Delivering Convenience Is Anything But Easy

By: Mark T. Nelson, CUNA Mutual Group.

Meeting your members’ demand for convenience is changing the dynamic of the credit union/member relationship. Members want to do business when, where and how it best suits their lives, and that may not be around your office hours or locations.

You may believe you know your members better than anyone. You may think the loyalty your relationship is based on is stronger than the appeal of competitors. And, you may think you’re already meeting their expectations and delivering a member-friendly customer experience.

But, there are a few problems with those assumptions. Loyalty only gets you so far. At some point, convenience becomes more important. As technology empowers people to manage their busy lives, they’ll inevitably gravitate to the path of least resistance as long as it delivers value and meets their needs.

In fact, a Chief Retail Officer at a large credit union recently said, “Most members are loyal to their credit unions. They want to do business with them, but convenience trumps that.”

Also, don’t confuse your vision of convenience with your members’ vision. According to an IBM study, 62 percent of retail banking executives surveyed said they deliver an excellent customer experience. But, just 35 percent of their customers agreed.

As a credit union, your challenge is how to compete in today’s technology-driven world. You need to adapt quickly and often to satisfy changing consumer demands and deliver a convenient experience. As a result, you may have to divert time and resources from other priorities.

For example, providing a new digital product or channel involves a number of considerations, including:

  • Technology expertise
  • Financial investment
  • Data security
  • Compliance issues
  • Ongoing maintenance

And of course, you must address these issues while meeting the ultimate objective – making it easy for your members to do business with you.

While delivering convenience is vital to meeting your members’ expectations, it’s a never-ending process. With the technology revolution continuing to pick up speed, you can feel caught between a sense of urgency and taking a measured approach.

Overshadowing everything is the need to get it right.Your members trust you to get it right. If you don’t, it’s now easier than ever for them to take their business to a competitor who does.

Click here to watch our recent webinar to learn how your members are driving innovation and changing your world.

CMG logoCUNA Mutual Group is the NAFCU Services Preferred Partner for TruStage® Auto & Home and Life Insurance Products and Mortgage Payment Protection.
More information and educational materials are available at nafcu.org/CUNAMutualGroup 

Succeeding in Today’s Convenience Economy

By: Jenn Burkmier, CUNA Mutual Group.

The Convenience Economy

Consumer demand for convenience is driving unprecedented advances in technology. Innovation is everywhere, from new devices to start-up ventures. And, most of it aims at helping people manage the technology that keeps them always-on and on-the-go.

In this climate of convenience, businesses that simplify the customer experience are succeeding. For example, the explosion of cable TV providers and channels has made watching television overly complicated. Solutions like Netflix simplify the experience, allowing viewers to watch what they want when they want. It stands as an example of adapting in today’s convenience economy.

Meeting this ever-growing demand for simplicity is especially important for credit unions. As one industry executive said, “Our real competition is convenience.”

How to Succeed

Meeting your members’ demand for convenience is changing the entire dynamic of the credit union/member relationship. Face-to-face engagement is on the decline. Members increasingly prefer conducting business when and where it suits them, not around the credit union’s office hours or locations. Staff needs to be equipped to make the most of every interaction, in-person or online to effectively serve members and achieve your strategic goals.

As more transactions move to digital channels, successful credit unions will empower members to manage their finances as easily as possible. Three keys to success will be:

Three keys to success will be:

  • Delivering a streamlined, efficient end-to-end lending process to support credit union growth.
  • Using digital tools to engage employees and arm them to better meet evolving member expectations.
  • Understanding that data is a roadmap to tendencies and behaviors that focus on how you optimize member interaction.

Remember, convenience goes both ways. As easy as you make it for members to join and do business with you, they can just as easily leave.  Click here to watch our recent webinar to learn how your members are driving innovation and changing your world.

CMG logoCUNA Mutual Group is the NAFCU Services Preferred Partner for TruStage® Auto & Home and Life Insurance Products and Mortgage Payment Protection.
More information and educational materials are available at nafcu.org/CUNAMutualGroup 

Gamification Strategy Best Practices to Engage Credit Union Employees

By Patrick McElhenie, Director of Product Management & Lender Development Program Support for CUNA Mutual Group.

