Create an Organization-Wide Digital Mindset and Culture to Stay Competitive

Recognizing and understanding current consumer behavior is key to providing the convenience, simplicity, and service that your members expect.

6/4/2019

The digital evolution continues to advance at a dizzying pace. New fintechs seem to appear on an almost daily basis. Meanwhile, successful start-ups are joining forces with established companies, expanding their capabilities and potential reach. 

Consumer behavior tells companies that their customers want and need fast, easy, and simple solutions to manage their busy lives, evidenced by the following: 

  • 60 percent of all smartphone owners use mobile banking. 
  • 82 percent of 18 to 24-year-old smartphone owners use mobile banking. 
  • 41 percent of U.S. consumers own a voice-activated device (virtual assistant). 
  • 77 percent of virtual-assistant owners connect their devices to their smartphone. 

The result is rapid growth in consumer choice, offering unprecedented access to products and services, while elevating convenience and simplicity in importance over price, features, and benefits. The opportunity for companies, including financial services and insurance firms, is the ability to deliver value. As credit unions develop and implement digital strategiesthey should consider these three factors. 

The Connected Consumer 

Members are connected more than ever, to the point that a website almost feels old-school. Young members are likely to be digital natives, growing up in an environment that has moved beyond mobile to include voice-activated and wearable devicesas well as the Internet of Things, opening them to a whole new array of choices. 

Continually identifying and providing the channels your members prefer is vital. If it’s not easy and convenient for them to do business with you, it doesn’t take much effort to find a competitor that will meet their expectations.  

Channeling Your Inner Data 

Providing member-preferred channels is no easy task. Cost, expertise, and risk come into play. But weigh these factors against the value gained through each touchpointimportant data. Data is the ultimate insight engine when it comes to understanding the connected customer. 

The key is to combine existing data with artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning tools, and skilled analytics to reveal member trends, behaviors, and expectations down to an individual level. These insights allow you to deliver relevant, hyper-personalized offers and experiences that are valuable to the member, unique to your credit union, and differentiated from your competition.  

Moving at the Speed of Digital 

A digital-first, member-focused perspective is a core piece of strategic planning. While credit unions may understand this core objective, what may not be clear is how quickly and successfully the competition is moving.   

  • Financial services and insurance companies are forecast to spend $12 billion on AI alone by 2021.  
  • Digital disruptors are managing to siphon off 40 percent of incumbent revenue growth across industries.
  • By 2030, 80 percent of financial heritage services firms will go out of business, become commoditized, or exist but be unable to compete. 

The scope and pace of change, along with mounting competitive pressures, have created a digital imperative to act more quickly and decisively. It’s not about implementing technology, but rather establishing an organization-wide digital mindset and culture. 

Jeffrey Dillon is the Vice President of Digital Marketing for CUNA Mutual Group, the leading provider of insurance and financial services to credit unions and their members. Learn more about the Strategic Link partner online.