With a growing number of members conducting almost all of their banking business online, branches are being pushed into becoming less transaction based and more aware of the need for cross-selling. Credit unions are shifting their focus to building deeper, stronger relationships in order to gain a larger share of wallet. This includes finding ways to leverage the online banking experience - and improving the way they deliver services - to retain and reach more members.
Online banking may not replace branch locations entirely, but it will definitely challenge credit unions to evolve around it to become a more relationship-based partner. Members may not need assistance with their day-to-day banking, but they still want a person available when they have a question or have a major life-stage need.
While mobile channels are growing, and visits to branches are less frequent, the challenge becomes -- how do you make members aware of product offerings without getting in the way of them getting their bank business done?
Most credit unions are missing a big opportunity for cross-selling to current members through their website. And with mobile devices becoming increasingly popular for browsing and purchasing products, credit unions need to quickly determine how to sell intelligently online.
Credit unions mostly take a passive sales approach to marketing on their website, using product sections and slider banners to promote products, and “Become A Member” buttons on their websites. Most have not leveraged their online presence as a substantial way to cross-sell additional products and services; they only ever achieve a low level of mobile engagement beyond balance inquiries and a nominal interest in product offerings.
Forward-thinking institutions are starting to use enhanced data to provide personalized offers and sales messages intelligently positioned within their site. The key is to build sales opportunities within the website by providing education without interrupting the ease of transacting. Each offer needs to be highly-targeted and engaging without impacting a member’s requirement for simplicity and speed.
A credit union website should showcase educational tools, such as videos or customer service messages about account security, establishing mobile alerts, etc. Providing information and advice on financial challenges, such as credit card debt management, how to improve your credit score and the importance of saving early for retirement will establish a credit union as a one-stop shop for all of their members’ financial needs.
This is the marketplace of today; optimization is no longer about securing a location at a major intersection or inside the busiest mall. It means being available 24/7 and ensuring that your services are both optimized and maximized for mobile access. The combination of sales and educational information, if correctly targeted and delivered, can be the ultimate opportunity for growth credit unions have been looking for.