Banking on Digital Growth
Banking on Digital Growth

Episode · 1 year ago

20) #ExponentialInsights: The Great Pause: Why Now Is the Time for Transformation w/ Samantha Paxson


The pandemic has given us a chance we never get in this fast-paced world. 

“The Great Pause”

A once-in-a-lifetime chance to stop and assess what we’re doing.

 Samantha Paxson, Executive Vice President/Chief Experience Officer at CO-OP Financial Services, says your financial brand should take advantage of it. 

She joins me in today’s episode and we discuss:

-The Great Pause and why it’s the best time for transformation

-How to build trust with your customers

-How to increase engagement and, ultimately, market share in this time

You can find this interview, and many more, by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or here.

We never had a time in history, are at least in our lifetimes, where we've really been able to juststop and be able to assess what are we doing? You are listening tobanking on digital growth with James Robert Laigh, a podcast that empowers financial brand,marketing, sales and leadership teams to maximize their digital growth potential by generatingten times more loans and deposits. Today's episode is part of the exponential insightseries, where James Robert Interviews the industry's top marketing, sales and FINTECH leaders, sharing practical wisdom to exponentially elevate you and your team. Let's get intothe show. Welcome to the show, Sam. Thank you going to beare well. When you and I talked to kind of frame up some thinkingaround this conversation, the world was a very different place. A lot hastranspired over the past few weeks and you've been busy leading your team, leadingyour organization. But what is good, what is good right now for you, as you've worked through this, this new normal that we're all trying topick through together, I was a lot of good things. I mean Iread an article in a medium the other day describing this time as the greatpause and if you haven't read the article, to it's it's it's really good.Probably great pause, and basically what it's saying is that we've never hada time in history, or at least in our lifetimes, where we've reallybeen able to just stop and be able to assess what are we doing?How can we be doing it better, as we've been kind of going throughMaslow's hierarchy of needs that are water, food, you know, kind ofview of the world where we've been fighting...

...fires, all of this change that'shappening to in our personal lives and our business. So you you mentioned thegreat pause and you're right. We have not been able to really create thisspace and time. This has been a almost a forcing function into our worklife, into our personal life, our family life, but it's literally oneof the for digital growth operating environments that I work with financial brands around,because there's there's the the training aspect, the learning aspect, which you havea big conference that's right around the corner. You have the thinking aspect, ofthe planning aspect and, as you noted in our in our pre interview, this is like strategic planning in a week. Then you have the doingaspect of everything, but I find a lot of people get stuck in thedoing of whatever it is that we're working on. So it is nice toget this space in time and this great pause, as you noted, becauseit is from there we can move into the fourth environment, which is toreview and reflect, learn something and just apply this thinking going forward. Soas you've shifted internally, you mentioned here two things that are important, theemployee experience and the service or the customer experience. How is that shifting?That thinking shifted for you? In this post covid nineteen world? It's beentremendous to play this out. We really had to put on our mask beforeassisting others in really looking at our employees, because we have this distributed workforce.Each location had a different set of rules. We did have also essentialemployees that in our contact center that have to be on the front lines reallyassisting our memory credit unions. So what their experience was going to be wasgoing to be different than our marketing team or our finance team or our salesteams that are kind of sitting at home.

So we had it. We reallyhad to take within a week and a half. We moved everyone remote, had to get all of the infrastructure stabilized, had to really make sureour frontline staff were well taken care of and as we we just felt asa leadership team, tremendous responsibility to take care of the humans that could bemedically impacted by this pandemic. And so that was first and foremost in ourminds and took took up a good two three weeks for us to really getour make sure that we managed that the right way and as we were pivoting, I mean of course we were doing that while keeping service levels as solidas possible during all of that transition, keeping up times of solid as possible. What we realize was that, while the work that we've been doing overthe past few years has really paid off, because Co op and our board hasdriven us to really invest aggressively in our organization, to be a platformbusiness, to be able to be agile and responsive regardless of what comes atyou, and mostly that was done in order for us to bring in newservice sets, new solutions, new things that would be appropriate in a growthenvironment, but it also works in a risk environment. So first we wetook care of our employees, and what that did is that it really gaveus a culture lift the employees and we ramped up communications dramatically. We putout daily we have something called the cop snapshot and that was typically a weekly. We now made it daily so that employees would know what to expect.And many of them their schools were closing. We were just talking about I'm I'mnow a homeschool teacher and and a cxo. They have all of thesenew challenges and how do you make it...

