BY MEREDITH DEEN
Sports teams win when coaches recognize the special talents of each athlete and encourage everyone to work hard to optimize their contribution to the combined effort. In the same way, successful omnichannel strategies hinge on managers collaborating across departments to ensure that all service delivery outlets work together to deliver on members’ expectations.
As the latest addition to the member service team, the mobile channel has been getting lots of attention. But when credit unions focus their game plan solely on one delivery channel, the overall member service experience may falter. Not all members use mobile access regularly, and many of those who do may also sign on from their laptops, phone the call center, or stop by a branch occasionally. At the very least, they appreciate the option to use the channel of their choice.
Omnichannel delivery reflects a commitment to serve all your members, especially those “omni-members.” Honoring this commitment requires substantial time and resources to deliver a full range of products and services across channels in a way that reflects and builds brand. The return on that investment should be greater member loyalty, in the form of increased sales and profitability. Sales follow service, but a recent survey of North American financial services providers indicates that executives are acknowledging the need to shore up the latter with the ultimate goal of improving the former.
For the first time since 2010, increasing sales results has been displaced as the top priority of respondents to a biennial survey from the research and consulting firm Celent. [link: http://celent.com/reports/survey-retail-banking-channel-systems-north-america-omnichannel-emerges] Instead, executives ranked improving customer relationships as their most important strategic aim.