“Imagine you had a greeter in your lobby every day and they had a pocket full of offers to extend to the members who come through the door. The greeter’s job was to give the person a quick once over and make a call on the offer to extend to the member. Is the offer age appropriate? Do we have any negative situations with this member? Does it look like the member might need the offer? Etc. How would you coach the greeter?”
This is a scenario I presented to credit union CEOs recently while discussing the idea of smart offers–a project to ensure that visitors to online and mobile banking are offered the appropriate service or product. It’s a subject I’ve pushed for feedback on numerous occasions, but for which I’ve received little response and it makes me wonder… are credit unions content with letting members take the initiative and is that going to end up costing them dearly?
At the moment it seems like many CEOs are counting on being order takers and if the member wants something, they will ask. But when we look around at what other businesses are doing, the days of order taking are gone or in serious jeopardy of being too slow to keep you in business. Amazon tracks your search and order history to suggest similar products you might enjoy. Google’s smart ad serving system tailors ads to the individual. Consumers have come to expect that not only will they have their next product or service suggested to them, but that it will be something they may actually want; why should their financial institution behave any differently?
The thing is, this isn’t even a new idea. If you go to a fast food restaurant and order a burger, you’re going to be asked “Do you want fries with that?” It’s just that this method has become much smarter and with higher rate of success. If credit unions and their data processors don’t take advantage of the information they have to similarly make suggestions to members, they might be left in the dust by the financial institutions that will.
If you’re thinking “Randy, you’re sensationalizing a non-issue,” let me know why. Tell me why I’m wrong.