2021 was a banner year for lending with credit unions originating almost $800 billion in new loans. While first mortgage origination grew a steady 7.5% year-over-year to $313 billion — 40% of total loan origination — that growth was significantly down from the previous year’s growth. Rising home prices, interest rates, and an increasing number of options available to consumers could make 2022 a challenging year for credit unions relying on first mortgage loans.
Winning The Last 6 Feet
Brands that sell in big box stores and grocery stores use a principle called “winning the last six feet.” In a sea of similar options, how can you make your product stand out to win the last six feet while consumers are in the aisle shopping? That same principle applies for credit union lending — how can your credit union “win the last six feet” while your members and potential members are researching different lending options at your credit union?
Your marketing and lending teams develop strategies to drive more interest, but are you missing potential loan applications by not offering the right calls to action?
Two consumer insights you need to know:
According to Engageware, 73% of credit union website searches related to products happen on nights and weekends, typically when your staff are not available — 40% on Sunday alone.
According to Deloitte Research, 65% of consumers prefer in-branch assistance for mortgages or refinances.
When we look at credit unions’ websites and mobile banking applications, the vast majority are still offering two calls to action, directing visitors to either:
Call or visit a branch — typically open during the day when your audience is not researching loan options.
Apply online — even though 65% of your audience prefers in-branch assistance.
This is where offering omnichannel scheduling provides the perfect bridge from intent to action.
Here are three ways your credit union can use appointment scheduling to drive more loan applications.
1. Optimize The Digital Experience
Most consumers in 2022 start their research digitally. To convert digital traffic into applications, credit unions need to surround prospective members with the right calls to action in the right places. This includes the main navigation and the contact page but is especially pertinent to all content associated with loans — where site visitors have greater intent. Loan product pages, rate tables, drop-down menus or sub-navigation, and even search results are all necessities.
Summit Credit Union does an excellent job of surrounding its website visitors with two main calls to action — Apply or Meet with Us. With the Meet with Us option, visitors can choose their preference — In Person, By Video, or By Phone — and schedule a day and time to meet with a loan specialist. This allows visitors to take the next step — apply or schedule — ensuring they capture users during their highest point of intent — when they are in the “consideration” phase.
2. Convert Contact Center Calls, Chats, And Emails
Even in the digital age, there is a segment of consumers that prefer to call, chat, or send an email to get more information. When we talk to credit union leaders, the typical process today: The member service representative puts the consumer on hold, finds the right person (who is typically not available at that moment), and is forced take down their information for a call back. With appointment software, the member service representative can easily schedule an appointment at a time and place convenient for the member. This ensures they not only create a positive member experience but also capture users during their highest intent moment.
3. Automate Reminders And Confirmations
With an appointment scheduling solution, reminders and confirmations are automatically sent to both the consumer and your loan officer. These can be set up to go out upon scheduling as well as other times leading up to the appointment and by the channel of their choice — email or text. This reduces no-show rates dramatically and removes the manual task from the loan officer’s busy day.
Additionally, the reminders and confirmations can be used to ensure the consumers come prepared with the right information. Prospective members are 60% more likely to convert into an application if they come prepared with the necessary information required to apply — such as valid ID, recent pay stub, tax returns, etc.
Win The Last Six Feet With Intelligent Appointment Scheduling
Even in the digital age, the need for lending expertise and consultation is still in high demand. As credit unions, you pride yourself on your member experience, and intelligent appointment scheduling can help you achieve your 2022 loan growth goals by winning the last six feet.
Interested in learning more? Watch this short, on-demand webinar “Drive 42% more loan applications: 3 Ways to Convert Your Existing Traffic. view now.
Engageware is the industry-leading provider of customer engagement solutions with more than 1 billion appointments scheduled via its award-winning appointment scheduling software. Trusted by hundreds of financial institutions, Engageware’s appointment scheduling customers outpaced the industry by 222% in Q3 loan growth (7.41% vs 2.31% industry average).