Guest Opinion: Don’t Lose Members
At Space Coast Credit Union, we continue to reinvent ourselves to ensure that we meet the needs of our members. We work hard to ensure that we are keeping up with current trends so that we can both anticipate and be responsive to those products and services our members need to run their households.
We don’t believe in change for change’s sake; but rather, in continuous improvement in how we deliver service where our members expect us to deliver service.
When mobile technology was first developed, we kept our eyes on the platform as we felt that this was going to be the future of how consumers would interact with their credit union. As you know, over time, more and more consumers have started to carry a mobile phone and now, large numbers of those phones are smart phones. The smart phone has become the branch for many of our members. Unlike a traditional branch, this mobile branch is everywhere our members are. Studies show that a lost mobile phone is reported missing within two hours, which tells us that if we can connect to our members’ mobile devices, we are connected to them at all times.
We are now well past the implementation of a mobile app here at Space Coast Credit Union and have been amazed by the results. Our members have downloaded our application at rates higher than the industry average. Many mobile users use this service to check their balances and do transactions every day.
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Alternatively, most members do not visit a traditional branch each and every day to check their balance. They also do not access online banking every day to conduct transactions or account research. The convenience of a mobile app has made these simple tasks readily available at anytime, anywhere you are.
The implementation of a mobile app was a significant investment for Space Coast Credit Union. Besides the cost of owning the application, the project for implementation lasted a year and consumed significant amounts of staff time across multiple areas of the credit union.
While we purchased an application that was already built, there was still customization and testing to complete to ensure that the application would work as expected with our systems. Our testing paid off, as our implementation was very smooth.
Those that see this as a short-term trend are in danger of becoming irrelevant to their members. While I agree that technologies can come and go, the idea of being everywhere your members are is much more than a fad. Consumers expect convenience, and mobile is the ultimate convenience.
If you take a simple concept such as how we watch TV, you can see how this has changed over time, from the use of rabbit ears to the current option of watching what you want on your schedule via the Internet. The method of how we watch TV has changed, but the idea of TV has not.
None of us know what the future holds in the realm of how service will be delivered. However, if you do not find a way to connect with your members through all of the current available methods, you are in danger of losing them. Once they are lost to the competition, it is very difficult to get them back.
Timothy Antonition is executive vice president of retail operations and chief operating officer at Space Coast Credit Union.
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