Despite big banks' changing economic conditions and efforts to draw more customers, credit unions have been steadily growing in popularity over the last eight years. In fact, even during the recent shift from in-person interactions (which the credit union industry is renowned for) to virtual experiences, the market size, measured by revenue, of the Credit Unions industry is $90.8bn in 2022. To take advantage of this surge in consumer interest, a credit union needs to ensure its contact center provides an optimal customer experience (CX).
A recent piece by Credit Union Times discusses current trends for the industry and preps us to see credit unions “embracing a digital-first mentality, resulting in merged channels and more connected experiences”. The article also states, “Branch strategies are being reimagined, with many optimizing their footprints and transitioning to more digitally focused retail models, complete with more advanced self-service technologies such as interactive teller machines (ITMs).” Due to the changes thrust upon us since the pandemic, this trend is not surprising. But that doesn’t make it less of an undertaking for a space that traditionally relied heavily upon its physical branches to establish relationships with its members.
To ensure credit unions find as much success in the virtual world as they do in the physical one, they need to ensure the continuation of top-of-the-line customer service and experiences. It’s the only way these community- and member-centric financial institutions can gain and retain the customers they need to stay in business and, hopefully, grow. One of the best ways of ensuring success is by moving to a cloud contact center software solution — one that provides every tool and every channel in a single user-friendly interface.
Future-Proofing the CX with a Cloud Contact Center Solution
A cloud contact center can be the foundation of a credit union’s CX transformation and strategy. Leveraging cloud technology can enable fluid, consistent interactions that meet members where they are. With features like automated self-service options that leverage machine learning (ML) and a single view of the customer journey across all channels, individual interactions become continuous conversations.
The high level of personalization and relationship-building that credit unions have always been known for offering can now be replicated digitally within the contact center. One of the most important CX trends to address (asap) is providing service when and how members want it, including while:
- On the road
- Visiting friends and family
- On vacation or during the holidays
- On weekends
- Multitasking on mobile
- … and more
With a global pandemic continuing to play out, people are (unsurprisingly) still wary of walking into a physical branch to conduct financial business and are opting for digital-first service instead. By using a cloud-native contact center as a service (CCaaS) solution that gives agents every tool and feature they need to serve members faster and more completely, credit unions can position themselves to handle these demands — both now and as they intensify in the near future.
Rising Member Expectations are Driving the Need for CCaaS
Many credit unions have already undertaken an element of digital transformation by empowering and encouraging customers to do much of their banking online. While this is a good step, many customers expect more.
For example, even though members can transfer money between accounts and even send funds using a mobile app, they may want other functions to also be possible in the palm of their hand. For instance, if a member wants to quickly get info regarding interest rates the credit union has, it’s far easier to shoot a text to their rep instead of fumbling through a series of menus and options. After all, we text our friends and family members all day long; why can’t we communicate this same way when we are trying to talk with businesses?
While SMS is quickly gaining popularity as a preferred customer service channel, many smaller credit unions believe they don’t have the scale or budget to afford such technology. Past experience has proven to them that software costs with legacy vendors are prohibitive, along with the technology being time- and resource-intensive to implement and maintain. This is no longer the case! No-code, usage-based cloud solutions are here, and they’re easy enough to learn and implement — even for credit union employees who serve in several roles. Leaders can add communication channels and technology tools to their contact center without adding to their workload. And when member loyalty is at stake, it’s certainly worth exploring.
Using CCaaS to Enhance Member Loyalty
A credit union’s local presence may soon be outweighed by its mobile presence. In order to secure member loyalty, it’s imperative that credit unions allow them to connect on their terms. This should include options to interact by phone, email, text, webchat, and social media.
In addition, by embarking on a digital transformation journey, credit unions can send a clear message to members that meeting their needs more quickly and conveniently is a top priority. This is another step toward increasing member retention while enabling productive interactions that boost the overall CX.
Enable & Sustain Your Growth
What was once a massive undertaking, digital transformation is now a quick-to-implement reality thanks to cloud solutions. Credit unions can compete with big banks and their technology-centric solutions for providing top-notch digital experiences to match the in-person ones.
By leveraging a full suite of CCaaS and UCaaS tools in a single solution, you can connect the human experience branch staff have with digital banking experiences and 24/7 reliable assistance from contact center representatives. With omnichannel functionality on all channels, self-service options, the utmost security and reliability, and the ability to scale the contact center with per user per day pricing, credit unions can focus on what they do best: driving member loyalty and adoption of additional financial products and services.
Ask yourself: is your virtual CX strategy strong enough to fulfill the current – and future – demands of your members? If not, the time is now to plan to deliver a journey that will excite and delight your members, regardless of how or when they're connecting with you.