How Credit Unions Can Connect with Gen Z

Customer Experience | 5 minute read

33% of Gen Z are already working full-time. Credit unions can’t afford to miss out on winning their loyalty.

Even though credit unions and Gen Z appear to be a great match, there’s one crucial element that’s stopping most credit unions from making a connection: customer experience technology.

We have put together an abridged version of our exclusive new industry report: Connecting with Gen Z: How Credit Unions Can Win the Battle for Gen Z’s Banking.

Gen Z is Made for Credit Unions

The reason that members of Gen Z are referred to as ‘Zoomers’ is their apparent similarities to Baby Boomers — in some respects. This makes them an excellent match for credit unions.

Gen Z Are More Community-Minded

Studies have shown that Gen-Z is very community and family-minded. That indicates they’re likely to connect with the values of many credit unions naturally.

Gen Z Will Pay More for ‘Conscious’ or ‘Personal’ Service

Some studies also indicate that Gen-Z is more willing to pay extra for ‘conscious’ businesses that have a positive local or global impact. And they’re happy to pay more for a more bespoke service that handles things for them — the kind of personal service that many credit unions pride themselves on.

P2P Lending Will Continue to Grow Rapidly

P2P lending is the disrupter’s term for what credit unions have essentially been doing for decades. But the growth of these new-age credit unions shows there’s an appetite for peer-to-peer and community lending schemes.

If credit unions can present their values clearly and create targeted new product lines, there’s no reason why they can’t take on many of these new P2P lenders.

So — what’s the real reason Gen-Z aren’t flocking to credit unions?

Why You’re Not Connecting with Gen Z

In short, many credit unions haven’t made the investments in technology that they need to win over Gen-Z.

This is a generation for whom answers have always been instantly at their fingertips. They’ve been connected to the internet their whole lives — and show clear signs of distress when disconnected from it.

Zoomers expect their technology to ‘just work.’ They want solutions that are fast, simple, and effective. Interestingly, despite their apparent sensitivity to prices, they don’t mind paying for services that make things easier for them.

Gen Z expects their technology to just work. If credit unions don't invest in bringing their tech stack up to expectations, they will miss out on a prime opportunity to connect with Zoomers. #GenZ #CreditUnion Click To Tweet

Education and marketing are relatively easy to fix. But if you don’t start investing in bringing your tech stack up to Gen-Z’s expectations, it’s going to be too late by the time you do.

How to Connect with Gen Z

Living up to Gen-Z’s expectations of service requires three things:

  • Speed
  • Integration
  • Ease of use

Making Your Operations Faster

If you thought millennials were impatient, you haven’t seen anything yet. Gen-Z is the least forgiving generation to date. They’re unwilling to compromise when it comes to companies respecting their time.

If you thought millennials were impatient, you haven't seen anything yet. Gen-Z is the least forgiving generation to date. They're unwilling to compromise when it comes to companies respecting their time. #GenZ #CX Click To Tweet

If your website is too slow — they’ll bounce. If your transaction times are too slow, they’ll find someone who can do it faster. And if you keep them waiting — for any amount of time — for customer support, they’re going to complain about it on Twitter and ditch you at the next opportunity.

Optimize your website and mobile app for performance speed. If you can’t add extra agents, invest in technology that helps you minimize wait times, like advanced call-backs.

It might seem like a large upfront cost to invest in upgrading your server capacity, getting dedicated internet, or using a Content Delivery Network.

Integrate Your Channels Better

Omnichannel isn’t a ‘nice-to-have’ any longer — it’s a necessity.

Gen-Z expects to be able to converse with your credit union as if it is a single entity, across multiple channels. Get a central CRM that records all client touchpoints and that any customer-facing employee can access.

Integration also means ensuring that your digital and real assets align — to achieve this, you need to offer the same functionality on mobile, desktop, on in-branch. That means full features in mobile apps, Web Call-Backs (formerly Visual IVR) everywhere, and the same level of customer service in-branch as online.

Full omnichannel service contributes to the reduction of friction in the member journey, but you need to take things further with Gen-Z.

Due to their somewhat introverted tendencies, you’re going to have to initiate contact more often. If you want them to move between channels on your terms (for example, to call a sales line), you’re going to have to offer to reach out to them instead. Otherwise, there’s a good chance you’ll never hear from them again.

Make Things Easier

Members of Gen Z are less confident in their financial ability, and many of them struggle to understand their bills. Make things easy for them, and they will deeply appreciate it. You need to analyze your member touchpoints for friction and remove the cause.

Eliminate any unnecessary steps in your processes. Enhance anything that isn’t clear with help-tips and links to relevant help articles. Create short, simple walk-through videos for your most complex operations.

Anywhere you find you have avoidable friction, prompt customers with an opportunity to engage with a live chat agent or book a call-back.

Apple does this particularly well with their customer support section. Their interactive self-service section allows you to navigate through the various help articles related to your issue. Should those not give you an answer, they present you with an option to start a live chat or to receive a call-back.

At no point does the customer have to pick up the phone and dial. There’s no real waiting, even if you book a call a couple of hours in advance. It feels like an attentive, personal service. Not bad for a company with several billion customers.

Reduce Friction in Your CX to Win Gen-Z’s Loyalty

New product lines and huge re-brands may not be an option for many credit unions. But there’s a more straightforward way to win the loyalty of Gen-Z: make things easy.

The best thing credit unions can do to improve their chances with Gen-Z is to invest in their customer experience technology. It’s critical to invest in eliminating friction in the member journey because Gen-Z simply won’t stand for it.

To finish, here’s a list of some technology to invest in for the next generation:

  • A fully integrated omnichannel contact center
  • Web Call-Backs and advanced call-backs
  • A full-featured mobile platform
  • Interactive video self-service

Set these up now and work on removing friction from your member journey, and you’ll be ready to take on the next generation’s banking.

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