pandemic, a wide range of members discovered the opportunity to have advisory sessions online with their financial consultants. If credit unions and members first conceived this service as a temporary solution, it is now perceived as the new normal. This is a type of service that people not only don’t want to give up on but even want to expand to other products of the portfolio.
Credit unions now need to stay up to date on trends by developing targeted services for their increasingly digital member base and provide them with a wide range of opportunities online. This includes mortgage or credit card request but also financial advisory for investments. Online advisory services allow credit unions to improve their digital services by providing their member with in-house financial advisors who can guide them while tailoring to their needs. Doing this will not only improve the experience of existing members but will also help attract new members to your credit union. Not to mention, online advisory services also allows for the possibility to work on up-selling and cross-selling opportunities during these sessions of advisory online.
05./ Hyper-Personalized Experiences
It’s no secret that personalization is important to banking customers. According to research from the Boston Consulting Group, if done well, personalization at scale can lead to annual revenue uplifts of 10% meaning hyper-personalization can benefit your credit union.
Consumers want hyper-personalized experiences more than ever. Compared to standard personalization, which uses data analytics to deliver targeted marketing and sales messaging to different member segments, hyper-personalization drills down to the individual member. Credit unions can achieve hyper-personalization by using a combination of predictive analytics, AI and machine learning to monitor individual members real-time usage data (e.g. which phrases they commonly search and their geographic location). This type of personalization is possible through refining the digital member experience.
Armed with this information, credit unions can queue more targeted, one-to-one marketing campaigns and offers. For example, if search data revealed that a member frequently searched the terms “scholarships in my area”, “loan rates 2022,” and “how to apply for a student loan” you could presume that the member is looking to pay for post-secondary education and would therefore be a good candidate for a loan. Based on that information, you might target that member with an offer for a student loan with a low interest rate.
Have questions about how Celero can help your credit union meet the ever-changing needs of your members? Contact us your Celero Account Executive and we can discuss further with you.