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Jun 29 2021

Credit Unions: The Adoption Of Hybrid Communications To Improve Engagement And Reduce Cost?

By Emma Bicknell, Campaign Manager

Financial services are one of the most integrated sectors in modern society, with different types of financial organisations touching our lives every day, in numerous ways. Unsurprisingly, these financial organisations continuously face challenges, in how to best support their different audiences and drive organisation awareness, whilst minimising expenditure and resources. These types of organisations are forced to adapt to ensure that the services they offer continue to be optimised for their audiences as well as ensure that the customer remains at the forefront of what they do.

One financial service that is seeing this challenge becomes ever more relevant is credit unions. Continuously working to deliver the very best services to their members, in line with industry standards and requirements, they are seeking ways to deliver new opportunities and drive awareness in their changing markets, all whilst remaining profitable and process driven. To help with this, saving programmes and schemes have been introduced to help credit unions reduce their expenditure and increase cost savings and many are looking towards the adoption of innovative platforms to help manage processes further.

Credit unions are seeking new ways to support members through the adoption of meaningful automated processes, by using new technologies that can take the everyday mundane tasks and innovate them, not only in practice but by yielding benefits for everyone involved. One process that can be seen at the forefront of this requirement is the management of communication.

Credit union communications

The handling and managing of both digital and physical communications is often a time-consuming, expensive task that requires the effort of multiple employees and/or volunteers to sort through both in and outbound communications to send on to relevant departments and audiences.

These communications have only increased through the establishment of larger audiences, changing requirements and the expansion of credit offerings. From annual statements, newsletters, member updates and AGM meetings credit unions are challenged with keeping their different audiences up to date and informed.

What’s more, this process is used as a growth strategy to expand audience uptake with ‘industry commentators pushing credit unions to improve communication at every point of contact with members’ (Morash, 2012), through the means of articulating missions, clarifying industry offerings and building long-term relationships with their members.

However, what the market cannot counteract is that these communication requirements are continuously changing in line with the improvement of technologies and audience expectations.

‘As technology continues to provide more communication options between unions and members, it’s vital that unions keep pace with borrower's communication preferences’ (SWBC, 2020), keeping members and unions continuously connected by consistency through the right media channels.

Whether it’s sending postal communications, SMS, emails or online digital platforms, financial services require the use of a multichannel approach to be able to communicate in a way that works best and drives the responses desired. They need to be time-sensitive and make a lasting impact, being planned into a comprehensive strategy that is reviewed and optimised throughout the year.

Research shows that ‘credit unions need to use each channel and communication touchpoint effectively to convey important messages or educate members about new products and services' (McGahey, 2019). These communications need to remain consistent, meaningful and relevant, whilst striking the right balance of information and cross-selling as well as consisting of the perfect blend of the media available.

But amidst the resource challenges and audience expectations, how do credit unions manage this approach whilst still providing its members with the services they require?

It’s all about the hybrid approach

With the introduction of automated services, credit unions are now adopting a hybrid communication approach that provides the union with everything they need through one secure provider. Designed to not only manage all types of communication in an automated manner, the approach is used to drive internal efficiencies and increase audience engagement – all whilst keeping the costs down.

By optimising the communications sent and bringing together a mixture of on and offline communications to create a bespoke customer journey, it allows unions to remove the potential for digital fatigue and target audiences in a way that leads them through the sales cycle and grows relationships. It’s all about taking the hybrid approach and cross-communicating in a way that provides choice and generates outcomes, providing a detailed understanding of audience requirements as well as needs and wants.

This approach provides control, time efficiencies and security all whilst allowing the credit union to deliver multichannel communications through an automated service. Whether this includes the adoption of a hybrid mail service that is driven by a hands-on approach or a managed service solution offering a mixture of communications to transform the way you communicate, it allows for communications to be managed, indexed and sorted in an appropriate way.

Used by thousands of organisations already, the hybrid communication approach is being adopted at a rapid pace within credit unions, all seeking to use a service that delivers benefits to them and their members. But if you are just starting this journey, how do you know where to start?

A partner you can trust

With a proven history within the finance sector, CFH Docmail Limited are a trusted and approved partner of the ABCUL association, providing a hybrid way of communicating that is recognised to yield benefits to members and unions alike.

Through industry-leading multichannel communications and sector experts, we host a wide range of communication solutions designed to improve your business outcomes and generate powerful results.

We fully understand how challenging communicating can be, in our ever-changing world of compliance and regulation, but we are dedicated to delivering effective, smart communications so that you can achieve your outcomes in a completely automated way.

If you would like to find out more about how we can support your union to adopt a hybrid way of communicating please get in touch, we’d love to talk to you about your communication objectives and how we can help achieve these. Alternatively take a look at our case studies page, to see how we have supported unions like you, to make the switch to the new way of communicating.

Blogs, Managed communications, CFH Managed, Finance

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