You’ve heard the case for integration — melding the elements of your member experience into a seamless, beautiful whole. But if you’re like many motivated credit union leaders, you may experience something very dis-integrated when you think about executing around this idea. What’s going on? Here are three major obstacles that can make the path to integration a knotty one:
Secret Invisible Technology
The same thing that makes integration delightful to users makes it daunting for you. Not only does it involve a million working pieces, but those pieces are invisible to the naked eye. In fact, invisibility is the very point of the integrated experience.
Recently, The Financial Brand reported that megabank Capitol One hired Google operative Daniel Makoski to be its newly-conceived VP of Design. He, in turn, brought in user experience experts Adaptive Path to help re-imagine the customer experience. Possible takeaway: You need a wizard to deconstruct then reconstruct your member experience.
Break it down. Even when the aim is a “magical” experience, construction begins with real components. And as technology – even integrated technology – becomes increasingly commonplace, chances are good that you either have many of those components or can reasonably acquire them.
Too Much Choice
You would think that the array of available technology would make a credit union exec’s job a dream. Yet – far from being an automatic advantage – too much choice can be paralyzing. In a Columbia Business School study, professor Sheena Iyengar offered gourmet store shoppers samples of jam from two different displays. One had six varieties while the other had 24. Of the shoppers who chose from the selection of six jams, 30 percent made a purchase. Of those who had 24 choices, only 3 percent bought jam – even though the larger sample set contained the same six selections from the smaller one.
What gives? While we like the idea of wide-ranging choices, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. When considering your options, look for ways to narrow the field fast. Do you have an established relationship with any vendors? Are some options more affordable? Which choices are easy to implement now? Which ones offer the best expansion capabilities for the future? Limiting your scope, at least a little, will prevent you from losing focus.
Wanted: More Help
The final hurdle to the seamless experience is seamlessness itself. Integration means connecting various activities and technology into a single unified whole. Problem: Your technology, processes and vendors may not be unified. In fact, if you’ve been multisourcing – or acquiring systems piecemeal over the years – diversity is almost inevitable.
You can begin by setting your own priority. Look for ways to ensure that everything and everyone work together. You won’t get from here to integrated if everyone is rowing in a different direction.
And though you can never emphasize cooperation enough in a cooperative industry, here is one area where helping each other is simply imperative. Ask for products and processes that work together effortlessly. If these can save you time and effort and make your organization more efficient in the bargain, all the better. Ask everyone – seriously, everyone from vendors to staff to interested strangers– what more can be done to keep integrating further and faster. If we’re going to get to an integrated experience, it’s going to be together.