The Importance of Product Maintenance

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Credit unions launch multiple products and services throughout each calendar year. While some of these could be “set it and forget it” projects, other projects might require occasional reviews and updates. Credit unions launch new features to their online banking channels, new ways for members to do things, introduce new fees, or even new ways of conducting in-branch transactions – credit unions need to remember to strategize on plans to know these products and services are working.

Understand the product you are launching

Credit unions can be great at obtaining the necessary due diligence information when launching new products to members. However, after the product has been launched that same motivation needs to continue. Credit unions should obtain all educational information including reference booklets, webinars, or any other pertinent information to the product and service.

Another good resource is other credit unions that have previously launched the same service. Reach out to them to see where they had any snags in launching or items that they did not previously think about.

This also includes credit union staff members walking in the members’ shoes and having a membership at the credit union and using the credit union products and services. A credit union employee that knows what a member is experiencing means a lot when speaking to the member. They may notice pain points that staff may have otherwise missed.

Create a plan

Once your credit union is in the process of launching the new product or service, it is important to create a plan after launch on how often you will follow up on the success of the product. This could include your credit union procedures, how often you run reports, or how often you report to your board.

For example, credit unions launching an online membership opening product may want to review their approval matrix on a weekly basis for where members are failing, and maybe make some changes. With online banking and your credit union mobile app, how often do you review what advertisements and features are being displayed to members – is it your most popular product?

The plan that is created by the credit union is also something that will need to be reviewed, I would suggest credit unions review this on a bi-annual basis or what works best for the credit union. Most projects are not “set it and forget it.”

Execute the plan

After the new product has launched, it is time for your credit union to execute the plan you developed. This could include recurring meetings with staff members that are working on the process, understanding reports that might be generated, or knowing who your point of contact is for any issues that arise. Not only do credit unions need to execute the plan, but they need to continually follow up to gauge the success of the product.

For example, for your online banking channels, how often does your staff log in to view what features are being offered to members? How often does your plan state for your staff to review this information?

Keep on top of your products

When credit unions are launching new products and services, it is imperative to first understand the product, create a plan that works for the credit union, and then execute and follow up on the plan.

If credit unions fail to follow up on these critical plans, that oversight could result in items such as fraud, product errors such as features that should not be displayed, or even outdated advertisements for old loan and certificate rates. To provide your members with the best experience, stay on top of your products with updates and improvements.

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