Article

It Pays to Have Displays

A digital sign provides a vibrant and engaging focal point at Northwest FCU in Herndon Virginia
By Dan Snyder

5 minutes

Credit unions can leverage digital signage to position their branches for the future.

Credit unions were among the earliest and continue to be the most adept and skillful users of digital signage in financial service centers. Early on, they discovered that digital signage is an effective way to promote products and services, reduce costs, conserve resources and compete successfully against institutions in their market that are larger and better funded. Credit unions also found that digital signage can be a useful tool for modernizing their retail environments and favorably modifying the member service experience.

Now, as credit unions contemplate how to transition their in-branch sales and service models in response to changing consumer behaviors, preferences and attitudes, it’s important to think about the role digital signage can play in this transformation.  Here are five suggestions.

1. Use Digital Signage to Win the Battle with Smaller Screens

Your younger members are part of the most visually literate consumer generation in history. Their ability to absorb and process graphic information is highly sophisticated, and their consumption of video content is unprecedented.

Use this to your advantage by increasing the presence of digital signage in your branch to create initial engagement and sustain participation with your credit union’s messages.

Upgrading and expanding the digital signage in your branch will not only enable you to communicate more effectively, it will help you compete with the smartphone in your members’ purse or pocket, and the access it provides to their favorite social media, fantasy sports or online shopping website. The sheer size and brightness of a 55-, 60- or 70-inch digital display or multi-screen video wall featuring full-motion, high-definition video in vivid color can be your best ally in winning the war for your members’ attention.

Thanks to innovative, ultra-compact media player technology, it’s now more affordable than ever to present dynamic, high-definition video on ever-larger displays whose cost also continues to come down.

Using robust, web-based controls, a credit union’s digital signage administrator can easily manage its screens from anywhere at any time. When intuitive creation and editing tools, industry-specific content and around-the-clock support are added, CUs are able to implement and run dynamic digital signage systems with very little investment in time or money.

2. Add Social Media and Other Valuable Content

You can increase engagement and participation with your digital displays by creating a content experience for members that is similar to their own connected experience.

Think about incorporating social media sources like Twitter or displaying your Facebook page. Find relevant YouTube videos and make them part of your presentation or add local interest by incorporating RSS feeds from local media outlets.

Consumers rely on a multiplicity of information sources, particularly when it comes to weighing decisions about such life choices as home purchases, business startups or financing an education. Messages about your products and services can benefit from being delivered in tandem with independent or sponsored media that encourages your members to identify their needs and seek counsel from their trusted financial services provider—your credit union.

3. Think Creatively About Interactivity

Your member’s smartphone, tablet and laptop have made today’s generation of consumers the most empowered ever.

The online, connected environment has been developed so that individuals expect to control the terms of engagement with their social group and business peers, with online retailers, with entertainment and news media, and with service providers like your CU.

This applies not only to their online encounters, but also when they visit your branch. Adding interactive digital signage to the service center can be a powerful tool for responding to consumer expectations and preferences. These displays can offer a selection of printable brochures and loan or member applications, links to a variety of videos with overviews of products and services, mini-tutorials about online or mobile banking applications and countless other options.

By providing members with on-demand answers to their product and service questions, interactive screens can better prepare members to have meaningful and informed consultations with service associates that result in increased account openings, more efficient use of staff time and improved member satisfaction.

4. Create a Vehicle for Advocacy

Digital signage is an ideal medium for giving voice to the issues that are important to your credit union and the communities and constituencies it serves.

Whether making members aware of the support your credit union provides to local charities and ways they can be involved or mobilizing members to advocate for pending legislation that will impact the credit union’s ability to meet more of their needs, digital signage can issue a highly visible call to action.

Issue-oriented messaging can also add to the relevance of your content mix and support stronger and more sustained viewer participation that will generate more impressions for your promotional messages.

5. Let Digital Signage Do the Selling

Selling has gotten a bad name in the financial services industry lately with media reports of high-profile institutions that either wrongly incentivized or threatened service associates to open accounts at any cost. In reaction, consumers may be wary of in-branch personnel that recommend products and services.

More than ever, digital signage must be enlisted to shoulder the load of promoting new accounts and increasing the share-of-wallet within the CU’s membership. By continuously building awareness, articulating product and service benefits, and encouraging members to inquire, digital signage can free your member service personnel to be impartial facilitators instead of sales agents and can position your CU as the responsive, consultative, helpful partner your members want it to be.

Keeping in mind the five facets of digital signage described above, evaluate your credit union’s use of this powerful communication medium and start thinking about how it can help position your credit union for the challenges and opportunities of the future.

Dan Snyder is president/CEO at CUES Supplier member inLighten, Clarence, N.Y.

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