Gamification is an innovative workplace strategy designed to engage employees through game-like scenarios in real-life settings. The strategy behind gamification is the usage of game mechanics (or the elements that make up games) like points, levels, rewards, and leaderboards, in an office setting.

How can credit unions use gamification?

Many credit unions already use gamification in their interactions with members. Strategies like loyalty programs, affiliate rewards, and coupons all use elements of gamification. So the question we’re really after is this: how to translate this gamification into a way to engage credit union employees?

One way is leaderboards. New gamification technologies allow for near real-time feedback on employee performance. This feedback is reported as a leaderboard – a way for employees to see where they stack up against their coworkers. As employees are working, they can see how they’re progressing, whether they’re trying to reach a certain sales goal or trying to attain another metric. Multiple leaderboards provide the opportunity to measure different benchmarks.

What are gamification best practices?

If you want to see if gamification is right for your credit union, you could start by first speeding up your feedback, especially positive feedback. Keep score of how your employees are doing, and do it publicly so they can see their progress. A leaderboard is one way you could accomplish this. A gamification partner can help you provide near real-time feedback to your employees.

In addition, allowing optional competitions between your employees can encourage friendly competition to hit their goals. Help your employees focus by giving them specific goals and objectives, and then give them a way to see their progress towards their goals and objectives.

Finally, take the time to celebrate successes. Make sure to recognize your top performers publicly and communicate “wins” to your team when they’ve done a good job. Don’t forget – if you’re implementing gamification correctly, it should provide near real-time feedback, keep your employees focused, and most importantly, it should be fun for your team.

For more information about gamification, including additional best practices and key research findings, listen to Real Time Engagement Drives Credit Unions’ Success, the second installment in a two-part series about gamification.

If you missed the first part of our two-part series, listen to How Much Are Disengaged Employees Costing Your Credit Union? during which we explained the elements of gamification in more depth and discussed common pitfalls in implementing gamification.

CMG logoCUNA Mutual Group is the NAFCU Services Preferred Partner for TruStage® Auto & Home and Life Insurance Products and Mortgage Payment Protection. More information and educational materials are available at nafcu.org/CUNAMutual

 

 

Top 3 Things Credit Unions Need To Know About Gamification

By: Patrick McElhenie, Director, Product Management, CUNA Mutual Group.

Engagement is the name of the game for gamification. Nearly 70% of US employees report that they are not engaged or are actively disengaged at work.i With disengagement costing US employers $550 billion per year, having engaged employees is key for your credit union’s success.ii For the in-depth conversation about how much disengaged employees cost your credit union, listen to the podcast in full here

 What is gamification?

Gamification is the use of game-thinking and game mechanics in non-game situations to engage audiences and solve problems. It’s not creating a game, but rather, looking at the elements of a game structure and applying them to the real world.

Gamification is all around us. A popular example of gamification is Fitbit fitness trackers. Fitbit users can check in on their goals, their activities, and their progress at any time, receiving instant feedback about their performance. Another example is loyalty programs in which customers earn points for their interactions with a company. Customers acquire points through purchases which they can then exchange for a reward after they meet a certain threshold.

How does gamification create engagement?

Engagement is a key component of the game structure. Games are extremely engaging and can hold a player’s attention for a long time. Engagement is created through clear objectives, scores, and rules. The player is never confused about what they have to do or how well they are doing.

Games avoid predictability and monotony while maintaining the element of surprise. There are also often social elements and competition. These elements are translated to the workplace in gamification. The goal is to get employees ultra-engaged and having fun by working to solve problems and achieve objectives.

What are the benefits of using gamification?

Gamification utilizes both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation methods to create engagement in the workplace. Extrinsic motivation speaks to a hierarchy of motivators, such as stuff, power, access, and status. Status is the most effective reward because it is cheapest to fulfill and “sticky”. An example of status would be publicly recognizing an employee as a top performer.

