Case Studies » Major National Credit Union

Design thinking

Creating customer centric experiences in credit unions

Transforming customer experiences leads to greater business growth.

Focusing on the customer is always a smart decision; this is especially true in financial institutions. Financial institutions that lead in customer experience (CX) earn 1.9x the share of the wallet over those that don’t.

So, there was a lot on the line when one of the largest credit unions in the U.S. was looking to anticipate member needs better and increase customer satisfaction. They needed help delivering customer centric experiences at speed and scale to maintain their stellar reputation for customer satisfaction in omnichannel banking.

Specifically, the credit union’s innovation lab needed help planning and efficiently implementing a structure for achieving its goal of helping its customers seamlessly bank the way they want, when they want. They called on Celerity to help.

Using design thinking and Agile methodologies to transform experiences

Celerity started the engagement with discovery sessions to fully understand members’ needs, specifically in the areas of banking fees and debit card disputes that were both negatively impacting member satisfaction and increasing costs for the credit union.

After developing a deep understanding of the member’s journey, the team identified critical interactions that negatively impacted the customer experience and identified three solutions—improving the first-touch resolution of disputes, automating dispute resolution, and simplifying the dispute process—that addressed member pain points.

The innovation lab then explored another essential member experience—the use of credit cards.

Members generally apply for credit to address an immediate need, so they want quick access to their new cards. By working together to map out the member journey, the innovation team identified which changes in the credit card application process would allow members to use their credit cards sooner and significantly improve member satisfaction in a short time. The improvements—refined after working for more than 350 hours and with over 300 employees—also led to streamlined workflows and significant cost savings.

Finally, Celerity coached the innovation team as they infused design thinking, Lean UX techniques, and Agile methodologies into their daily operations. We also contributed to a credit union playbook that outlined how to drive customer centric innovation. Plus, we supported the team as they evangelized the new ways of working across the credit union.

With Celerity’s help, the innovation lab was empowered to unleash true business agility with speed and scale across the organization.

Maturing a customer centric operating model

Within one year, the credit union rapidly identified and resolved significant member concerns while also capitalizing on new opportunities using a learned customer centric approach.

The new operating model resulted in the successful redesign of the member journey from the standpoints of the customer experience, employee experience, and operational effectiveness. Furthermore, the success of the innovation labs demonstrated to the rest of the organization how design thinking and an Agile approach can lead to the creation of tangle business value.

Together, we built a pragmatic, sustainable, and repeatable foundation that delivered immediate value, increased business agility, and cultivated a consistent customer centric approach across the enterprise.

Before Celerity

Design thinkingTraditional waterfall approach

Design thinking
Channel-centric, siloed team planning

Design thinkingSlow, contentious requirements process with limited ROI

Design thinkingSlow to change culture

With Celerity

Design thinking
Adopted design thinking, Lean UX, Agile and processes

customer centricCustomer centric, cross-functional teams

Design thinking
Innovative, rapid prototyping focused on solving member problems and increasing ROI

business agilityA culture that embraces change and sees it as an opportunity

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