My Experience

I recently visited a local credit union in the Minneapolis area and couldn’t help but feel frustrated as I left and walked back to my car. I came in looking for options and advice to consolidate my student debt; a problem that’s been haunting me since my initial enrollment almost six years ago. Expecting specialized guidance and personalized solutions I instead left with confusion, a list of rates, and a pamphlet. My experience was that of pulling a number from a dispenser and waiting to be called. Remember those?

The long wait times, generic responses, and seemingly impatient staff left with me three takeaways.

  • My relationship with the credit union is simply transactional
  • The branch is powered by old school technology
  • An emotionless center

Who’s doing it better?

Of course, this is not the case for all credit unions, and probably not even most. But what are they achieving and what is the future of credit unions?

The Financial Brand recently published an article, “10 Factors That Will Determine a Bank’s Future Relevance”. A certain excerpt resonated with me: “Employees will be trained to identify customer needs by life stage and will be empowered by tablet banking and personalized appointment scheduling platforms to be able to carry on comfortable interactions and conversations as they and the customer walk around the open space at the branch and connect emotionally”.

In a lot of consumer cases, when you are working with a credit union, you are probably making a big and emotional decision. Whether that be investing, managing a small business, buying a house, retirement, or improving overall financial health. Yes, simple transactions don’t need the same attention, but when it comes to major life choices you want someone who cares and to be able to feel that.

What is your bank or credit union doing to make your customers feel valued and not simply a transaction? Leave a comment and let us know!