Friday, August 8, 2014

The Journey to OmniChannel Banking

Omnichannel banking is not a marketing program, a technology solution, or a process. It is not something you can buy. Omnichannel banking is a destination. 

Like any trip it takes a plan. Are you going to New York or Los Angeles? Do you really want to take a trip? Will you drive, fly, take a train or boat? (you can sail through the Panama Canal). When do you want to leave? How long will you be there? Where will you stay? Do you have a budget or money for the trip? How much will it cost? Do you have time to take the trip?  What will the weather be like? What should you pack? What do you want to see? Is the trip business or personal?

The first decision that needs to be made is, "do you want to take the trip?" Omnichannel banking is not a decision to be made lightly. Success will only occur if the entire leadership team and your board of directors are on-board and part of the process. Moving towards an omnichannel banking model is one of the most significant strategic decisions your credit union or bank will make. Be sure you know what you are getting into before you buy the boat. Your team must crystallize exactly what omnichannel banking means to your credit union or bank, and what you want to achieve. 

Once you commit to the journey then the real hard work begins, preparing for the trip. The fun part is the final destination, but what can and will go wrong as you prepare? The
most difficult challenge your organization will face while transforming to an omnichannel banking model is .......culture. An omnichannel banking model is all about putting the member or customer first. Putting the member or customer in the center of your business. Focused outward instead of inward. You say, ah that is easy, we are already member or customer focused? Are you really? 

When a member or customer comes into your branch do they go to a teller, go see a loan
officer, or ask for assistance from a member/customer service representative? Once they move from one transaction to another are they directed to the appropriate department or person? If they do, you are already set-up to fail. Members and customers are not seeking a tour of your branch. They want answers, services and solutions from an expert that can address all their concerns. You have created silos that must be broken down. 

Who in your credit union or bank is responsible for the member/customer experience?  Is it the chief operating officer, marketing, digital operations, information technology, regional vice presidents, branch managers, the CEO? Silos, they must be broken down with focus being on the member or customer, not areas of responsibility that exist within your current organizational structure. What will that do to your executive team? Easy you said, we are already member or customer focused. Are you really?      

Omnichannel banking has a huge upside for those credit unions and banks that are ready to embrace the concept and commit the time, resources, planning and re-educations to make it a reality and not just another passing fad. Are you and your team ready to take a trip to omnichannel banking?          

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