A great way for employees to understand your products from a member's perspective

Dog Fooding

You’ve probably heard the term “eating your own dog food” before. It means that everyone on your team also needs to be a consumer or user of your product. Whether it’s dog food or checking accounts, “Dog Fooding” is a great way to ensure everyone really understands your product.

How many of your accounts and products do your employees actually use regularly?

You might be surprised at the answers — many CU employees cite privacy concerns as reasons they do not use CU accounts regularly. When I worked at a credit union, the people in the mortgage department were shocked when I refinanced my mortgage with them – not one of them was comfortable “undressing” financially in front of their peers, and so they all had mortgages elsewhere. Other services, such as home banking, might not be used much by employees because it’s so easy for them to take care of their business while at work.

In many industries, Dog Fooding is a critical part of development and quality control.

For example, software companies often uncover some surprising insights when they actually have to use the software they create.

The same applies to credit unions. Some differences in service are inevitable, but Dog Fooding is still a great way for employees to understand your products from a member’s perspective.

Is Dog Fooding part of the culture at your credit union?

Are there channels for good and bad employee experiences to be heard and acted on? How similar are the processes for employees and members? What happens if an employee has a problem or praise? What processes are in place to ensure privacy, especially of salary information?

Dog Fooding should be the expectation.

After all, how are employees supposed to be enthusiastic and knowledgeable about products they refuse to use?

Brian Wringer

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