3 Ways Credit Unions Can Drive Digital Transformation

Published on July 3, 2024
Last Updated on July 3, 2024

Credit unions are known for their exceptional customer service, higher-yield interest rates and lower fees. However, with the rapid shift towards digital banking, they’re pressured to meet evolving customer expectations while staying true to their community- and member-focused values.

Today, members expect convenient, round-the-clock access to their financial services. Some credit unions, however, are not far along in their digital transformation journey. Those still on legacy systems may struggle to keep pace with this digital demand and their bank counterparts, but progress might be easier than they realize.

Here are three strategies to help credit unions thrive in the digital era and deliver even better member experiences.

1. Adopt cloud technology

Cloud technology significantly boosts operational efficiency and agility. By transitioning to the cloud, IT teams can reduce costs and time spent on on-premise server maintenance. This shift allows them to focus on developing innovative solutions for members, like mobile apps and online portals for streamlined loan applications and account management.

When it comes to scalability, cloud solutions adapt to evolving requirements quickly. Whether facing a surge in new members or integrating new features, the cloud provides up to 95% faster service delivery, according to a Forrester study.

But that’s not all. Cloud providers guarantee near-perfect uptime, ensuring uninterrupted service even during hardware failures or natural disasters. This level of reliability eliminates concerns about data recovery after unexpected events.

Of course, data security is paramount. Choose a cloud provider that prioritizes data privacy and regulatory compliance. Key factors to consider include robust security measures such as encryption, access controls and regular security audits.

2. Empower members with self-service

Self-service options can enhance member experiences and ease the burden on your call center. Contacting customer support often means long wait times and queues, leading customers to believe it will be easier to find answers themselves. Self-service options — a mobile app, FAQ pages and AI-powered chatbots answering basic inquiries — help credit unions engage with members anytime, anywhere, and may be preferred by some members.

In addition, proactive communication is essential to keep members abreast of changes in their accounts. SMS text messaging and email communication can reduce calls to customer service and keep members engaged.

Still, technology like AI isn’t all about automation. Leveraging data allows for more personalized member experiences. By segmenting data based on demographics and financial behavior, credit unions can tailor communication and product suggestions to meet individual financial needs. This kind of personalization demonstrates to members how well you care and understand their unique situations.

3. Empower agents with smart technology

When it comes to money, people want to be seen and heard. It’s the kind of experience members expect from financial service providers, and it’s up to frontline customer service agents to deliver with empathy and compassion.

It's often easier said than done, especially when agents are dealing with high volumes of calls or even chats and emails. Traditional methods typically involve manually searching through multiple documents and systems, calling a supervisor, or asking a colleague for answers. This prolongs customer wait times, increases the risk of human error and affects agent productivity.

An AI-powered knowledge base that quickly provides responses or agent assist tools that summarize customer information and history frees service teams to tackle more complex situations and forge stronger connections with members.

Lastly, seamless transitions between channels (phone, chat and email) are crucial for a stellar member experience. By integrating systems, members can effortlessly hop between platforms without having to repeat information to a representative every single time.

Not only do smart tools and systems help improve metrics like first contact resolution (FCR) and average handling time (AHT), but ultimately enhance both employee and customer satisfaction scores.

Enhancing your member focus

Digital transformation helps credit unions future-proof their business. Remember, you're not sacrificing your member-centric focus, you're enhancing it with the power of people and technology to up-level the service you deliver.

Transform your financial services CX