In 2005, James Allen, Fredrick Reichheld, and Barney Hamilton wrote about the three “Ds” of customer experience. These three steps are the basic fundamentals of providing customers with an experience. If a credit union is serious about providing their members with a unique experience, they need to implement these three steps:
- Design the right offers and experiences for the right customers.
- Deliver these propositions by focusing the entire company on them with an emphasis on cross-functional collaborations.
- Develop capabilities to please customers again and again.
Designing the Right Offers and Experiences
Every credit union has a different membership base. This is a result of the credit union’s geographic area, type of charter, or both. Each credit union’s marketing department need to have a good understanding of who makes up their membership base. I call these “member personas.” A member persona is essentially a basic blueprint of who your average member is in order to make better choices as to how to keep your current members and find new ones. How do you know where to reach new members or how to provide them with a unique experience if you don’t know anything about them? A famous persona you have probably heard of is “Soccer Mom.
Deliver These Propositions
In essence, once you know what experience will provide the most value, you need to be able to deliver this to your members. The best plans in the world are worthless if they are never executed. This requires having the right people, in the right place, and at the right time. You can also say that it is all about having the right branch, in the right place, and at the right time. After building your member persona, or personas depending on your membership, you will have a better understanding of how to best to deliver your experience to your members.
Develop Capabilities to Please Customers Again and Again
This should not be a one shot deal. A lot of credit unions focus their efforts during the new account or new loan phase. The reason is because it is easy to be happy, enthusiastic, empathetic, and friendly when you are gaining a new member or new loan. These are typically parts of most credit union’s goals and in many cases tied to their employee’s monetary incentives. Credit unions need to have a culture in place to make each and every transaction a unique experience. Each time the member comes in they should receive the best your credit union has the offer, no matter what the reason was that brought them in that day.