Credit Unions Connect with Communities
One of the greatest privileges of working in our advisory role is getting to know the people who run community financial institutions across the country. Time and again, we witness their commitment, perseverance, and vision as they lead their teams not only to better business results, but also to being outstanding corporate citizens. On this International Day of the Credit Union, we’ve chosen to spotlight one of the outstanding credit unions with which we’ve had the honor of
"You want me to do what?"
“So, let me get this straight. You want me to open new accounts, complete personal loans, AND process transactions?” We’ve heard this all before. A poorly executed shift to a universal banker model from a traditional teller/seller model, along with open concept banking, will cause severe heartburn for associates. For executives, the transition seems so easy on paper – it’s a leaner, more efficient model and far more profitable for the institution. The truth is, this shift doe
What are consumers really thinking?
We’ve employed the same service vendor for almost a decade. The service has been moderately priced, and we’ve received moderate quality of service to match. Given that the owner is kind and very reliable, we’ve overlooked often rushed service and a few corners cut here and there. When I think of our interactions, I’m always smiling and polite. How would they know that we’re not completely satisfied with the service we’re receiving? The truth behind my smiles is that we’ve bee
How easy is it to do business with you?
We’ve all seen pictures of ultra-modern branches with Jetson-like features. Many can be mistaken for coffee houses or Apple stores with bright lighting, digital walls, and high-end modular furniture. While these new designs may be pretty, are they functional? It’s no longer just about keeping up with the banking Jones’, it’s about being compared to the retail, food service, and hospitality industries. The consumer experience benchmark has been set by the Amazons, Chick-Fil-As
“Coming soon to a location near you!”
Setting aside any arguments for brick & mortar expansion vs. online/mobile growth – I think we’ll all agree that it’s an exciting time when your business is ready to expand. Whether you’re looking to expand to a nearby location in a market you know well, or are rapidly expanding into new markets with which you are less familiar, the question remains: How will you decide exactly where to open your next location(s)? If you’re Amazon and want to find the best fit for a second HQ
Uncovering hidden trends and patterns: Three reasons why ‘data-driven’ matters
We use the word “data-driven” [a lot!] to describe the strategic recommendations we provide to financial institutions and retailers. And, the truth is, with so many buzz words in our business lexicon, our beloved ‘data-driven’ may be interpreted by readers as another puffed up word that carries little weight. Conversely, some people may even assume that we’re referring to a fully-automated decision tool, with no qualitative input woven into our insights. Instead wondering how
Employee engagement is contagious...
Your employees are typically the first contact customers have with your institution. It is your one chance to make a great first impression - the spark they create can incite a revolution to the entire customer experience. Engaged employees truly care about your customers. They carry an emotional attachment to your institution and its goals. These employees are proud of where they work and want the institution to be successful, not just themselves. High engagement with your e
Is your branch location convenient?
Providing convenience for your customers includes being easily accessible. Sometimes this means being embedded in their mobile device with slick features, sometimes this means a simple and powerful online banking platform, and sometimes this still means a physical location in the community. Consumer preferences continue to show that consumers of all ages frequently turn to in-person service for opening new accounts, addressing more complex questions, and seeking financial adv
What do we mean by 'convenience'?
While we spend much of our days thinking about convenience in terms of customer and member experience at financial institutions, I had never looked up the definition of the word. According to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, convenience is defined as follows: 1: Fitness or suitability for performing an action or fulfilling a requirement 2: Something (as an appliance, device, or service) conducive to comfort or ease 3: A suitable or convenient time 4: Freedom from disc
How do I choose where to test technology? (Part 5)
Choosing the branch at which to conduct the pilot and purchasing the technology are truly just the first steps in the process of implementing a new branch model. Institutions that are most successful in integrating technology in their branches, and generating a return on investment, take the time to think through the choreography of the customer experience in the new model. Have you thought about: Where employees will stand? When they will engage with the customer? What skill