Intrinsic motivation is all about driving an internal desire to be better or to be recognized for being better. It’s all about autonomy, the feeling of being able to control your own outcomes. In the workplace, there can be barriers that make employees feel they can’t control their own success. This is where gamification can help. Gamification provides near-real-time feedback, allowing employees to always know how well they are performing and what they need to do to achieve their objectives.

For more information about gamification, including how credit unions are using gamification and common pitfalls in implementing gamification, listen to How Much Are Disengaged Employees Costing Your Credit Union? the first installment in a two-part series about gamification.

CMG logoCUNA Mutual Group is the NAFCU Services Preferred Partner for TruStage® Auto & Home and Life Insurance Products and Mortgage Payment Protection. Learn more about our Preferred Partner at www.nafcu.org/cunamutualgroup.

 

i Gallup, Employee Engagement Is Stagnant in 2015, 2016
ii Glassdoor.com, The Cost of a Disengaged Employee, 2015

 

5 Emerging Risks and How to Mitigate Them

By Joe Luedke, Risk Consultant – Emerging Risks, Risk & Compliance Solutions, CUNA Mutual Group.

With each technological advance emerges new risk. Think about it: Every technology upgrade, new mobile device and new payment method brings exposure that wasn’t identified previously.

The real threat occurs when these risks aren’t anticipated or communicated within your organization.

Here are five emerging risks every credit union should have on their radar right now:

  1. Social media. Employees posting comments on social media that are inaccurate or appear incomplete or disparaging can threaten your organization’s reputation. Be careful when taking disciplinary action, as the National Labor Relations Board can classify social media activity as “protected concerted activity.” Mistakes here can lead to retaliation, wrongful termination claims and expensive litigation.
  2. Internet of Things (IoT) era. The IoT offers new tools and technologies that provide constant connectivity. It also creates new opportunities for data compromises. Workplace devices – like printers, clocks, break room appliances and TV – and employee devices – like watches, Bluetooth headsets and fitness trackers – are all susceptible to hacking, which can lead to unauthorized access to your network.
  3. Bitcoin and blockchain. Members may already use bitcoin and blockchain for fast and unregulated transactions, sometimes associated with nefarious activity. Unfortunately, about a third of bitcoin trading platforms are hacked.
  4. Ransomware. Today’s phishing attacks can restrict access to files and threaten disruption or permanent destruction of sensitive information unless a ransom is paid. Ransoms can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars, and they are typically payable in bitcoin.
  5. SMiSHing and website spoofing. As demand for mobile access grows, members don’t think twice when they receive texts claiming to be from their credit union. These fraudulent texts can infuse malware or redirect members to spoofed websites that allow fraudsters to capture or confirm personal or account information.

Credit unions must be ready to deal with emerging risks like these, while still tending to familiar threats. So, the bottom line is, don’t be complacent. Start implementing basic steps – like the following – today, so you don’t fall victim:

  • Educate staff and members about spam, shams and other scams. Ensure they understand how to identify fraud. Teach them what to click and what not to click and how to use proper technology etiquette to keep themselves – and your credit union – out of harm’s way.
  • Stay in the loop, as executive involvement is critical to success. Remember, when risk management is effective, nothing bad typically happens and the status quo is maintained. But, when you’re blindsided by a problem, poor risk management usually takes the blame.
  • Follow a process that includes risk mapping matrices, risk heat maps and process mapping to help uncover potential risks, quantify their potential impact and keep leadership aware.
  • Implement risk and compliance best practices, including policies and procedures to reduce potential loss. A number of great resources in the credit union marketplace are available to help, including those in CUNA Mutual Group’s Protection Resource Center.

As technology continues to evolve, risks will continue to emerge. So, do your best to visualize, track and communicate risk at your credit union. Once you identify an emerging risk, you can begin taking action to mitigate it.

Learn more about emerging risks by watching our recent webinar “Emerging Risks on the Radar.”

CMG logoCUNA Mutual Group is the NAFCU Services Preferred Partner Mortgage Payment Protection. Learn more about our Preferred Partner at www.nafcu.org/cunamutualgroup.