Exceptional Member Experiences: Shareable Insights from the 2019 Filene Research Event

By: René Clayton, Innovation Strategist

Welcomed by the beautifully historic city of Boston, PSCU had the recent pleasure of sponsoring this year’s Filene Research Event. With over 100 credit union leaders and academic experts in attendance, fresh insights were delivered by a diverse group of thought leaders on ways to deepen credit union member engagement. Today, we’d like to share a few takeaways from this year’s event with you!

The first keynote, “Designing Your Organization from the Outside-In,” was presented by Professor Hayagreeva “Huggy” Roa from Stanford University. Professor Roa explained the “FARTHER Model,” which consists of Finding People, Aligning People, Real-time Feedback, Teaming, Hacking, Engaging and Reinventing.

Dignity and respect for employees, according to Professor Roa, is the number-one way to deliver value to your members. All credit unions (and businesses) want repeat business, Professor Roa explained. And the way to achieve that is to “wow” your employees. In turn, your employees will find new ways to “wow” your members.

The second morning keynote, “Competing and Winning on Member Experience,” was presented by Professor Dennis Campbell of Harvard Business School. In Professor Campbell’s presentation, he discussed three enduring key themes:

  1. Focus
  2. Service Compatibility
  3. Operational Transparency

The core of Professor Campbell’s message was to not try to be all things to all people, and to very intentionally understand the value proposition as a credit union to your member. It is just as important to be clear on what the member wants as it is what they do not want.

Understanding who your most compatible and incompatible members are to your service model is critical to your long-term success. Compatibility is a clear predictor of both satisfaction and member loyalty, according to Professor Campbell.

Of equal importance was Professor Campbell’s idea of operational transparency, inspiring you to communicate the value you create and the tradeoffs inherent in your model, so that members can make more informed decisions. Operational transparency delivers “perceived value,” and consequently, transparency can improve service performance.

Rini Fredette, PSCU’s SVP of Contact Center Services & Solutions, joined the panel breakout session, “Inside the Call Center: Maximizing Service Excellence.” Along with Lorna Quinn of SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, the two discussed how an engaged workforce and reducing attrition are critical success factors in today’s contact center environment.

The panel discussed the abundance of information that contact center agents often have at their disposal – the kind of information that can help the credit unions steer their activities in a more member-focused direction. Because agents are on the front lines with members, retaining great talent should be top of mind for contact center leaders. Additionally, comprehensive initial training and ongoing coaching enable agents to feel important and acknowledged, and are contributing factors to success.

PSCU, as Fredette explained, offers in-house education for college credit. Correspondingly, her team provides a positive coaching culture, where supervisory administrative duties have been freed up to allow for team coaching and engagement.

Quinn discussed the incentives and recognition her credit union offers agents who go the extra mile in delivering a superior member experience. This inspires agents to continue on their path of excellence and reach for additional opportunities.

Cindy McGinness, PSCU’s Vice President of Digital Experience, led a presentation on the importance of user-centered design in developing member-facing solutions. She shared the importance of understanding the user experience (UX), with a focus on defining member personas and journey mapping in driving “outside-in” product development.

In conclusion, this year’s Filene-hosted event provided an in-depth approach to strengthening the member experience from both the outside-in and the inside-out. So, are you ready to design or re-design your organization for exceptional member experiences?