Channels Create Connections

Take a multichannel approach to building relationships.

February 12, 2013
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In today’s market, offering multichannel solutions is a must. But remember that each channel should focus on what it does best.

Your branch is the hub for acquiring and deepening member relationships. There, you can offer one-on-one consultation, customer service and problem resolution for richer member experiences.

Call centers bridge the gap between face-to-face and self-service, satisfying information needs and resolving problems. The anytime convenience of mobile, online, and ATM channels makes them best-suited for routine self-service transactions.

However, as important extensions of your brand, they need to offer comprehensive and convenient services that satisfy member demands.

Relationship-building at the branch

Consumers continue to value personal interaction at the branch—and not just for transactions:
• 83% are interested in branches that offer more financial and advisory services;
• 26% would leave their current institution if advisors were removed from branches;
• 80% prefer opening a deposit account at a branch;
• 75% prefer applying for a loan at a branch; and
• 56% believe branch location is important when selecting an institution.

Be mobile

Mobile services are must-have offerings to appease technology-hungry consumers—especially Millennials who will account for 40% of total transactions by 2017.

Millennials are 33% more likely than Boomers to use mobile banking functionalities such as mobile remote deposit capture, person-to-person payments, debit card-locking security features, and cardless transactions.

Don’t get left behind

To meet member expectations, credit unions need to keep pace with technology. And that pace is rapidly accelerating.

The Apple iPad, for instance, took a mere 18 months to go mainstream, compared to 50 years for the telephone, 25 years for television, and 13 years for mobile phones and personal computers.

Source: "Leveraging Technology to Humanize Service," a report from Diebold.

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory ( will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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