How Credit Unions Can Turn Data into Better Member Experiences

In a conversation on Total Expert’s Fresh Takes podcast, Chief Customer Officer Sue Woodard spoke with Anne Legg, founder of Thrive Strategic Services, about how credit unions can deliver stellar member experiences.

Her secret: start with your desired end state in mind, use your data to remove friction, and keep iterating to get better. Read on for more.

Begin with Your Desired End State in Mind

Your goal (or “desired end state”) is to make life better for your members.

To do that, mine your data for insights about what is and isn’t working in your current member journeys. And remember that data isn’t just what you know about members. It’s also what you don’t know – i.e., where you have data gaps.

For example: say members who join in a physical branch are the least likely to download your app. You see that as a problem because members rate your app well, and usage for the mobile check deposit feature in particular has taken off since the start of the pandemic. 

You want to make sure those who join in person have access to resources like this that make socially distanced life easier.

Use Data to Understand Friction Points

If member journeys are a straight line from A to B, friction points are like dotted segments. The line isn’t broken, but it’s harder at these points for members to move forward.

To remove potential friction for members who join in physical branches, send an email encouraging them to download the app.

You can also dig into your data: Are new members opening this email on computers? If so, that could be another friction point. The app needs to be downloaded from their phone.

Every member interaction creates data like this that you can use to understand and reduce friction. 

This comes with two challenges:

  1. No matter how much data you have, there will always be gaps. 
  2. The data you have may be siloed in different systems and databases. You’ll get the most value from it when you’re able to bring those sources together. 

Despite these challenges, data is your best source of insight into what members want and need.

Keep Iterating to Get Better

Once you’ve identified your ideal state and looked at data to understand friction points, it’s time to try new strategies to improve member journeys.

For example, could you follow up the app-download email with a text message so that members can easily click through to the app store?

As you try new strategies like this, keep in mind that change is scary. Be sure to frame changes in the right way: you’re empowering your team to deliver better member experiences – not changing your team.

Get Started Today: Assess Your Data’s Current Condition

For most credit unions, the first step to improving member experiences is assessing their data:

  • Locate it.
  • Categorize it.
  • Determine what it’s doing.
  • Determine how your talent is using it.

The goal is to be honest. You can’t get where you’re going without an accurate starting address. But once you know your point of departure, the possibilities of going somewhere new are endless.

For more of Anne Legg’s insights, listen to the full Fresh Takes episode!