“People Helping People” Resonates in Age of Self-Service
For the average consumer today, self-service technologies best deliver on their promise of convenience when a little personal attention is woven into the experience. And this is as true in your credit union branches as it is at the airport, the shopping mall or any other public venue.
In fact, while self-service ATMs and kiosks are moving your members and guests through the branch more efficiently than ever, make no mistake – this seamless digital experience is sometimes only possible with the help of a full-service employee.
“Consumers today want to be able to decide how, when and where they do business,” said Nathan Rogers, Senior Manager of Product Marketing for CO-OP Financial Services. “If they can go to a branch and quickly handle the transaction themselves, often they will do that. However, if they want to talk to a teller, they expect one to be there and to be available.”
Self-Service Best Practices
This dynamic is not unique to financial institutions, Rogers says. “When the airlines first introduced self-service kiosks years ago, they had very few employees available to help customers through the check-in process. Today, that is no longer the case. If you are a first-time user of an airline check-in kiosk or are struggling with a complicated transaction, you will likely find a dedicated attendant nearby and ready to assist.”
And it’s not just the airlines that recognize the value of a helping hand. Rogers emphasizes that even the most comprehensive self-service models benefit from some level of full-service support.
“Chili’s is a good example of this,” he said, noting that the grill and bar chain recently installed 45,000 tablets across more than 800 restaurants. “These self-service devices do everything from processing a diner’s order and payment to suggesting a side dish and providing online games to entertain the kids.”
He continued, “They even calculate a 20 percent tip for the server automatically – who notably has not been eliminated in the new self-service model. The management team at Chili’s understands well that, as efficient and far-reaching as the company’s self-service strategy is, it is the interaction between the diner and the friendly server that keeps customers coming back to the restaurant.”
Striking the Right Balance
So how can credit unions best combine their full-service and self-service resources to create a member experience that is second to none?
“While successful self-service platforms are constructed around technology, they should never be about the technology,” said Rogers. “The challenge is to ensure that the in-branch digital experience is truly convenient for members. The best way to achieve success is to continue to deliver the best possible service from your staff, assisting members as needed, and guiding them to full-service channels when that better suits their needs. The member should come away feeling that the credit union offers top service, delivered in many different ways.”
He adds that it is equally important to set accurate expectations for members when self-service is the only option at a given locale.
“Self-service locations provide added convenience for members and expand your market reach, but they need to be clearly identified on your website locator and in marketing materials so members are not expecting a full-service experience when they get there,” he said.
He continued, “Self-service technology is here to stay, and credit unions that deploy it strategically are positioning themselves well for the future. However, it is ultimately your branch employees that make or break the digital experience for members. Interestingly, this paradigm reflects the credit union mission, which is ‘people helping people,’ not machines helping people.”
Learn how CO-OP Connect is helping credit unions of all sizes deploy self-service technology in the branch and beyond by clicking here
The post Engaging Members with the Right Approach to Self-Service appeared first on Insight Vault.