The Member Journey

Before deciding how to build or enhance a digital-first strategy, it’s vital to understand each of the following:

Which channels your members prefer.

Do you know which channels members prefer for different tasks and interactions? For example, does your credit union typically send out marketing information in emails when a member might be more likely to open a text? Or have you surveyed members to determine whether they’re open to conducting some deeper, one-on-one interactions via video chat instead of coming into the branch?

How members interact with your credit union.

Create a list of member-related tasks and the options members currently have for completing them. Which can be done completely through digital channels; which remain largely face-to face? Which tend to be a hybrid — or could be with the right tools?

How easy — or difficult — it is to accomplish tasks?

Analyze your existing digital and non-digital processes and the steps required to complete them. Are there tasks members literally can’t do using your digital tools — for instance, even though your loan application is available online, do members have to print it out and mail it/bring it to the credit union? Or are your existing tools hard to use on the channel members prefer? For example, are you relying on PDFs that are difficult to fill out on a phone?

And what happens when members are frustrated? Do they switch channels or simply give up? Install tools to capture and analyze how members interact with your credit union’s tools and tag multi-step processes to identify where members run into trouble.

How channels intersect.

Is your current mix of digital and non-digital seamless? Can a member move from one channel to the next without having to re-answer questions they’ve already tackled?

Have you analyzed what comes before/after a certain step in the channel switching process?

For instance, if a member investigates life insurance online because they got a direct mail piece, will they easily find the answers they need? If that direct mail to online process leads the member to contact the call center, is your staff there familiar with both channels so they can answer member questions? Anecdotal evidence suggests having to share — and reshare — their story and personal information multiple times is a huge pain point and source of frustration for members.

Experience Map

Build out detailed experience maps to isolate the good/bad points in your member journey. Pinpoint online behaviors that might indicate a member is ready to buy — and learn what it takes to keep them engaged through completion.

Example of an experience map, which helps to indicate when a member is ready to buy.

2021 CUNA Highlights

Here are highlights from a 2021 Credit Union National Association (CUNA) working group session1:

  • Members want insights, simplification and security. Your members want to know how much they’re spending, how they can save and how to make better purchasing decisions. They want simplified transactions. And they want to know their data and accounts are secure. How is your credit union using digital to deliver?
  • Employee empowerment is critical. Credit unions must be willing to build on outside experiences and to collaborate and partner with technology organizations to support employees. A shared tech employee talent pool could help address tech talent shortages.
  • Collaboration should be a priority. Credit unions face a host of challenges when it comes to digital. Leverage the resource-rich environment of the credit union system.

Filene Research Institute

A recent report from Filene (The Future of Digital Transformation for Credit Unions)(opens in a new window)2, urged credit unions to view each digital connection as part of a holistic member experience. For instance, instead of only thinking of your tools as a way for members to complete a task (make a mobile check deposit), consider the deeper role they play in members’ overall financial health (helping manage their monthly cashflow).

1Credit Union National Association. “Credit Union System Digitization Working Group” June 2021.
2Filene Research Institute. “The Future of Digital Transformation for Credit Unions” May 13, 2021.
CUNA Mutual Group is the marketing name for CUNA Mutual Holding Company, a mutual insurance holding company, its subsidiaries and affiliates. Corporate headquarters: 5910 Mineral Point Road, Madison WI 53705.