...all happen? So they were needinga lot of information. Our CEO, Todd Clark, we were he isspeaking with them weekly via video conference, and what we found is that employeesgratitude was so high. It really help them be thankful for coop and whatwe were able to do and it made them hungry to be change agents anddo what we need to do for our clients. And so us really focusingfirst on the employee experience was helping us be more innovative with the changes thatwere happening in the covid environment, to say what should we do differently tobest service our clients and their members? You know, hearing you talk throughthat, it gives me a lot of hope just for the sheer size ofthe organization and being able to be agile make these pivots. Leadership, Ithink, plays a big role in that, and just to hear what todd hasbeen doing with communication, more importantly video communication, to ensure that thehuman element is still in there, just like you and I are having thisconversation. We had a little bit of technical difficulties and hoping that we willsee this through, but the fact that I can see you just add somuch more richness to everything going on and communication, communicating courage, because,just like this virus, courage is contagious. And gratitude. I was just talkingwith Dr Benjamin Hardy about this, the importance of gratitude starting in theday. Just put your mindset in the right direction to rise above all thechaos, all the confusion, this crisis, and it is that to limit that. But it's like you said, it's about putting your mask on,an eyes and I know it's the oxygen mass methods, enough that the surgicalmask. So let's talk about you've dealt with the employees and and that's hada big impact. About experience, and...

...experiences a big part of stays,conversation and really the opportunities in a post covid nineteen world. So how wouldyou define the customer experience or, for credits, the member experience in today'sdigital world? Really, from your perspective as it stands in the one arethe opportunities to that matter going forward? Yeah, I'm so. We're sayingin pretty much four different ways, if you want to roll that all up, digital transformation has never been hotter, it's never been sexier. It isreally important and it's and essential. I know it is something that we've allspoken about for a few years now, but man, we are grateful andthat our board pressed us to really invest in the infrastructure and the teams andthey developers and doubled down on our distributed workforce and having talent available from everywhere, just getting the best talent. When you put all of those things together, having data scientists like really having that all together. It helped us beable to shift like that and so us being able to turn really quickly,even in the midst when the COVID was happening. We had just put inthe biggest piece of technology. Had To have the biggest tech upgrade in ourcontact center that we had ever had and the teams were in the midst ofdoing that technology shift when covid hit and then we had to move. Wehad to move the teams that were in our Dallas location to another location,take some of those teams, make them remote, have dual site continuity withour Iowa location. So that went off without a hitch. We were ableto do that with vary with limited impact to our clients and we ended updealing with double the capacity of our call...

...volumes and had service levels remain stable. So when we talk about digital transformation, it's crucial in a time like thisand what we understand about consumer sentiment and behavior, it's they will giveus all a break because they understand covid. They'll do that near term, butcome the fall or you know, as this kind of drones on,they're going to expect that kind of response and that kind of service level asthey would expect from Google or any sort of big tech company. And sothe things that we need to be thoughtful about our digital first everything where evenwe're a payments companies, so we see our crediting and clients, the mostsophisticated, are really looking at all of the ways that they digitally engage aroundthe payment experience, how they're making it transparent, how they're embedding themselves anddigital merchants and putting putting together full rewards programs and marketing programs using Amazon andand those types of merchants that are digital. First, and then the credit Niansthat are just really kind of dipping their toe in the water. They'rejust seeing a run on debit cards. They're like they have members that aretypically cash members that are now asking for debit cards that are unrolling in thepays and apple pay and Samsung pay, garment pay, all of these differenttypes of all of the digital pays. And then, you know, we'rejust really needing to reassess what is that digital environment look like to to dobusiness remotely? Secondly, we're in a took no touch world, so contactlessis through the roof. Everybody is asking for contactless and they are experiencing thatpoint of sale environment either using a digital wallet or using their contactless cards.So we're seeing a lot of skip the dit types of efforts and campaigns and, of course, rounding out that financial...

