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The Voice of Member in Credit Union Analytics

How do you start and go about building a great digital organization? Five activities provide a rich foundation for analytics driven transformation along with some core strategic analytic capabilities:

  • Digital Collection Audit – Collect the right data
  • Member Journey Map – Create and agree on an enterprise-wide model of members and their various journeys
  • Two-tiered segmentation – Segment the member journey by visit purpose as well as capture digital’s real-time nature
  • Voice of member system – Collect, classify, integrate and distribute true voice of the member
  • Unified measurement – Develop a unified framework for measuring and optimizing campaigns and enterprise performance

The vast majority of analytics effort is focused on tactical issues. This can be beneficial. Tactics tend to have a bad reputation but, in reality, the vast majority of decisions we make are tactical. The problem isn’t that too much analytics is weighted toward tactical issues, it’s really that strategic decisions are often not based on analytics and data insights. The biggest, most important decisions in the digital enterprise nearly always lack a foundation in data or analysis. Just like creatives, many executives believe that what they do can’t be driven by analytics. Leading to a perception that strategic decisions must inevitably be more imaginative and intuitive and less number-driven than many decisions further down in the enterprise.

Truth: There is never enough information to fully support a complex strategic decision

However, this doesn’t mean that data should not be a driver for strategic decisions (and for creative content too). Instinct only works when it’s deeply informed about reality. Nobody has instincts based in nthing. To make a good strategic decision, a decision-maker MUST have certain kinds of data to hand and without that data, there’s nothing on which intuition, knowledge and experience can operate.

What data does a digital decision-maker need for driving strategy?

  • Key audiences
  • Member Journey
  • Drivers of decision
  • Competitive choices.

You need to know who your audiences are and what makes them unique. You need to understand the different journeys those audiences take and what journeys they like to take. You need to understand why they make the choices they make – what drives them to choose one product or service or another. And, of course, you need to understand when and why those choices might favor the competition.

None of this stuff will make a strategic decision for you. It won’t tell you how much to invest in digital. Whether or not to build a mobile app. Whether personalization will provide high returns.

But without fully understanding audience, journey, drivers of decision and competitive choices, how can ANY digital decision-maker possibly arrive at an informed strategy? They can’t. And, in fact, they don’t.

Voice of member as it exists today is almost exclusively concerned with measuring member satisfaction. There’s nothing wrong with measuring NPS or satisfaction. But these measures tell you nothing that will help define a strategy. Or how to proceed in the future. They are at best (and they are often deeply flawed here too) measures of scoreboard – whether or not you are succeeding in a strategy. While this is critical to succeed, it’s even more important to have data and actionable insights available to help shape the strategy in the first place.

Many people will object that knowing whether or not a strategy is succeeding is important. It is. It’s even a core part of ongoing strategy development. However, when divorced from particular customer journeys, NPS is essentially meaningless and uninterpretable. And while it truly is critical to measure whether or not a strategy is succeeding, it’s even more important to have data to help shape that strategy in the first place.

The Voice of Member in Enterprise Analytics

A good Voice of Member program collects information from every channel: online and offline surveys, call-center, site feedback, social media, etc. It provides a continuing, detailed and sliceable view of audience, journey distribution and (partly) success. It’s by far the best way to help decision-makers understand why members are making the choices they are, whether those choices are evolving, and how those choices are playing out across the competitive set. In short, it answers the majority of the questions that ought to be on the minds of decision-makers crafting a digital strategy.

This is a very different sort of executive dashboard than we typically see. It’s a true member insights dashboard.

One of the most unique and powerful aspects of digital voice-of-member is the flexibility it provides to rapidly, efficiently and at very little cost tackle new problems. Voice of Member should be a core part of executive decision-making with a constant cadence of research, analysis, discussion and reporting driven by specific business questions. This open and continuing dialog where Voice of Member is a tool for decision-making is critical to integrating analytics into decisioning. If executives aren’t asking for new Voice of Member research on a constant basis, you aren’t doing it right. The single best indicator of a robust Voice of Member program in digital is the speed with which it changes.

Sadly, what decision-makers mostly get right now (if they get anything at all) is a high-level, non-segmented view of audience demographics, an occasional glimpse into high-level decision-factors that is totally divorced from both segment and journey stage, and a focus on a scoreboard metric like NPS.

That’s the reason that decision-makers aren’t using data for strategic decisions better. Exeutives can’t make wine out of information water. If we want analytics to support strategy – and I assume we all do – then building a completely different sort of Voice of Member program is the single best place to start. It isn’t everything. There are other types of data (behavioral, benchmark, econometric, etc.) that can be hugely helpful in shaping digital strategies. But a good Voice of Member program is a huge step forward – a step forward that, if well executed – has the power to immediately transform how the digital enterprise thinks and works.

How to build it? Continue to follow this blog series and join our webinar “Let’s get to work” on August 16.