How Credit Unions Can Connect with Gen Z | Fonolo (2024)

33% of Gen Z are already working full-time. Credit unions can’t afford to miss out on winning theirloyalty.

Even though credit unions and Gen Z appear to be a great match, there’s one crucial element that’s stopping most credit unions from making a connection: customer experience technology.

Wehaveput togetheran abridged version of our exclusive new industry report: Connecting with Gen Z: How Credit Unions Can Win the Battle for Gen Z’s Banking.

Gen Z is Made for Credit Unions

The reason that members of Gen Z are referred to as ‘Zoomers’ is theirapparent similarities to Baby Boomers— in some respects. This makes them an excellent match for credit unions.

Gen Z Are More Community-Minded

Studies have shown that Gen-Z isvery community and family-minded. That indicates they’re likely to connect with the values of many credit unions naturally.

Gen Z Will Pay More for ‘Conscious’ or ‘Personal’ Service

Somestudies also indicatethat Gen-Z is more willing to pay extra for ‘conscious’ businesses that have a positive local or global impact. And they’re happy to pay more for a more bespoke service that handles things for them — the kind of personal service that many credit unions pride themselves on.

P2P Lending Will Continue to Grow Rapidly

P2P lending is the disrupter’s term for what credit unions have essentially been doing for decades. But the growth of these new-age credit unions showsthere’s an appetitefor peer-to-peer and community lending schemes.

If credit unions can present their values clearly and create targeted new product lines, there’s no reason why they can’t take on many of these new P2P lenders.

So — what’s the real reason Gen-Z aren’t flocking to credit unions?

Why You’re Not Connecting with Gen Z

In short, many credit unions haven’t made the investments in technology that they need to win over Gen-Z.

This is a generation for whom answers have always been instantly at their fingertips. They’ve been connected to the internet their whole lives — and show clearsigns of distresswhen disconnected from it.

Zoomers expect their technology to ‘just work.’ They want solutions that are fast, simple, and effective. Interestingly, despite their apparent sensitivity to prices, they don’t mindpaying for services that make things easierfor them.

Gen Z expects their technology to just work. If credit unions don't invest in bringing their tech stack up to expectations, they will miss out on a prime opportunity to connect with Zoomers. #GenZ #CreditUnion Click To Tweet

Education and marketing are relatively easy to fix. But if you don’t start investing in bringing your tech stack up to Gen-Z’s expectations, it’s going to be too late by the time you do.

How to Connect with Gen Z

Living up to Gen-Z’s expectations of service requires three things:

  • Speed
  • Integration
  • Ease of use

Making Your Operations Faster

If you thought millennials were impatient, you haven’t seen anything yet. Gen-Z is the least forgiving generation to date. They’re unwilling to compromise when it comes to companies respecting their time.

If you thought millennials were impatient, you haven't seen anything yet. Gen-Z is the least forgiving generation to date. They're unwilling to compromise when it comes to companies respecting their time. #GenZ #CX Click To Tweet

If your website is too slow — they’ll bounce. If your transaction times are too slow, they’ll find someone who can do it faster. And if you keep them waiting — for any amount of time — for customer support, they’re going tocomplain about it on Twitterand ditch you at the next opportunity.

Optimize your website and mobile app for performance speed. If you can’t add extra agents, invest in technology that helps you minimize wait times, like advanced call-backs.

It might seem like a large upfront cost to invest in upgrading your server capacity, getting dedicated internet, or using a Content Delivery Network.

Integrate Your Channels Better

Omnichannel isn’t a ‘nice-to-have’ any longer — it’s a necessity.

Gen-Z expects to be able to converse with your credit union as if it is a single entity, across multiple channels. Get a central CRM that records all clienttouchpointsand that any customer-facing employee can access.

Integration also means ensuring that your digital and real assets align — to achieve this, you need to offer the same functionality on mobile, desktop, on in-branch. That means full features in mobile apps, Web Call-Backs (formerly Visual IVR) everywhere, and the same level of customer service in-branch as online.