...wellness between both of those things onin the payment's environment near term. We saw a lot of skippa pays andand really demonstrating that empathy for for our member base. And then on theflip side, we need to be really be thoughtful about remote service. Howare your members doing business with you or when you're not going to be seeingthem and person so how what is that journey like within your credit union andhow do they take advantage of your services, whether it's spend, say, borrowand best protect? What does that what do all of those use caseslook like in a remote service environment? And then fraud, I mean carnot present, fraud is starting to go up dramatically. So how are youmaking sure that your teams are managing that? So it's it's just really rethinking thatemployee experience and the member experience through their eyes and it's leading with empathyand using we talked about the operating system, having your operating system and your servicemodel be digital first throughout all of those and there's very simple things thatyou can do to just start that. Technology has transformed our world and digitalhas changed the way consumer shop for and buy financial services forever now. Consumersmake purchase decisions long before they walk into a branch, if they walk intoa branch at all. But your financial brand still wants to grow loans anddeposits. We get it. Digital growth can feel confusing, frustrating and overwhelmingfor any financial brand marketing and sales leader. But it doesn't have to, becauseJames Robert wrote the book that guides you every step of the way alongyour digital growth journey. Visit www dot digital growthcom to get a preview ofhis best selling book banking on digital growth, or order a copy right now foryou and your team from Amazon.

