A lot has changed over the past year. We were already living in a digital age, but the COVID-19 pandemic has issued us into a new era where online business is not only popular—it is crucial. In fact, nearly 51% of small businesses have increased online interactions with their customers and about 36% are doing sales online, according to e-commerce support platform Oberlo.
Consumer habits and the global economy are changing, which means that the financial industry will be majorly affected—and credit unions in particular. As member-owned, non-profit organizations, credit unions will need to adapt to the times if they hope to compete with large banks and financial institutions.
Here are seven strategies that smart credit unions should incorporate if they want to stay relevant in 2021 and engage their target customer base.
- Audience research. Consumers in 2021 are looking for different things than they were in previous years. If your credit union has researched your audience and created target demographics and customer personas, it is time to go back to the drawing board. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way consumers think and operate. If you want to make sure you are reaching your target audience, you will need to reevaluate who you are reaching and how.
- Website upgrades. First impressions matter. The average user will leave your website after 10 to 20 seconds if they can’t find the information they’re seeking. To capture the attention of potential customers in 2021, your credit union website needs to have a responsive design, be aesthetically pleasing and connect to the user’s values and tech-savvy lifestyle. Simple factors such as typography and intuitive interface design may make or break your chance of engaging millennials on your website.
- Mobile-first design. Today’s online consumers are much more likely to use a mobile phone to access a website than they are to use a desktop computer. They are also selective about their mobile app experience. For example, 43 percent of millennials have at some point abandoned mobile banking activity due to a poor user experience. Top reasons millennials may discontinue using a mobile banking app include lengthy processing time and complicated forms.
- Social media. Social media accounts aren’t just a way to promote your product, they are channels for direct communication with clients and potential clients as well as a tool for building brand trust. The average consumer spends more than six hours each week engaging with social media, and the majority view social media as the most effective advertising medium.By directly engaging with followers, answering questions, commenting on posts and asking for feedback, your credit union can build trust and credibility.
- Video capabilities. In 2021, more and more consumers are attending virtual events and communicating through video conferencing software. In the absence of in-person interaction, video is the next best medium for communicating the emotional and visual appeal of a product or service. The only thing worse than a lack of live and pre-recorded video content is poor quality video content—whether from a technical or production standpoint. Your credit union’s video capabilities should be on-trend and technically on-par with banks and large financial institutions in order to stay competitive.