In our everyday lives, when placing an order online, we expect acknowledgement right away. When paying a bill online, we expect immediate confirmation along with an updated account balance. When parking on the street and feeding a parking meter or ticket system in many towns now, you can provide your cell number and receive a text reminder 15 minutes before your time expires. Can your members and non-members alike pay their loans with you online? Can they self-serve to activate and change their autopay settings? Do they have the option to securely pay by text?
Offering text-to-pay puts your members in control, and that is a big win for you. More on that later. We as consumers are being exposed to ease and convenience everywhere we turn. Our patience for mediocrity is waning. In fact, our current definition of mediocrity, was once considered leading edge.
As individual doers and leaders, we often have more on our plate than feels realistic. We want to excel and propel our organizations forward. We also want to calm a racing mind, find some peace at the end of each day, and have the energy to fulfill our non-work obligations and interests. How do we decide what enhancements to provide and when? How do they fit into the credit union's project schedule that is already committed for the next 12 to 18 months?
Let's go back to why does any of this matter. Credit Union loyalty and growth are now earned by the least amount of energy expended to get things done. The more transactions that members can complete off hours on their terms, the better. Also, many no longer like to expend energy on a phone call, but when they do have to call, if your team recognizes them, and gets them on their way with competence and quick resolution, you'll earn their loyalty and a positive word to their neighbor.
Move forward, keep progressing with added ease and convenience, or risk losing members to those who do.
Realistically, you cannot do it all. Doing nothing or moving too slow will ensure member attrition however. In the book Radical Candor by Kim Scott, a reprint from Harvard Business Review describes Google's approach to innovation:
A culture that captures thousands of “small” innovations can create benefits for customers that are impossible for competitors to imitate. One big idea is pretty easy to copy, but thousands of tweaks are impossible to see from the outside, let alone imitate.
We encourage you to bring to life at least one ease and simplicity innovation annually or better yet, every six months. Then promote and market these new conveniences, to propel your credit union's growth. Here are two relatively easy member enhancements our credit union customers are adopting right now:
- Loan payment portal that makes it just as easy for deposit and non-deposit members to make mobile payments. Adding extra principal is equally easy, as is activating or changing autopay preferences.
- Text-to-pay is fast surpassing autopay as the preferred automated payment method for loan customers. When their payment is due they receive a text with payment details, and are given the option to securely pay immediately by text. Consumers really appreciate being in control, and companies/credit unions are receiving payment nearly 7 days faster than usual.
Stay highly attuned to your members. They are being exposed to ease and convenience enhancements regularly in all parts of their lives. Give them the same, deepen your credit union loyalty and earn word of mouth growth by periodically bringing fresh enhancements to make transactions easier for them. Surround yourself with internal leaders who get it, and in the midst of the frenetic work pace we all face, they still manage to get important things done. Surround yourself with vendors who get it as well and bring real value to you, to your members, and to your internal support team.
You don't have to do it all. However, there is tremendous market share to be rewarded to those who do it right.
Here at MPX, we would be happy to team up with you.