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The terms member experience and member engagement are often confused, conflated or used interchangeably. The terms are not synonymous, and failure to recognize the key differences can have extensive consequences for credit unions that may lead to member attrition and stagnant growth. Recognizing and understanding the key distinctions between experience and engagement is fundamental to building long-term relationships with members and ultimately the key to sustainable growth and business outcomes.

Singular member experiences – such as ATM withdrawals, call center contacts, online interactions and face-to-face meetings – are transactional in nature. While important, transactions are not the end game for building long-term relationships. Member engagement, in contrast, is the sum of all member experiences, the culmination of every interaction regardless of channel or touchpoint including direct, indirect, online, offline, face-to-face and employee-assisted. An exceptional and consistent member experience builds trust, loyalty, confidence and ultimately, increased member engagement.

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