Inside you'll find a strategic marketing manifestothat was written to transform financial brands, and it is packed full of practicaland proven insights you can start using today to confidently generate ten times more loansand deposits. Now back to the show. Yeah, you know, hearing youtalk through that digital transformation, digital first, digital payments, and it'sto that last point the I the idea on digital payments, because what I'mseeing is it's almost a quad tsunami, because we've had the health crisis,which is going to lead into the financial health crisis, which is going tolead into the societal crisis, which is all of those, because job displacement, for example, thirty percent unemployment is a prediction going into two thousand andtwenty one. That's going to then lead to the psychological or the mental crisis. So you talked about, like the financial wellbeing, because there's such astrong correlation between physical wellbeing, mental wellbeing and really read it. The bottomof that is is financial wellbeing. And the longer that we stay in thesituation, the more that consumer habits, consumer behaviors, almost like new neuralnetworks are being formed in the consumers mind of how they're they're buying, shopping, banking, paying. So there are vast amounts of opportunity. One ofthe things that we, I think it's important to be cognitive of when wetalk about experience, is, and you use the word empathy, it's thefinancial hardships and trust. Trust will become the credit. UNIS most valuable currency. I've always talked about making the you know, deposits in a consumers trustbank being their mind. What can can crediting, what can financial brands doto make those deposits, those trust deposits... the consumers? There's a fewthings to think about with that. Trust can be defined as character and capabilityand character is definitely something that credit us really own. I mean we're knownas being the bid guys doing the right thing from a capability standpoint. Youmight not trust that a crediting you can do all of the things that youwould expect them to do. Or do it. You're this seed it.Would you expect it? or the manner, the method and would you expect it? So there is what consumers end up doing is that they're finance fromno maths. They are they are dig no maths, pulling in their differentuse cases from different partners. I have a I have a story. Anybodythat knows me. When I started working at Cob I was as blackberry thatdid three things. It made phone calls, that kept my calendar and I couldsend a really weird text message like that took forever on that keyboard.I now have an iphone, a smartphone that has a hundred eleven different companiesthat I can carry around with me everywhere, and typically my day is traveling,and so I need to be able to do business with all of thosedifferent providers regardless of where I am. So what the end consumer has beendoing in terms of trust is finding the quickest point from a to B andthat whoever can execute a use case, and this the phone, the aggregateand environment of the phone, is the one that wins. The challenge thereis that the end consumer doesn't have a good idea of how they're doing intheir final mancial life when they have fragmented all of those use cases. Theycan't tell how am I performing on my cash blow, how am I doingwith my retirement? How am I doing and saving for my eight year old'scollege education? What does that what does my insurance look like? And Ithink the opportunity for credit unions is to... to double down on the empathyand the the trust that they have that they're going to do what's best fortheir members while they reaggregate financial services and truly behave as this ecosystem of engagementand financial wellness. And that's how you build trust that can turn into marketshare. We are saying transaction volumes down because people are not just are notspending in a nondiscretionary manner or a discretionary manner. They're putting everything into thebase that they essentials. But we have a real opportunity to be there forour members and to demonstrate that empathy and what they can be doing from afinancial wellness standpoint over communicating with them, we will win. The battleground todayis on engagement and financial wellness and when you put that together along I stillbelieve that I'm payments as part of that engagement. When you put that alltogether, we're building that trust and we're growing market share and you will alsosee you loans pick up. When you do that, you will see thatcorrelation between that engagement and payments, day to day lifestyle and you being embeddedin the day to day lifestyle of the member with those life stage big ticketitems that happen for the credit news depend on is a bread and butter.You know, I really like that perspective. Trust is character and capability combined,and so when I look at experience through through the Lens of Digital GrowthInstitute, it's really twofold. It's it's the digital experience with the DX,but that that's only one side of the equation. It's also the human experience, as we talked about before, and using technology to bring people together forgood. So here's a question. I'm... executive at financial brand out ofCredit Union. I get what you're saying, Sam but, like I can't geteveryone on board. And you said crediting isn't really known for speed.But this covid nineteen is a forcing function to force some of this digital transformationthat's been in the conversations. Fear. What can I do to help bringothers along so that we can move forward in a unified manner to implement someof this thinking and really build experience? Is that Bill Trust that that generateleads, retained leads and you to use your work reaggregate the Credit Union.That's funny. It feels overwhelming. I know for for credit unions that feelsreally like a lot to look at their the entire experience that they're delivering andall of their channels and all of their use cases, like how I optimizethis? What's interesting is that covid night team is forcing them to do it. They're having to look at their branch experience, as I will, howwe need to change this to make it safe for our members. We needto have members outside. They would if we're open. They would then havean appointment and then they get to come in and meet with one of ourteam members and member services representatives. We're doing this. We're transforming the experiencealready. We're looking at elevated call volumes, we're looking at greater uptick and,like I said, that payments vehicles and all of the unselar services thatgoes go around those payments vehicles were seeing an uptick and digital engagement on indigital banking and all your social channels, how you service those clients. Sowe are doing it. What I would recommend is that what we tend todo is we look internally. I said look inside first. I would actuallyflip that for designing the experience for the...

...member and against our use cases.He look at the basic things that we do for our members. We havethem save, spend, Invest, borrow and we keep their money safe.So those are the basic use cases of what we do at a credit union. And when you think about who those people are that you are providing thoseuse cases to, crediting INS tend to cast the widest net possible and saywe are everything to everyone, and that is a challenge when we are communitybased financial institutions that have limited resources, limited staff. We don't have thatthe capital investment to compete at the same level as big tech and thin techand the top three banks in the country that are investing dramatically into these things. So it is helpful to focus. We do work. There's a creditme in our borderline credit men that has has a tremendous case study on howthey really focused and they said we are going to focused on on these reallytech savvy, connected types of members and make tough choices about what are wegoing to cut, what are we going to say no to in order toenhance the experience for this member? So you have to get very focused onwho your members are and what that experience is across those use cases and youdo design. You get very clear and understanding those members and design from theirpoint of the point of view in so practically the way that you do that. I do believe it's important to journey map. I do important. Believeit's important to have a cross functional team within your credit nion of many functionalareas where we're really understanding what does that...

