CUES Podcast
CUES 88: Why A Member Centric Culture Is Your Key Brand Differentiator, An Interview With Jeff Hassemer and Carrie Stapp
Mar 27, 2020 · 41 min
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Being able to demonstrate a member-centric culture at your credit union during a crisis like the current coronavirus pandemic is evidence that you are customer-centric, Carrie Stapp says to lead off this episode.

It’s “not just 'Are we friendly?' and 'Do we have the right technology?' but 'Are we really set up as an industry to help our members and to help our communities adapt in these times of uncertainty and to be able to do as much of their business as usual?'” says Stapp, SVP/product management for the marketing services division of CUES Supplier member Harland Clarke, San Antonio, Texas, the sponsor of this show.

Stapp’s colleague, Jeff Hassemer, SVP/marketing, adds: “If we define being member-centric as 1) being always on, 2) staying at the top of your members’ minds and 3) delivering a positive personalized experience everywhere every time, in a sense, the thing that changes in a crisis like this is the message. It’s not necessarily about how you contact them or what you say or what apps you use…, it really is about you being able to understand what the mindset of the member is right now and delivering the right message to them and the right story that needs to be told.”

Crises aside, Hassemer recommends taking using data-driven techniques to deploy information across all of a credit union’s channels to enable speaking to members in a relevant and meaningful way. 

Stapp reminds listeners in this episode that a truly holistic approach to customer experience looks at consumers even before they ever become members. This is “not just about the account opening experience but really breaking it down and looking at the consumer and bringing that holistic view” into everything the credit union does. 

There’s a lot of buzz about customer and member experience in the financial services world today. Hassemer says that’s because we’re entering a world in which customer experience is the only true differentiator.

“You can try and compete on products and services, although I think it’s very difficult in the financial services industry to do that. Most of that becomes very commoditized. There’s only so much free checking or toasters that you can give away to get people in the door. Your product differentiation is kind of gone.

“We’re also facing an unprecedented amount of competition in financial services. Not only are we getting competition from …  the mortgage lenders or the auto lenders, … but we also have just as much competition coming in from the technology organizations, these new fintech startups that are coming through. 

“The only way to stave that off is to have a uniquely strong customer experience to your members and make sure that relationship you’ve built with them withstands that test of all these other organizations trying to come in and steal them away from you.” 

The show also gets into:

  • Examples of what a person’s first interaction with a credit union might look like
  • What expectations other companies are setting for customer experience
  • Steps for putting a superior customer experience in place
  • How credit unions can assess where they are with their customer experience efforts
  • Areas of customer experience in which credit unions excel—plus where they can improve
  • How to measure the “return on experience”
  • The future of customer experience
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