An astonishing number of credit union members feel that their credit union’s web sites offer little or no value. Features such as on-line banking, bill payment, educational content and loan applications exist on most of these sites, but credit unions are missing the key elements necessary to make these features valuable to their members. The three biggest flaws of credit union web sites are in the areas of on-line service, personalization and usability. [More]
It’s normal for a credit union to design a web site with its current situation in mind, but the web site architecture should allow for some reasonable level of expansion. In many cases, after the web site is launched, departments within the credit union emerge that insist upon being included in the main navigation. These items, not identified within the initial architecture, appear as a visual and functional afterthought, frequently crippling usability and cohesiveness that the initial web site had.
Make sure updates to your site don't make it look slapped together.
The Fix: During planning, identify areas that may be subject to expansion, and prepare a plan to address these needs as they emerge. Build in controls so any growth occurs at an incremental rate. Develop business rules, so that each request for expansion is carefully evaluated and qualified. Lastly, plan regular web-c... [More]
Something as simple as a link to a missing page can tarnish the credibility of a credit union web site. When links are broken or pages are no longer available, a reputation is at stake and business may go elsewhere. From intermittent outages by third party service providers like home banking, to loan application forms that don’t submit properly, credit unions are quick to point a finger at their service provider. In the end, it’s the member that loses faith in the on-line system. Credit unions need to be as mindful of their web site appearance as they are a clean, bright lobby. Housekeeping applies to all representations of the credit union.
Never leave your members hanging looking for information on your site.
The Fix: Very few web sites can earn any type of return without proper maintenance. Many credit union web sites have ventured far beyond the “no maintenance&rd... [More]
After a member spends the better portion of his evening rounding up financial records, placing very sensitive information into an on-line loan application and submitting all of it in good faith he receives this confirmation: Thank you for your information, expect a reply sometime soon.
This leaves the member staring at his screen, rubbing his temples, wondering exactly when he will have an answer. Unfortunately, this is a very common scenario on credit union web sites and is a poor representation of the personal service that many credit unions pride themselves on.
Offer a better thank you and what to expect message after a member submits a form than this one.
The Fix: Technology makes it easier than ever to personalize e-mail response forms, so there is no reason not to address your member by name. Next, set the expectation. At your physical branch, does your loan officer take the app... [More]
It’s much easier and less stressful for a member to walk away from an on-line transaction than from an in-branch transaction. Therefore if someone is frustrated with an on-line loan application, she’ll just close her browser and take her business elsewhere. Frustration is most often derived from unclear pathways and unclear progression in crucial forms and applications. Lengthy forms should be divided between two or more pages and present clearly to the member where in the process he is. Aside from a simplistic “next” button, there is often little in the way of feedback for members with regard to where they are in the process, how much work remains, or what to do at any point if there are questions.
Keep your members informed of what's going on and what to expect.
The Fix: The key to a successful on-line transaction is testing, testing and more testing. What app... [More]