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From Legacy to Digital: How Credit Unions Can Thrive with Salesforce

Implementing a Salesforce framework empowers organizations to recognize and adapt to shifting Member needs in real-time.

How do you see your Credit Union operating five to ten years from now?

It’s no secret that the landscape of the Financial Services industry is changing. Members have been very vocal about shifting preference towards digital experiences, leaving Credit Unions with a clear directive — but not a clear roadmap. This is why many organizations attempt to support a digital-first pivot with legacy technology, a cumbersome approach riddled with inefficiency. Yet, as discussed in a recent white paper, Credit Unions are hesitant to invest in large-scale transformation. 

This reluctance stems from focusing too much on immediate needs without considering the long-term implications. In simpler terms, Credit Unions are trying to use their current resources to satisfy today's demands, without planning for the challenges and needs of the next five to ten years. This piecemeal approach to digital adaptation won't be robust enough to handle evolving Member expectations, nor will it capitalize on the potential revenue gains from a comprehensive digital transformation.

So, let’s pivot to thinking strategically. Implementing a Salesforce framework empowers organizations to recognize and adapt to shifting Member needs in real-time. In doing so, Credit Unions can gain the functionality needed in the short-term, as well as the ability to scale with Member demand long-term. With only Financial Services Cloud, for example, Credit Unions can:

  • Leverage automation to reduce their cost-to-serve
  • Use real-time financial data to personalize marketing and service offerings
  • Craft a streamlined Member onboarding process
  • Translate essential functions (such as the entire lending lifecycle) to online and mobile

By leveraging the full capabilities of the Salesforce framework, Credit Unions won't just survive; they will thrive — increasing wallet shares of existing clients, captivating new Members, and holding a competitive edge in a digital-first market.

Let's break down how.

Growing wallet share with Financial Services Cloud

In the ever-evolving market landscape, a company's growth is directly tied to its capability to forecast the future needs of its Members based on existing data. Remember, some of the most lucrative upselling opportunities are nestled within life's major milestones – be it a move, a wedding, or the transition to retirement. Capturing these moments and understanding their implications can be a game-changer for businesses aiming to stay ahead and maximize profitability.

With the foundation of Financial Services Cloud in place, all current Members’ data is centralized and connected to comprehensive Member profiles. This is already useful on the front end, as it allows employees to surface Members’ financial history on command to provide seamless, personalized service experiences. However, by building atop that foundation with tools like CRM analytics and Einstein, organizations can unlock deep analytical capabilities that empower front-end employees to do more.

CRM analytics and Einstein leverage Member profiles to predict opportunities to upsell and then provide employees with recommendations for the next-best steps. With these tools, front-end employees can proactively recommend offerings that Members may not have been aware of, tailoring services to each Member’s needs. This data-driven, white-glove approach to sales has a high probability of increasing Member investment in your institution and driving Member loyalty.

Attracting and retaining new Members with Marketing Cloud

Unlocking the ability to reliably attract, secure, and retain new Members is just as crucial, especially as the economic landscape continues to become more digitally driven. Marketing Cloud suits organizations’ needs here, as it unlocks deep market visibility, cross-channel marketing capability, and the ability to optimize campaigns and spending. 

When layered on top of Financial Services Cloud, Marketing Cloud leverages 360-degree views of each Member to create personalized, automated marketing journeys on an individual level. Teams can view untapped market opportunities with Marketing Cloud’s real-time data analytics and send Members relevant, engaging material differentiating itself from typical, spammy content. In short, Marketing Cloud not only expands marketers’ ability to proactively reach out to untapped Member bases – it allows them to create and lead the Member through personalized, brand-unique marketing journeys.

Increasing competitive potential

Finally, we mentioned before that Financial Services Cloud can leverage automation to reduce organizations’ cost-to-serve. But what we have not yet considered is how this feature can empower organizations to compete with industry disruptors. While the rise of Fintech organizations does not yet pose an existential threat, experts believe that some will likely prove disruptive in the future – meaning Credit Unions will need to compete with these smaller organizations on pricing. As organizations reduce their cost-to-serve with Salesforce, they may gain more flexibility to adjust pricing and compete with potential disruptors. 

Leaders in Financial Services must understand the pitfalls of focusing solely on short-term competitiveness. While leveraging existing technology might address today's Member needs, it's imperative to think about the landscape five or ten years ahead. It's not just about meeting the demands of the moment, but about future-proofing. By adopting a forward-thinking approach to transformation, leaders can ensure they remain at the forefront, equipped with an infrastructure that not only meets evolving Member expectations but also fosters a dynamic digital lending ecosystem and promotes agile decision-making.

Interested in learning more about how Salesforce can help you future-proof your credit union? Check out our Financial Services microsite or contact us to speak with one of our industry experts!

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