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How can we work together to get the most from technology solutions?

Partnering to make sure each application is used to their fullest capacity

 

I have learned a lot working with customers on their usage of our core and technology solutions over the past 20 years. One thing that stands out is that we are all creatures of habit. We have a tendency to do things the same way over and over. Change is hard. It is even harder when it aligns technology with the normal business flow of a credit union.

Supporting member transaction needs while at the same time streamlining operations requires a complex platform and in today’s industry, many mix and match systems. 

Hopefully, none of these technology solutions are stagnant. They expand to adapt to market changes, to provide more efficiency or competitive features. This is where “hidden” opportunities arise for credit unions, making sure you are using your technology applications to their fullest capability as well as fully optimizing processes and products offered by your organization.

 
 

In my role as Director of Account Management, I supervise system utilization audits, which are onsite visits by a team, to observe and coach our customers on how to successfully utilize the system to its fullest capacity.

 

In conducting countless audits over the years, the results vary by credit union, however something positive is always gained. At VisiFI, this is our chance to learn more about how the staff uses our products daily. The VisiFI onsite team learns more about credit union needs, as well as special processing activities that can be very specific based on field of membership. This also provides a great opportunity for development needs to be personally delivered to the technology team with deep understanding of the request. 

 

Understanding how a feature will be used in the day-to-day functions of a credit union environment is crucial to our business.

 

These audits bring attention to features that could be used better, and about the products that we offer that would resolve manual efforts and general training needs. All of these add up to significant efforts and hours saved, improved member engagement and loyalty as well as more content employees who can now work more efficiently, with less manual effort.  We are constantly evolving to allow credit unions to be competitive in the financial industry, whether that is offering products that others across the street already have or getting ahead of the competitors, we want to be sure you have what you need to be successful with constant growth.  Through in-depth conversations, we typically find we have a product to accomplish the need, and if not, we can usually build it. 

At VisiFI, this is a condition we recognized long ago and can understand how it can happen. We have customers that have been using our solutions for over 25 years.

 

In the last 3 years alone, we have added over 500 features (enhancements) to our core product alone. That does not include any of our 50+ application modules. We are heavily invested in trying to keep up with our customer needs, but it is futile if these features are not applied.

 

The most crucial piece of an onsite audit is to listen. Sometimes it’s the small things that have the most impact. While we all get excited over new products or features being added to the core, sometimes the small, simple features have the greatest impact. For example, talking through a process and learning that just one click during that process can save hundreds of clicks per day, may add up to be the smallest feature from a development standpoint, but the most rewarding change for the staff. From what I have been able to discern, the key contributors to this scenario are:

  • The Transmittable Affect - Sally trained Bob, Bob trained Susan and one day, someone asks why they do it that way. This is a common response when observing process during an audit. We have all experienced this at some point in our lives. Now, multiply this by hundreds of activities performed each day, by multiple employees and these inefficiencies add up quickly. We tend to ask “why” a lot. This is because asking why typically guides a conversation that leads to complete understanding of not only the steps taken, but the reason for the steps that are being taken. Once the "why" is determined then the appropriate recommendations can be proposed for efficiency.
  • The New Release Factor - As I mentioned earlier, a good technology partner is investing in modifications that improve processes and expands features. These software changes are carefully introduced to customers through a series of releases throughout the year. Normally, there are 3-4 major releases each year which include multiple updates with a wide range of impact on the solution. So, if you have an active technology partner, and you continue to operate "as normal", chances are you missed some opportunity. It is understandable how this can happen. Everyone is busy and implementing change can be challenging. There are times when a customer asks about a feature that is already available to them, however it is really exciting to be able to share we can immediately implement it while on site.
 

As a provider of these solutions, we assume some of the responsibility to be sure our customers are getting the most from their products.  It is a challenge because the environment we work in is dynamic. Not only does the software change, but employees change.

 

We offer regular live training and online videos to help our customers and put a great deal of time into sending detailed release notes to communicate the changes we have made.

 

But over time, things get missed, people get into habits of how things work, and you can see where the disconnect occurs. That is why we began offering onsite audits and now recommend to all our customers that we conduct one at least every two to three years.

These sessions are eye-opening and have been rewarding for us as well as our customers. We want our customers to be successful and hope that our technology platform positions them for great things. One of the key factors is that they need to be using it to the fullest extent to get the complete value.

Katie Brackett
Director of Account Management