Iterate, evaluate, tinker, test, tweak, and try

Why credit union websites must be flexy and stretchy

When it’s time to build a new website for your credit union, what are you looking for?

The longest list of features? An all-in-one, all-singing, all-dancing set of solutions to all your problems forever? Set it and forget it? Write a check and walk away?

Or are you looking for a long-term relationship, a basis for handling everything the world throws at you, a platform that can quickly stretch, flex, bounce, adapt, integrate, and update for many years to come?

Here’s why flexibility, compatibility, and the ability to experiment and evolve are a lot more important for a credit union website than lists and buzzwords.

Integration is where it’s at

A typical credit union combines many solutions from different providers to serve up the best possible member experience.

And the blend changes almost constantly. Maybe your members need something new. Or maybe one of your providers is getting stale, so you need to make a switch. 

Tight integration is essential to the overall member experience. And your website is a key part of the glue that holds it all together; the website sets the standard for your brand and every online and mobile experience.

The only constant is change

To make that tight integration happen, and keep making it happen, your website needs to be able to stretch and flex as needed. For example, if your core or online loan app providers change, can your website (and your website developers) keep up, and make the needed integrations smoothly? Can they help you and your members navigate the changes?

Products and strategies change, too. For example, many credit unions have added things like business services, or enhanced online services in recent years. Sometimes the priority pendulum swings to or from deposit or loan products depending on what’s happening in the financial world. So you need a framework that can flex around changes, and stretch to include brand-new products and services.

And the world changes, too — the shift to mobile-first websites, for example, changed a lot of website best practices over time. Many credit unions are moving more toward member empowerment through education and online resources, so they need access to new tools for managing, building, and even integrating content.

Embrace the evolution revolution

Quick, how often should you rebuild a credit union website?

Sorry, trick question: the right answer is both “every day” and “never”. Focus your budget, time, and energy on continuous, ongoing improvements rather than blowing it all up and starting over every few years.

Our advice is to plan for at least one relatively major feature or integration every year, with nearly constant minor updates, tweaks, revisions, and experiments. In the long run, you’ll get a lot more bang for a lot less bucks.

Iterate, evaluate, tinker, test, tweak, and try

Once your website launches, don’t let it sit around. Start changing stuff right away. Work with your website every single day, even several times a day. Try new things and comparisons, and see what happens.

Close the loop with evaluation. Did loans go up more with “A” or “B”? What do the Analytics numbers say? Schedule regular reviews with your developers to go over feedback, new needs, nice-to-haves, and future needs and plans.

Learn to love the flex 

The pace of change online is breathtaking. Learn to love it, and lean into that speed and that state of constant flux, flex, and stretch.

Embrace uncertainty and plan for the unknowable on your website, and you, your credit union, and your members will be well-equipped for whatever’s next.

Brian Wringer

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