Lending in a 24/7 World
The importance of round-the-clock decisioning
Almost every credit union is providing some level of 24/7 access to their members. For most, it’s strictly through digital channels. Very few take it to the next level with live lending support after-hours and on weekends. If you’re not providing this level of service, allow us to make the case for it:
It’s 7:00 on Saturday night and your member has just found the perfect car at the dealer. The dealer is putting on the hard sell, but your member really wants to get the loan through the credit union, because you have always taken care of them in the past. The member calls but gets a message that you are closed until Monday. They really want this car, and they can get the loan through the dealer right on the spot.
Normally in the situation above, the member is going to take the dealer up on their financing offer more times than not. That represents a big missed revenue opportunity for the credit union. Not only for that particular loan, but for revenue from potential future loans and other ancillary products.
The ability to talk to a live loan representative at any time of day or night, any day of the week, is becoming almost a necessity in today’s changing environment. Research polls report that 88% of members want to talk with a LIVE agent, when they are ready to apply for a loan. Polls also report that 50% of members will call another financial institution, if they cannot connect with a LIVE agent when applying for a loan.
Data from our partner company LSI confirms, through A/B testing, that credit unions that offer 24/7 access can take almost twice as many loan applications as their peers. Furthermore, these credit unions fund a much greater percentage of their loan applications as a result of offering live 24/7 support.
The numbers above indicate that when it comes to their finances, many people still prefer the personal touch. What does that mean for credit unions?
The Rest of the Story
In addition to the revenue impact, it’s also just good business to provide the highest level of member service support to your member owners. The long-term impact and goodwill you build with your members will pay dividends for years and years to come.
Whether it’s money, groceries, cars, or other goods & services, we live in a world where people want immediate gratification. The more you can match up your services with the needs of your members, the greater chance you’ll have of establishing meaningful, long-standing relationships with them.
Ed Swanson is Vice President of Lending/Consultant for Lending Solutions Consulting, Inc. For more information, please contact Scot Vackar.