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At the center of what gives life meaning isn’t what we buy or the places we go, but rather the people with whom we share these experiences. Nothing can compare to real, authentic human connections.

It’s safe to say that outside of our families and loved ones, the people we work with and the members we serve make up the vast majority of human interactions we have on a daily basis.

However, with more and more banking transactions being handled digitally every day, person-to-person contact is becoming rarer. It’s easy for members to forget the people behind the credit union, and easy for credit unions to forget the humans behind all these account numbers.

Members are using branches less frequently for transactions that focus on day-to-day management of income, expenses, assets and credit card accounts. According to Accenture:

  • Of the 17 interactions members have, on average, with their financial institutions each month, 11 take place online or via other digital channels.
  • The number of branch visits is declining each year.

However, branches continue to play a critical role in providing complex financial products, advice and human-touch services that can’t be found online:

  • 34 percent of customers who switched financial service providers in 2014 did so because of poor or non-personalized customer service.
  • Only 7 percent of customers defected because of the quality of a bank’s digital interactions or services.

As routine transactions continue to move online, the branch experience is poised to be a critical differentiating factor for financial institutions in the future. Branch employees are essential strategic assets and will help create personalized branch engagements that bring together customer experiences in the offline and online worlds.

Digital transformation, machine learning and automation will change the banking world dramatically in the next few years, and we will continue to share with you the actionable insights that will help you grow your business using these emerging technologies.

Members expect and deserve the best technology. More importantly, they also expect empathy, care and the ability to share emotions with another human being. Technology allows your employees to focus their energy on what only they can do par excellence – bring the “people helping people” mantra to life. Credit unions rise by helping others. That’s a message that transcends the holiday season.

Join us at the Grand Sheraton at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler, Arizona, May 7 to 10, 2018 for THINK 18, the premier conference to rise to the digital and human challenge.