...look like and collaborating on that andthen you make choices on what are we willing to change? I know acredit nion that decided that they were gone. They were going to cut their branchesand cut their ATM footprint participate in a network of ATMs so that theycould invest in digital. There's many choices to make when you're saying build byor partner, but when you are clear about who your target member is andwhat they want and design or think about it from their perspective inward, they'regoing to be a lot more successful and prioritizing where you should be investing andunderstanding creating metrics around are you going to gain market share if you make thosestrategic bets. So start from the consumer and go in and don't have seventytwo different consumer types as their person as. You really have to focus that rightthere. Don't have seventy two different personas. I can't tell you whenwe go in and we do digital growth diagnostics and we see, and I'veseen, said I've seen upwards of ninety different persona types. This is aboutsimplifying the complexities and we have to start the simplification internally, because otherwise thecomplexities than just just spread out externally. And I liked what you said.This is about people, putting people at the heart of all of our thinkingand all of our doing. Its human centered design. But most importantly,it's having the courage to say no. It's having the courage to let goof the past and it's not personal. It's just what goad us where we'reat today will get us to where we need to go tomorrow. So I'mfinding courage is really required at a time like this. Sam It's been sexual, a wonderful courage, scary, and...

...that is hard, but it isit is exciting to like. I think that we have to see it.We're very good at saying Oh, that won't work and that's not good andpeople can show their value and saying like things are wrong. We it's muchharder to be have a builder's mindset or gap mindset around this. This isa people meet us, these members meet us that and they're getting annoyed bychase. They are annoyed by Bank of America and really how they've handled covidso we are being served up as incredible opportunity right now. This is givingus the space, as the credit UNI movement, to say we're an importantpart of the financial services fabric and we can really help people right now andlook, we're here and we're going to show you how I'm going to doit, and I think that's something we missed in two thousand and eight.We missed it. That, and and that is the opportunity and really it'sit's been such a wonderful conversation. A lot of practical ideas for someone listening. I'm going to take take your recommendation on focus and I'd like to askyou one last question. Let's shorten the curve twelve months. What is yourrecommendation for financial brand or credit union to focus in on, if so thatwe don't have this list of seventy two things that we need to do,but if you could maybe just say you know what this is. It's notthe end all, be all, but it's just going to get you startedin moving in the right direction. I would say we need. You needto double down on how you're investing right now so all of the shifts thatyou're making now keep going with them. Throw the original budget out the windowand the original strategic plan. It's important for us to be focused on adigital first environment. Look and see the trends that you saw. How what? What was member behavior like? When you make these ships, can't beopen to really measuring what just happened and...

...saying, all right, let's keepgoing with this because it's the digital is going to go faster. It iswhat we're seeing from our competitors really, not even in the banking space,but in the big text space. Apple got into financial services and payments.They are that is the daytoday. Member engagement, and I think as creditunions we look too we look too much and at our land metrics and ourour piano to drive our strategic choices. That's looking backwards. I think wehave a up an opportunity to look forwards and to say, how are membersbehaving and where are our technology competitors coming in? And we need to makesure that we can be trusted from a capability standpoint. So, as we'veseen, member behavior moved to completely remote to having everybody basically in, includingmy eighty seven year old mother in law, do her banking remotely and via acell phone. We have to be digital first, remote service and beavailable in a no touch environment and I think that's going to help us speedup this idea of digital transformation and that flexibility on how we bring talent inand how they work I think needs to continue, very much, so,very much. So it so looking forward building trust once again through character andcapability digital first, Sam, if someone wants to continue the conversation that westarted today, what's the best way for them to reach out to you andsay hello? Linkedn's always great. I'm Samantha Passon on Linkedin and I'm alsopretty active on twitter as well. Sam Smithe Packson twitter. Excellent. Sam, thanks again for joining me on another episode of banking on digital growth.Absolutely thank you, James Robert. Until... time, be well, dogood and wash your hands. Thank you for listening to another episode of bankingon Digital Growth with James Robert Laigh. Like what you hear, tell afriend about the podcast and leave us a review on apple podcast, Google podcastor spotify, and subscribe while you're there. To get even more practical, improveninsights, visit www dot digital growthcom to grab a preview of James Robertsbest selling book banking on digital growth, or order a copy right now foryou and your team from Amazon. Inside you'll find a strategic marketing and salesblueprint framed around twelve key areas of focus that empower you to confidently generate tentimes more loans and deposits. Until next time, be well and do good,.

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