Full omnichannel service contributes to the reduction of friction in the member journey, but you need to take things further with Gen-Z.

Due to their somewhat introvertedtendencies, you’re going to have to initiate contact more often. If you want them to move between channels on your terms (for example, to call a sales line), you’re going to have to offer to reach out to them instead.Otherwise, there’s a good chanceyou’ll never hear from them again.

Make Things Easier

Members of Gen Z arelessconfident in their financial ability, and many of them struggle to understand their bills. Makethings easy for them, and they will deeply appreciate it. You need to analyze your member touchpoints for friction and remove the cause.

Eliminate any unnecessary steps in your processes. Enhance anything that isn’t clear with help-tips and links to relevant help articles. Create short, simple walk-through videos for your most complex operations.

Anywhere you find you have avoidable friction, prompt customers with an opportunity to engage with a live chat agent or book a call-back.

Apple does this particularly well with their customer support section. Their interactive self-service section allows you to navigate through the various help articles related to your issue. Should those not give you an answer, they present you with an option to start a live chat or to receive a call-back.

At no point does the customer have to pick up the phone and dial. There’s no real waiting, even if you book a call a couple of hours in advance. It feels like an attentive, personal service. Not bad for a company with several billion customers.

10 Things Customers Want and Expect from Customer Service

Reduce Friction in Your CX to Win Gen-Z’s Loyalty

New product lines and huge re-brands may not be an option for many credit unions. But there’s a more straightforward way to win the loyalty of Gen-Z: make things easy.

The best thing credit unions can do to improve their chances with Gen-Z is to invest in their customer experience technology. It’s critical to invest in eliminating friction in the member journey because Gen-Z simply won’t stand for it.

To finish, here’s a list of some technology to invest in for the next generation:

  • A fully integrated omnichannel contact center
  • Web Call-Backs and advanced call-backs
  • A full-featured mobile platform
  • Interactive video self-service

Set these up now and work on removing friction from your member journey, and you’ll be ready to take on the next generation’s banking.

As an expert in banking technology and customer experience, I have a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and opportunities credit unions face in connecting with Generation Z. The evidence supporting my expertise lies in the intricate knowledge of the concepts discussed in the article, as well as the broader landscape of financial technology and generational preferences.

The article emphasizes the significant potential for credit unions to engage with Generation Z, also known as 'Zoomers,' by aligning with their community-minded values and willingness to pay more for conscious and personalized services. Additionally, the growth of peer-to-peer (P2P) lending is highlighted, indicating an opportunity for credit unions to leverage their traditional community-focused approach in this evolving financial landscape.

The main obstacle preventing credit unions from effectively connecting with Generation Z is identified as a lack of investment in customer experience technology. The 'Zoomers' have grown up with instant access to information and expect seamless, fast, and effective solutions. This insight is crucial for credit unions to bridge the gap and capture the loyalty of this demographic.

To address this challenge, the article suggests three key components for credit unions to focus on:

  1. Speed: Gen Z is the least forgiving generation in terms of time. Credit unions must optimize their website, mobile app, and transaction processes for speed. Advanced technologies like call-back systems can help minimize wait times for customer support.

  2. Integration: Omnichannel service is no longer optional. Gen Z expects a seamless experience across various channels. This involves implementing a central Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to record all client touchpoints and ensuring consistency in functionality across digital and physical assets.

  3. Ease of Use: Gen Z, less confident in their financial abilities, appreciates simplicity. Credit unions should analyze touchpoints for friction and streamline processes. The use of interactive self-service sections, help-tips, and short walkthrough videos can enhance the overall customer experience.

The article concludes by stressing the importance of investing in customer experience technology, listing specific technologies such as a fully integrated omnichannel contact center, Web Call-Backs, a full-featured mobile platform, and interactive video self-service. By addressing these technological aspects and eliminating friction in the member journey, credit unions can position themselves to effectively connect with and win the loyalty of Generation Z in banking.

How Credit Unions Can Connect with Gen Z | Fonolo (2024)
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