Commercial Innovations CUs Should Copy

Credit unions have a lot of work to do to modernize branches and keep their technology on par with other businesses' digital tools. Here are some ideas worth borrowing from retailers, restaurants and consumer electronics makers if CUs haven't adopted them already, says appointment-software firm Financial Management Solutions.

Location, Location, Location

Clothing stores are using cameras to track interest in items so they know what should be displayed prominently. Credit unions can use the same sort of technology to optimize the layout of their branches. For instance, they could put complimentary coffee in a high-traffic area.

Beacon Technology

Shoppers who have downloaded the Target app onto their smartphones receive product suggestions and coupons when they are in or near its stores. Credit unions can use similar technology to personalize branch visits or cross-sell customers while they are standing in teller lines.

Predictive Analytics

When a consumer buys a TV from Amazon, the retailer suggests a wall mount and an HDMI cable. Credit unions could use the same sort of analytics to identify customers who would more likely be interested in certain products.

Apple Store pic attached.

Apple has built goodwill with customers by staffing its in-store“Genius Bars” with highly trained employees. Universal bankers – branch employees who can handle most issues for customers – could learn a lot from Apple's value-added tech-support service.

Ubiquitous Gadgets

The Chili’s restaurant chain has embraced tabletop tablets as a way for diners to order, play games as they wait for fajitas, and pay when they are done. Credit union branches are already becoming more automated, but perhaps CUs could use tablets to engage customers as they wait to meet with employees.

Pampering Preferred Customers

Hotels and airlines offered their VIPs lots of perks, like priority lines. Credit union branches could perhaps benefit from offering “white glove” service to their best clients.