Today, consumers are living in the golden age of personalization. Movie and music streaming services recommend films and albums based on an individual’s unique viewing and listening history. Online retailers email shoppers to let them know when their favorite items are back in stock or on sale. Massive brands are on a first-name basis with literally millions of customers—and the consumers don’t just like it, they expect it.
A 2020 Redpoint Global study found that over 80% of surveyed consumers “expect that retailers will be able to accommodate preferences and expectations.” Additionally, 70% of consumers said they would “purchase exclusively from brands that show they understand them.”
Most credit unions are aware that their members have grown accustomed to personalization, but they’re not always sure how to provide it. A 2020 survey of banks and credit unions by The Financial Brand found that over 80% of financial institutions had identified “proactive engagement” and “delivering personalized guidance” as primary goals. However, the majority of survey respondents lacked confidence in their ability to personalize engagement, and less than 20% felt they were “doing a good job at personalization.”
Providing personalization to your credit union members can be challenging—especially when you are concerned about potentially overstepping your boundaries and coming across as invasive. In this piece, we’ll examine some ways that credit unions can create personalized member experiences without raising any privacy concerns.
Use lookalike modeling to provide custom CTAs
“Lookalike modeling” is a process that involves identifying leads based on the traits and behaviors they share with your target audience. For example, an online retailer might take their most loyal customers, identify their shared characteristics, and then use that information to create a customer persona.
Alternately, a credit union might follow in the footsteps of the Credit Union of Texas and use lookalike modeling to provide a personalized banner to website visitors. According to Data Axle:
“When users visit the credit union website and fill out a form, that data gets pushed into [the Credit Union of Texas’] CRM for lead tracking. Then [a] third-party data provider takes the information provided by the visitor, and enhances and matches the information. After that, an audience profile is created based on this information; this information drives what the visitor sees on the page. The personalized page showed different CTAs based on where the prospect was in their buying journey. The updates to the pages helped guide the customer as to what the next steps were if they were interested in learning more or purchasing the product.”
So, for example, a certain type of visitor to the credit union’s website might receive a personalized banner CTA that reads, “I want a loan because I’m buying a home—see my options,” while another visitor might see a CTA that reads, “I want a loan because I’m buying a car—see my options.”
In just the first month of this process, the Credit Union of Texas saw a whopping 300% increase in home equity and mortgage applications, as well as an impressive 20% growth in auto loan leads.
Break silos to create comprehensive member records
Whether they’re talking to a teller, finishing a transaction at an ATM, or pulling up their mobile app, members interact with their credit unions across a variety of touchpoints. But without an omnichannel approach to CX, those interactions will remain trapped in separate silos. If a teller can only see what a member has done at their credit union branch (and not in the mobile app), that will obviously limit the amount of personalization they can provide.
It’s natural for silos to occur at a financial institution. Many credit unions run separate teams and departments for each touchpoint so that they don’t run afoul of various privacy and compliance regulations. But when, for example, a credit union’s web and social teams don’t share member info with one another, a member could receive conflicting information when interacting with different touchpoints.
To correct this issue, credit unions should create unified member records that connect all of their silos and sources of member data. That way, credit union employees will be able to view a member’s record and quickly see their complete history of interactions, even if it includes web or mobile touchpoints.
Tout your credit union’s commitment to data security and privacy
While consumers expect personalization, they also demand a certain level of privacy. High-profile data breaches and news stories such as the Cambridge Analytica Scandal fuel consumer concerns about how their personal information is being collected, how it is being used, and how it is being protected.
In addition to complying with all applicable state privacy laws and the standards of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, credit unions should be vocal about their commitment to data security and privacy. Members need to know that their financial institution is looking out for them and investing in their protection.
The good news is that the investment should pay off: in 2020, the average privacy budget at companies doubled, and businesses were rewarded with almost double the returns for every cent spent on data privacy, according to the Cisco Data Privacy Benchmark Study. Over 75% of companies that increased privacy spending said that it resulted in “building trust,” which was the most commonly cited benefit.
Remember to reassure your members that their data is secure, and that your credit union will only use their personal information to improve their overall experience. People expect both personalization and protection, so your credit union had better not provide one without the other.