With the eruption of e-commerce offerings and the increasing use of smartphones and tablets, it is increasingly difficult for any firm to compete on product and pricing alone. The difficulty is increased by ever-rising expectations from our members regarding their desire to obtain the information they need when they need it in the way they want to make the inquiry.  This expectation is particularly the case for financial services organizations like Solarity. For us, the Member Experience (MX) has become a key competitive differentiator, driving decisions on where and how to do business, while attempting to build brand loyalists. This effort has been carried to all levels of the organization and has become a rallying cry for our team. Solarity maintains a very active “Voice of the Member” program that is collecting hundreds of ratings and comments a month from members throughout our market area and member base using e-mail surveys and phone calls.

Why is this important?

Today’s consumers of financial services want low-effort, high value, personalized interactions; and they choose to buy from organizations that provide this level of responsiveness. With a growing number of channels and touchpoints, customer interactions are more complex than ever. To meet our members’ needs, Solarity re-examined how our offerings deliver differentiated and compelling “MX.” The entire Member journey must be consistent, connected, and personalized. To accomplish this requires anticipating members’ needs, and upon recognizing their intent, history, and preferences, identifying the next-best action. Such an approach will allow Solarity to position MX as a cornerstone of our value proposition. However, getting to this point requires Solarity to have a clear MX roadmap to align our products and services, and the areas that matter most to our members.

Leveraging MX as a Competitive Differentiator

Our ‘Voice of the Member’ program has made it clear that our members want easy and intuitive offerings that are also robust and powerful. They want to receive the same level of service in any of the three-legged stool offerings of member experience. The legs are Digital/Mobile, Contact Center and physical locations. To meet these needs, Solarity is transforming all three of these channels. We are currently in the midst of creating a brand new informational website geared to not only members’ needs but also career seekers. We are reviewing our Contact Center capabilities along with the need to have a seamless Member Relationship Management capability for our staff. Lastly, we are also creating our prototype for the office of the future that will be focused on the relationship and issue resolution while transactions are handled by the ever more capable automated systems.

The result of these transformations will be an organization that can not only meet but continuously exceed the demands of our members. The true challenge placed on us will be maintaining this position given the ever increasing demands of our members, technology and regulation.