Will You Seize Your Golden Moment? We all know that moment. Everything you’ve been doing up to this point intersects with the great expanse of the future. Pow! In a flash, you are at the pivot point. As the world of financial services changes at an explosive pace, these moments aren’t all that rare. Will you integrate your member experience, so that your members have the best of all worlds – personal interaction, mobile technology and a financial institution that cares? Will you adopt innovations at the right time, so you have security technology like EMV when members want it, but not so soon that it’s expensive and confusing? Opportunities are many, but they’re also fleeting. How do you know whether and when to move? Anticipate. Intelligence is gold. Finding multiple ways to divine member needs and identify new ways to fulfill them is now more important than ever:  
  • Mine your data. Understanding member behavior and preferences is the first step toward elucidating opportunity. If you find data baffling, look for help. CO-OP, for example, offers pre-built reports that help credit unions make sense of credit and debit card data.
  • Leverage your network. If you aren’t routinely asking partners, colleagues and staff for input, start now. At THINK 14, social media guru Gary Vaynerchuk revealed results of an impromptu poll he conducted with 200+ members of his staff. Do you ever do a quick staff poll? Why not?
  • Talk to your members. “The number one differentiator [between growth and non-growth financial institutions] is listening to and acting on individual feedback,” says customer experience expert Kate Feather. Is member feedback a formalized, routine part of your business process? Could you make it so?
  Ditch the old model. We all work within the constraints of what already exists. But in order to visualize opportunity, just for a moment, forget those constraints. What if you could create a true community with your members? What would it look like? How would it work? Suppose you had carte blanche to create the member experience of your dreams. What are the features? Can you start today? Feather’s advice to credit unions: “Think beyond what [you] currently offer to [your] members and expand the definition of experience beyond just what [you’re] used to selling, beyond financial products and services. [Ask,] ‘What is it that our customers are experiencing before they come to us and afterwards, and how can we go beyond what we we’ve always thought of ourselves as delivering?’ “ Make your own moment. Do you lack momentum? Create some. Social media is brilliant for generating instant buzz. Says Vaynerchuk: “In a Buzzfeed, Upworthy, Facebook, Pinterest world: [you need] less money [and get] quicker speed to awareness. It just takes surgical-like strategy and execution.”