Credit unions are in a unique position to be of service to members online and through traditional branch locations. It’s an enviable position to have both forms of commerce able to support the overall business goals. How important is it to have a strong online presence, to compliment your face-to-face service offerings? Very. From creating a brand following and supporting credit union product offerings, to simply captivating that member who will never physically enter your credit union, an online presence is vital for sustained growth.
Many credit unions still look at being online as offering mobile banking to members. However, is standard practice now. If you are not offering mobile banking, your credit union is not meeting basic member needs. The same is true for researching and shopping for new vehicles online. Without a way for members to understand all that your credit union offers, vehicle shopping falls under the category of “Need,” not “Want.” Why is this the case? Because being online is where your members are. If they are online, that is where your credit union needs to be also. Did you know car buyers spend 59% of their time online researching? Those are your members! Don’t give up on more than half of your membership. Serve everyone.
The Top 5 Reasons Your Credit Union NEEDS to be online with an auto buying service:
1. 24/7 Availability. Members are looking for vehicles online, the prime time for research and shopping starts at 8PM. Being online and providing the member a reason to visit your website, just increased your credit union’s work day and reach.
2. Online support. The popularity of third-party websites to provide car shopping has dramatically increased. Built-in features help credit unions capture leads and serve members’ needs at any hour.
3. Building Your Credit Union’s Image. By creating a successful online presence credit unions of all sizes can level the playing field. Want to compete at all levels? Start with your website. The big banks are offering online car shopping, compete right alongside of them.
4. Build a web presence that means business. The internet was built for business. If your credit union doesn’t get going with that concept, engaging the member and doing business with the member won’t happen. Auto buying is the perfect example of how a member can be serviced by their credit union with information on trade-in values, loan calculations, insurance information, vehicle options and more.
The top 5 activities of online car shoppers:
• 71% Researching new cars
• 68% Finding cars listed for sale
• 64% Comparison shopping
• 63% Looking up trade-in values
•46% Looking up or locating dealer information
A robust auto buying platform should deliver all the above tools.
5. Responsive. A dynamic presence will enhance member relations and business relations with companies your credit union does business with to reach your membership. A third-party website that incorporates dealerships in your area will help build solid relationships that fuel your auto loan portfolios.
The goal of being a value to your members helps your credit union to be local, personalized and deliver a customer experience. In 2018, easy-to-navigate websites are now the norm. Adding personalization and localization are the newest trends to deliver the ultimate customer experience. Partnering with a vendor who can help your credit union deliver all three will be the differentiator this year.
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