My son signed up for spring soccer last year when, overnight, everything social became a health risk. Remembering my previous experiences with sports led me to relate the action and emotion of a youth soccer game to the dynamics of the collective mindset of members of a credit union. . At first glance, this may seem like a far-fetched comparison. But when you dive below the surface, you can see how a soccer game played by three to five year old children can be like trying to figure out what your limbs are thinking and feeling, especially in light of the jarring events of the world. ‘last year. Here’s why:
1. It’s unpredictable. You can practice during the week. You can perform exercises. You can patiently explain and demonstrate what you want them to do. But when the whistle blows, chaos ensues. You can’t predict how the action will play out with kids of different sizes, abilities, efforts, and blood sugar levels ricocheting off each other.
Oh, you would like your members to display stable role models. But since COVID hit, all of your Member Experience (MX) data needs to be re-examined to determine which patterns are true, which have changed, and what they will look like in the future. And, to make it more interesting, the pace at which you have to make those observations, and the decisions that come with them, has accelerated! If you have to wait too long to get the data – and to preview it – you won’t get effective results because you will act on outdated information.
2. It’s fuzzy. Sometimes when you watch a really cool caterpillar in the grass the last thing you expect is a soccer ball flying in front of you. Until you remember you are in a soccer game. Kids, of course, have a notoriously short attention span – SQUIRREL! It doesn’t help that all those caffeinated adults are yelling things you just can’t understand.
With all that is going on in the lives of your members right now, who can fault them for being distracted or distracted? It’s your job to accept them, figure out what they need in terms of financial security, and then help them get it. This includes the ability to meet your members on their terms and provide the same supportive and seamless experience no matter how they do business with you.
3. It’s sporadic. Football is inherently a game of ebb and flow, and changes in action and momentum. This is even more true at the younger levels. Some kids tend to spend all of their energy in one burst and then run through the rest of the game. Others are still waking up or digesting their Frosted Flakes in the first trimester. It’s easy to see when the effort is put in and when they’ve stepped out to dance to the Disney song in their heads.
Your members may be more demanding at times or in certain situations, requiring more effort on your part to keep them happy. The prospect of financial insecurity brought on by a personal event or public health crisis may require greater responsiveness and empathy. It takes an up-to-date understanding of your members – dynamic outreach – to ensure that you convey that sense of receptivity to your members. A message deaf to the context can scare them away.
4. It’s precarious. Wait a minute, everything can be fine. The next one can be a disaster. An untimely collision, a badly aimed kick or a blatant display of grabbing the ball can be the spark that sets off a powder keg of screams and tears. You can cook anything you want, but the moods of these little warriors are volatile.
This is the case with your members in an atmosphere of heightened anxiety (say, 2020). There is low tolerance for an unpleasant experience. Too long a wait or an extra transfer to another service that could have been excused last year, or even yesterday, could be the last straw if your member’s day has been otherwise full of worry, stress and frustrations. You need to know where the friction is that will ignite the wick in your limbs – and then know how to act immediately to defuse it.
5. It is not uniform. Not all of the children on your team are at the same skill level. Some take the game very seriously, while others chase after butterflies. If you want to make the most of their abilities and attention span, you need to have a clear understanding of each player’s strengths and where they can best be used to achieve the goal of the player. team. Which, in this case, literally scores a goal.
As with football, different limbs require different amounts of attention, instruction, and service. This is, after all, a big part of your appeal as a credit union – being able to personalize the service you provide to each member. The trick is knowing how much attention is needed at any given time. You cannot rely on a one-size-fits-all approach to MX measurement or service delivery. You need information that allows you to meet your members where they are, right now, to provide them with an experience that meets or exceeds their expectations.
You might not get snacks or a small trophy for successfully delivering, at the right time, exactly what your members need or expect during tough times. But you can still feel the job satisfaction of retaining members and deepening relationships, as well as the personal satisfaction of continuing the credit union’s mission of “people who help people.” It’s something we can certainly use more of these days, until we can all get back into the game.
Dennis Gilbert is Digital Content Manager for Support EXP in Centerville, Ohio.