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You’re Welcome to Come into the Branch, But You Don’t Have To
Story ID:8830  
Date Posted:  October 17, 2017




by Jeff Rendel, Certified Speaking Professional

“You’re Welcome to Come into the Branch, But You Don’t Have To.” So said a clever marketing poster on a credit union’s front entrance. It was an imaginative way to remind members that the credit union was at their fingertips – literally – via the credit union’s mobile app. But, why would an in-branch professional want to encourage members to use the branch a little less often? After all, branch visits fill your days. Simply put: mobile members are more loyal and valuable members.

CUNA’s 2016 E-Scan presents a graphic describing the profile of members who use mobile banking. First, mobile members have lower attrition rates and, logically, higher retention rates. Depending on the size of your credit union, the retention rate of mobile members could be 12 percent higher than branch-only members. Second, mobile members are more loyal, carrying one product per member more than branch-only members. Last, the average cost of a mobile transaction runs 10 cents. The average cost of an in-person, in-branch transaction runs $4.25.

Do the math. Mobile members stay longer, buy more, and cost less. That’s a model for membership to build on. You, as front line leaders, have great opportunities to build more valuable memberships every day. Here’s how to help your members win with mobile banking technology.

Know the features of your mobile technology, inside and out. Actionable alerts; applying for loans; ATM locations; bill pay; card settings; chat features; credit score; e-documents; e-signatures; financial education; instant balance; marketing offers; mobile deposit; opening accounts; person-to-person payments (P2P); scheduling appointments; security features; and, transfers are the heart of mobile banking today. How well do you understand each feature? Have you used each component? Could you teach a member how to use each function? The best way to teach another is to have mastered the tasks yourself. Set a goal to thoroughly understand how each mobile feature works.

Advocate your mobile technology at every opportunity. As the marketing poster on the branch entrance pronounced, much of what members conduct in the branch can be managed with mobile technology. It’s important to tend to the transaction your member desires; that’s down-to-earth member service. But, as the opportunity presents itself, consider customizing this sort of phrase into your conversation: “Mr. Jones, it’s good to see you again and thank you for being a member. If you ever find yourself in a rush, or it’s really busy in the branch, you can deposit your check via our mobile app. If you have a minute, I can show you how. Otherwise, open the app and try it next time. You might find yourself amazed. I did.” Some members will thank you; some will give it a go; and, some will never download the app. You, though, have led for your credit union by making members aware of the technology that can add value and convenience to their lives.

Describe how your members benefit from mobile technology. In an increasingly mobile society, mobile access and interaction isn’t a luxury – it’s a basic need expected by all (how many of your members are on their mobile devices while in line?). Your members benefit with real-time banking on their terms, in line with their schedules, and as an advantage to their lifestyles. You and your credit union benefit as you focus on relationships, rather than transactions. Over time, as members visit your branches (and the branch will always have a role), they will be looking for guidance on matters beyond deposits and withdrawals. They will be interested in learning about creating greater value in their financial interests since they have handled everyday transactions on their own.

While the daily tasks of frontline leaders may change, the importance of your role does not. Where the quantity of branch visits may decrease, the need for quality in those interactions will only increase. You have the opportunity to lead, develop, and enhance loyalty with every member you serve. Be the leader your members expect when they stop by your branch and when they don’t have to.

Author’s note: Jeff Rendel last visited his credit union’s branch in October 2012. Since then, mobile deposit, bill pay; e-documents; and P2P have been a mainstay as his personal and business relationships have only grown more loyal with his credit union. He has a strategic life goal of bringing more business to his credit union, while remaining branch-free.

© 2016 by Jeff Rendel.  All rights reserved.

Jeff Rendel, Certified Speaking Professional and President of Rising Above Enterprises, works with credit unions that want entrepreneurial results in leadership, sales, and strategy.  Each year, he addresses and facilitates for more than 100 credit unions and their business partners.

Contact: jeff@jeffrendel.com; www.jeffrendel.com; 951.340.3770.