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Creating the plan for digital transformation can be a lot like planning a vacation. There are so many details and so many possibilities.

If you book a packaged deal, many things will be taken care of but it can be more expensive, less customized to your needs and often feels very generic. Unique features are often exciting and will help you to stand out, but it can be very expensive to implement. Products and services based on your data insights might create higher engagement from your members but they might cause issues with privacy.

How will your members react to all these new changes? Where do you find a reputable outside vendor to implement all these ideas? After countless hours on Digital Transformation sites searching for inspiration, you might even sink into a feeling of being overwhelmed by the scope of the project and decide that your current digital experience isn’t so bad after all.

Digital Transformation projects can often stall (or never start) due to the intense amount of details, planning, and questions about the unknown. And it’s not the technology that causes the issue with Digital Transformation—the majority of modern financial services companies in the United States have deployed some sort of tech to enrich their business, from automation to CRM to document digitization. The issue is orchestrating the myriad of tasks, budgets, expected outcomes, personnel, and tech to pull off a true transformation, all while solving for the member.

Stop Planning, Start Prioritizing

At the onset of a Digital Transformation project, you don’t need plans—you need priorities.

A true digital transformation will allow your credit union to see internal efficiencies, increased customer satisfaction, and better margin, but which Digital Transformation activities and planning will lead to which? Also, which of those objectives is the most pressing? No need to plan for technology, staffing, or execution until you’ve sorted your priorities.

Common business objectives that can be enhanced with DX are:

  • IT infrastructure
  • Customer Service Systems
  • Omni-Channel Marketing
  • Innovation

Just to name a few. Knowing your priorities will allow you to research the digital opportunities specific to each business objective, saving you time researching opportunities that don’t directly align.

As you begin to list your business objectives that depend on Digital Transformation, here are a few ideas to help you prioritize them.

Map value to ROI and prioritize based on resources. If the project that has the potential to create the most revenue is also the most expensive to implement, that may not be the best place to start. For example, if building a customer-facing digital platform will increase the lifetime value of a customer, that is a worthwhile pursuit. But if it takes several months to build and won’t see a positive ROI for years to come, you may want to consider prioritizing a cheaper (or free!) project that will generate ROI faster.

Understand the member experience from inside out. What will the member journey look like from initial touchpoint (branding) all the way through to retention? Instead of just focusing on one specific area of how your Digital Transformation project will affect member experience, like member support via live chat, frame your conversation around every single possible encounter they have with your credit union. This may help you sort out which areas to prioritize.

Give a more holistic meaning to your KPIs. One common issue with assigning metrics to measure your Digital Transformation efforts is that they often end up in a single channel. For instance, if your metric for redesigning your website is total web visits, how does that connect to revenue? More traffic is almost always a good thing, but it doesn’t include the whole picture of the customer. In this example, what you would likely do instead is to combine metrics from traffic, conversion, and revenue to create a dashboard that you can review to see how a new website affects the member and the profit margin of the organization.

Getting Started—The Big Picture

‍Here is an overview of the steps you’ll need to start, grow, and sustain digital transformation at your credit union.

1. Seize The Low-Hanging Fruit

In your list of prioritized business objectives are there any items that you can transform into a digital process without a ton of extra cost or personnel? If so, those are the ones you want to start with.

2. Double Down On Things That Work

As you see success on some of your early initiatives, see if you can extend their capabilities, therefore increasing your results. One of the safest ways to do this is to outsource the talent you need to build the program on a contractual basis, and then see if your hypothesis holds. Eventually, you may be able to embed that same talent at your credit union.

‍‍3. Grow, Sustain, And Innovate

‍The real beauty of digital transformation is that it’s never done, and you may end up in a different (and better!) place than you imagined. But in order to get there, you’ll need to understand that Digital Transformation is a process of continuous improvement and needs to be treated that way. This may involve organizing your company structure, and especially the IT department. This will allow you to break down silos and extend the benefits of DX across every department.

Uncover even more opportunities at THINK 19. Early-bird discounts apply through October 31. Interested attendees are encouraged to register now, while early-bird discount pricing is still in play. Rates go up on November 1 and will continue to increase in the months leading up to the conference. Special discounts are also currently available for groups of four or more attendees. Visit the THINK site to learn more. Or better: Register now!