The "Gee Whiz" factor only goes so far.

New CU tech needs Marketing love, too

Woohoo! Your shiny brand-new website, online banking, mobile banking app, P2P payments platform, fribbert cromulator, or all the above is ready to rock! All your need to do is shut down the old one, flip a few switches here and there, and your members will love it! They’ll flock to download the apps, and no one will have the slightest trouble.

Well… maybe. But only if you’ve shown the shiny new stuff a lot of shiny old-fashioned marketing love beforehand.

Here’s how to make sure your cool new CU tech gets a warm reception:

Tell them all about it

News about new tech is an everyday occurrence, and the “gee whiz” factor only goes so far. If you load up a giant hype train full of promises, no one will trust you.

But it is still important to get people excited about your new tech, so how do you do that without spreading too much glitter?

Just make sure you focus on the real, everyday impact and uses. What makes your new CU tech so special and so important for your members?

Get ahead of changes. Way ahead.

Even if the new tech is a million times better, faster, and fresher than the old tech, it’s still a change, and people need time to get used to changes.

For example, if you’re changing online banking and/or your mobile app, start communicating on your website, email, social media, in the app, etc. at least four to six weeks ahead of time; if they’ll need to do something different like install a new app, err on the high side.

If it’s something like a new website, then two or three weeks ahead is probably fine; they won’t need to do anything differently, but they’ll appreciate a sneak peek and a heads-up that things will look different soon.

Talk about security and privacy

If you want your members to sign up for something, install an app, or hand over info, tell them exactly how you are keeping them safe and protecting their privacy. Trust is your most important asset, so pay close attention to what’s happening to what member data, and tell them how it works in plain language; don’t hide behind a generic disclosure.

Give ’em lots of help

This may seem obvious, but don’t depend on folks to figure things out on their own, and don’t depend on generic help content from the vendor. For example, put up short screen capture videos on your website showing exactly how to do things in your specific app, with colors, buttons, labels, and everything exactly the same as what they’ll see so they’re not confused. The phone will ring a lot less, and folks will be a lot happier when they can solve their own problems.

And make sure there are multiple ways people can get help if they’re still having trouble; phone, email, a form, chat, etc.

Eat your own dog food

Dog fooding” simply means using your own products so that you’ll know how they work. Make sure everyone who will be supporting members is encouraged to actually use the new tech before it’s released to the members so they’re familiar with how it works. That means a live testing period before the full launch, and perhaps incentives to get everyone on board.

Respect their muscle memory

If you’re replacing something people are accustomed to using (for example, a new login for online banking), make sure you understand what they’re used to doing, and work with that.

If the process will be different, you might need to deliberately interrupt their flow and get their attention so you can show them the new information. Or maybe you can tweak the new process to work more like the old one and reduce speed bumps along the way.

For new websites, make sure you understand which pages people have bookmarked and forward these URLs if needed. Look at your internal and external search data and make sure this info is even more “findable”.

Ask for feedback

Put a simple feedback form on your website and/or in your app, if you can. Hey, how did it go? What do you like? What’s not great? What did you have trouble with? What are your ideas for making this even better? Asking for an honest opinion is an act of respect, and the feedback (even the grumpy feedback) is extremely valuable. And of course, follow up whenever it makes sense.

Show some marketing love for your new credit union tech before, during, and after launch. You’ll reduce stress and maximize clicks, taps, and happiness all around!

Gotta whole lotta love…

Brian Wringer

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