Sometimes Best Service Is Self-Service

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As CUs increase their emphasis on growing their membership base and enhancing the member experience, lobby engagement tools have become even more critical.

As market competition increases, however, CUs must look beyond traditional tools and offer services that not only engage members, but also set themselves apart from others.

Offering a new or different service can be an incentive to join-or change-financial institutions. A recent survey reported that consumers who moved to a new bank or credit union did so to gain more and better service options; 16% of respondents said they would be open to changing to a new institution with superior service, lower costs and greater benefits.

A unique approach to lobby engagement, self-service coin counters help credit unions build membership, increase loyalty, streamline operations and create a new revenue stream. These tools should be moved to the short list for immediate consideration as credit unions look outside the box for solutions to improve lobby engagement, and the member experience.

Today's market demands greater emphasis on creating an ideal member experience. Poor customer service and unmet needs and expectations rank among the top three consumer pain points. That puts even greater focus on exploring solutions that alleviate member pain points, including options for self-service coin counting. Offering a self-service coin option can improve member satisfaction and help CUs grow membership-and members are ready and willing to adopt the option. In fact, 80% of consumers recently surveyed reported they would switch from a teller to a self-service coin machine and believe their satisfaction would measurably increase as a result, with many indicating they would use the machine "all the time."

No Need To Stop & Count

With a self-service option in the lobby, members no longer have to count and wrap their coins, they can avoid teller lines while holding heavy coin containers and they can have a faster, more meaningful exchange with the teller when they cash in their coin redemption receipt. Members who have a positive experience with a self-service coin machine are also more likely to spread the word to others.

For example, Towpath CU experienced a tremendous surge in new accounts as a result of offering coin redemption services to its members. Over the course of a four-day "Roll Your Change Week" event, during which it promoted the speed and efficiency of its coin redemption solutions, Towpath opened 188 new accounts and accepted 833 separate coin deposit transactions totaling $266,000.

CUs with a need to strengthen commercial accounts can actively promote a coin counting machine as a value-added service to its commercial offering-noting that the machine is an excellent way to more efficiently handle regular coin deposits and one which is not offered by many other providers. Offering high-volume sorting in the lobby means that commercial deposits can be processed at the same high speeds enjoyed by vaults and armored carriers.


An Ideal Offering

Hopewell FCU has found that the advertising feature on its self-service coin counters makes it easy to display videos and on-screen promotions.

Self-service coin counters can also increase the amount of high-quality interaction between tellers and members. This interaction creates valuable cross-selling opportunities. Members have the opportunity to ask tellers for more information about a promotion that they've seen on the self-service coin machine when turning in their coin redemption receipt.

The option to charge a fee or offer a split-fee can be profitable for CUs. Hopewell FCU offers coin-counting as a free service to members, while non-members are charged a nominal fee of 5%, creating an additional source of revenue. Non-members are also encouraged to become members to take advantage of the free coin-counting service.

Credit unions can also realize cost savings through reduced labor and increased operational efficiencies. Tellers are no longer occupied with processing coin-eliminating long wait times and additional teller windows, while increasing employee productivity and focus on high-quality tasks. Finally, costs associated with purchasing packaged coin are greatly reduced and the machines can also be used to process teller drawers at the end of the day.

Credit unions must do whatever they can to set themselves apart from their competition and to improve the member experience. When considering strategies to reach these goals, self-service lobby engagement tools should not be overlooked.


Shane Murphy is senior director with Cummins Allison.

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