First, thank you to CUES for giving credit union professionals all over North America the opportunity to spread the word on all these awesome projects. There are tons of people who are looking forward to the end results of each contestant’s project.
It’s All About the Experience!
Credit Unions have always gone above and beyond for our members. Member service has become the subject of books, stories, and lore. This excellent service we provide our members endears them to us in a way banks can only dream. Even with this high level of service, a question sprang up in my mind…
“What is better than providing members with great service?”
I began to think of some of the great companies out there who are known for the great service they provide their customers. Some that came to mind are Starbucks, Chick-fil-a, Ritz-Carlton, and Disney. What did they do for their customers that credit unions can do for our members? They provide not just products and services, they provide an experience! Joe Pine and Jim Gilmore first wrote about “customer experience” in a 1998 Harvard Business Review article. Many companies have adopted this approach to how they interact with their customers. Credit unions in general have been slower to adopt this approach for a variety of reasons. This is where my project comes into play.
My project is to bring this concept of “customer experience” and turn it into “member experience”. The challenge is, “How can Associated Credit Union of TX provide our members with a unique member experience?” For the last two years, we have been hard at work transforming our employee culture. Mainly this has been a shift in attitudes from “come and get great service” to a “go and give great service.” We have great people, a fantastic culture, and infectious enthusiasm. Now it is time to take it to the next level. We need to look for ways to apply this “member experience” to any touch point we have with our members. If they come into the branch, that is great! We can have that face to face time to provide a member experience. What if they go through the drive-thru? What if they dial into the call center? How about use the ATM after hours? This is going to take a shift in perspective. Instead of talking about how these operated in the past, we need to look forward and ask, “What can we do to make it better?”
Over the next few months, I will be looking at each of these member touch points with my operational and marketing departments to see how we can create unique member experiences at every level of interaction with our members.
After not making the cut last year, I am honored to be representing Associated Credit Union of TX and the Southwestern Region this year.