According to 93% of consumers in a recent survey, friends and family members are the sources of the most trusted brand recommendations. Growing up, you saw your parents' relationship with their financial institution firsthand. If they trusted their credit union, they'd often get an account for you. In fact, 39% of children between the ages of 8 and 14 have a savings account in the U.S., and a solid customer experience can net you generations of customers.
The customer experience (CX) is an important metric for any business. For credit unions, the member experience (MX) means building deeper connections and more meaningful relationships to increase engagement and product penetration over time.
This involves developing credit union member personas for both your current and ideal customers. In this scenario, a persona is an imagined representation of your ideal user or member and can be created based on research gathered from relevant user feedback. You can utilize personas to better understand your target audience. For example, because your members have unique and individual experiences, wants, and needs, you can create specific personas based on their previous feedback in order to meet their future needs.
Additionally, financial services customer personas can help you understand your customers and provide the right messages at the right times in their customer journey. More than anything, 70% of consumers want a personalized experience that fits their current needs and lifestyle. As such, creating personas means you will be able to provide a better member experience and ultimately create lasting relationships.
So how can you use personas to create a personalized and positive experience?
Everyone is in a unique place in life with different experiences and perspectives. Because of these disparities, using credit union member data to build member personas and a customer journey is essential. It helps you tangibly map out every interaction throughout a customer's lifetime to build a cohesive story. It also identifies weak points and obstacles in that journey.
As a credit union, you likely already have a wealth of beneficial data related to your members, their actions, and their feedback. Anything from transactions and mobile banking transfers to loan payments or savings can help you build the base of your persona customization. However, it is also essential to layer additional member feedback into the mix for a well-rounded understanding of particular pain points or where there is room for improvement.
Making a customer unhappy can forever taint your relationship with them. In fact, poor customer service costs businesses up to an estimated $1.6 trillion each year. Furthermore, you don't just lose one customer, as someone with a bad experience is likely to leave a bad review. The average person reads between three and five reviews before frequenting a business, meaning one negative experience can quickly multiply in size.
Digital channels are essential for credit unions, especially in the digital age. With MemberXP, there are two important digital experiences to measure: mobile and online banking. By nature of our closed-loop technology, credit union MX managers receive real-time feedback on all member interactions and engagements from login through task completion or resolution.
Based on this credit union user data, one of our clients was able to discover that their newly launched app's login process was too cumbersome and dissuaded members from using it altogether. Working with IT and backed by solid contextual proof of the problem, the credit union worked with the provider to reengineer the login to maintain security with much less effort from the end user.
At the end of the day, MX molds service standards for your entire company. It supports interactions, provides direct contextual feedback on actions taken by employees, and gives the reasoning to have service standards in the first place. Fortunately, monitoring member feedback can help identify low-hanging pain points, improvements to key products and features, and actionable data. All of these together help create practical member personas that can generate better member experiences down the road.
How to Maximize Your Credit Union Member Experience With Personas
There are five key steps to assess credit union user data alongside personas and use it to fine-tune operations for your members.
1. Identify key journeys.
The key tactic to start with is accessing the data and determining what to do with it. That requires mapping the member journey. Every credit union has different goals, service standards, and member audiences or personas. Start with identifying the key journeys that are strategic priorities.
Often, these key journeys are things like new members, everyday transactions, consumer loans, and digital transactions. Each of these is a member journey that needs to be optimized for a seamless experience all the way through.
2. Solicit feedback.
Your members are your most valuable resource. Don't be afraid to mine them for information. Specifically, get satisfaction and effort scores by asking exactly how the business performed compared to expectations. These surveys help build stronger relationships with your members and helps them feel involved in the process.
3. Respond to members.
Don't just solicit feedback and listen — actually use that feedback to do something, whether it's responding to unhappy members in real time or setting or making feature or policy changes based on this data. Although bad reviews can derail a business, 88% of people are willing to overlook a bad review when the business responds and appropriately addresses the issue.
You can't resolve every problem, but you can at least show you care by creating a service standard that shows you're listening.
4. Coach the team.
Your team will also need to be trained on how to treat credit union member personas. In fact, your data can help identify not only system inefficiencies, but also problems with team members. If a team member is falling short of standards, you can more easily coach them to bring them up to expectations.
5. Address non-people issues.
When fixing MX, aim for the low-hanging fruit first by prioritizing process improvement opportunities and categorizing them. MemberXP automatically categorizes and attributes sentiment to every experience and provides a framework and reporting to depict what should happen first.
Credit union member data is a valuable resource that can be leveraged to improve the overall member experience, no matter what kind of persona you have. This involves systematically addressing any pain points throughout the member journey and removing obstacles that could cause them to have a bad experience. Addressing problems along the way can significantly improve member retention across generations.
That's the difference MemberXP makes for our partners. Find out how we can help your business, as well, by contacting our team today.