Lessons In Why Channel Integration Really Matters
Credit unions increasingly live in a "multi-channel" world. The job they do in integrating those channels will
That was the message from Steve Williams, who spoke at an educational session on the first day of the CUES Marketing,
Williams, the managing director of strategic operations at Scottsdale, Ariz.-based consultancy Cornerstone Advisors,
A Contact Sport
"Technology is messy. It is a contact sport," said Williams. "Credit unions want better technology, and many are reviewing their
One of the primary goals of technology is integration of the many channels credit unions use to interact with their members, he
Channel integration yields four main benefits: cost reduction, service and convenience, revenue enhancement, and risk reduction,
"Electronic channels cost less, so moving members from physical channels theoretically lowers a credit union's distribution costs.
Developing a real-time systems environment should reduce the risks of fraud and errors in transaction processing, he added.
One Retailer's Lesson
Williams cited Eddie Bauer as an example of a business that does a good job of cross-channel integration.
Website purchases can be returned at any Eddie Bauer store, catalogs are promoted at stores, the website is promoted in the
"Multi-channel users spend more at Eddie Bauer. Those who use all three channels spend significantly more than those who shop
Through technology and integration, CUs can make numerous improvements to their existing channels,
Williams explained. These include sales tracking in branches, secure e-mail and instant messaging in call centers, and
The online space has many potential growth areas, including instant loan applications and routing web contacts to branches for
"Make sure web loan applications get to a person, and are not lost in the pipeline," Williams advised. "And work on instant card