When consumers are going through an unexpected and stressful time, there’s a lot that financial organisations can do to ease their customers' worry about finances. Organisations that are well embedded in their communities will be relied on more than ever for help and advice. Many people will be looking to their credit union, or they might reach out to a CDFI depending on their need. So, what steps can organisations like these take to help ease the financial anxiety of their customers.
Understand each situation
Take the time to understand each person’s unique financial needs. Credit unions in particular, thrive at being at the centre of their communities and have a proven record of connecting with each and every member. Every consumer has their own situation and this approach will make all the difference. And while each financial organisation has products and services that will help many, knowing the specific needs of the customer will help you to give that tailored service that might make them feel calmer about their situation.
Explain all their options and let them decide
Let your customers know exactly what their options are and how each can help them. Giving them the final decision and not making them feel pushed in a certain direction will allow for them to feel like they still have some control over their situation. Many people may be facing financial hardship and sometimes just need someone to talk to. As well as this, lots of consumers will be in situations they never thought they’d be in and probably don’t know how to deal with it. This is not only financially but mentally too, so this is something that needs to be considered when a customer approaches you.
Keep reminding them of how you can help
Keep in constant communication with your customers. They might need your help at some point, even if they don’t realise it yet. Keep in touch with them via email or notifications if you can do so. Using the technology that you have available can help you greatly at this time. Always being at the forefront of your customers mind will mean they know someone will be able to help them should the need arise. Having your name and products or services pop up on their screen every so often will remind them that you're there for them.
Allow for digital conversations and interactions
If customers lose the ability to come into your branch, they may feel uneasy, especially if this is the only way they normally interact with you. They will want to know that the option to manage their money is still there for them. Technology can allow you to keep your members interacting with your organisation and they can still have the visibility of their accounts. Technology can also give them continued access to your services so if you don't yet have this in place then it's worth looking into. Our team can tell you more about this.
The current global state is a trying time for consumers everywhere as well as businesses. We are working through a time of unprecedented challenges and financial organisations can do a lot to ease the worry customers. We are seeing a lot of announcements about different initiatives to help consumers and everyone is pulling together to help play their part.
Soar is also trying to ease the worry of the financial organisations who are helping consumers. We have put measures in place to allow quick access to digital technology including, transactional banking, loan applications and communication tools. If you're in need of this kind of support for your organisation, you can find out more about this here.