Q&A: The Secret to Doubling Products Per Member
in League Initiatives

Sundeep Kapur, digital and consumer engagement strategist, will be presenting a one-day NJCUL Workshop on Branch Transformation, on Tuesday, February 7. The session is designed for anyone that has ever wondered how they can make their investment in a branch, its people, and all the associated technologies more productive for the credit union, and more valuable to members as well. 

This is the first of a two-part interview with Sundeep, where he discusses with NJCUL President/CEO David Frankil the potential gains from thinking about your branch in a different way.

Frankil: You talk about most branches being in need of “dramatic” redesign – for the majority of credit unions, the branch works pretty well as it is.  Dramatic is a strong word - why the sense of urgency?

Kapur: When people think about branch redesign, they usually think about how it looks. Looks play a critical role, but the drama comes from a reduction in the number of members coming in for advisory services. The critical business issue is how to bring members in, and the experience they have in the branch – and that is both a strategic and a process issue.

Frankil: How should we be thinking about the role that look and feel plays in bringing members into the branch?

Kapur: An old facility that has not seen any improvement doesn’t look inviting, and makes it difficult for members to feel comfortable. McDonald’s understands this concept – compare McDonald’s to Wendy’s and Burger King and you can see the difference.

But it is not just about a fresh coat of paint and new carpet – we need to think about redesign as a more global concept. Think about the three types of member journey – transactional, service, and advisory – in the context of the five key elements of branch design -

1. Transactional data – analytical foundation so you can understand what you are solving for

2. Member Journeys – how do members typically interact with the branch, what can you do in the branch to make it more efficient, provide transition zones for decompression, and more

3. Service zones –what services are members using in the branch, like safe deposit boxes, teller lines, meeting in an office with a loan officer, sitting and waiting in a lobby, even self-service and signage.  

4. Technology – what technologies will draw, attract, and serve 

5. Training – not just employees, but training members as well – all the way from account opening and onboarding and expectations

Frankil: But aren’t most credit unions trying to drive transactions and services online or to mobile, for efficiency and to reduce transaction costs? Why should we even be looking to drive members into our branches?

Kapur: Let me give you an example of a client I worked with, one with more than $600 million in assets and seven branches. The original engagement centered on determining which of those branches they should shut down. But after we walked through a more detailed analysis, they realized they would lose significant opportunities. Instead, we focused on those five key elements of branch design, and the results were startling. They went from an average of around two products per member, to nearly 4.5 products per member – more than double. The credit union also dramatically increased their service satisfaction scores. Before we started, they had a low of less than 30% responses and a 2.2 stars out of 5 on a satisfaction index. Those numbers jumped to more than 70% and 4.8 stars.

The financial results were equally dramatic – they went from being 60% loaned out to 96% loaned out. When I talk about dramatic redesign, that is what we are talking about.

Part II of this interview will appear next week, focusing on the three basic mistakes most credit unions make when they redesign their branches, taking a modular approach, how to adapt these concepts to smaller credit unions, and more.

If you want to hear more detail on these and other branch transformation concepts, join us on Tuesday, February 7 for Sundeep’s NJCUL Branch Transformation Workshop. Registration is just $75 per person, more information and registration is available here… Sundeep will even highlight two significant improvements and one big letdown at McDonald’s.