Maintaining a focus on personal relationships and a culture of service innovation were two of the key themes discussed by keynote speaker Simon T. Bailey at Connect 2018, the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association’s spring meeting. Mr. Bailey’s commentary challenged credit unions and their leaders to think in bold new ways and to develop a culture that fosters intentionally innovative thought as a normal business routine. The objective, he explained, is to capitalize on the unique opportunity that credit unions have to build and develop intimate customer relationships.
The conference, held at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort south of Pittsburgh, shared many examples of how credit unions can better connect with their members and their local communities. Bailey, a sales veteran at the Walt Disney Corporation who is now a widely-respected success consultant, complemented this message by explaining that credit unions have to imagine new and exciting ways to differentiate the experience for consumers. To illustrate his point, he referenced several popular examples of game-changing service innovations. For example, Uber’s change was a software-only solution – they don’t own a single car. Very similarly, Airbnb doesn’t own any real estate. Further, he told how the technology in the voice-driven Alexa devices is driving a new category of business called “conversation commerce”, where smartphones will be bypassed in the ordering and delivery of services.
He noted that in each of these examples, the innovators who created these groundbreaking ideas were clearly able to see things that everyone else couldn’t see. However, most people consider themselves incapable of such revelations. But Bailey explained that we each possess a special brilliance that can be cultivated and matured to help us contribute innovative and creative thoughts into our work lives.
Mr. Bailey asked the audience to consider a picture of a young girl that he projected onto the screen behind him. The girl was enjoying a Mickey Mouse-shaped pancake at a Walt Disney World restaurant. Creating a mouse-shaped pancake is a small innovation, but the impact of that pancake on a child’s satisfaction is tremendous. What happens next? The parents take a picture of the girl smiling and they post it on social media. As a result, they create thousands of impressions of the Disney logo associated with a smiling child. A small innovation, perhaps – but with a huge marketing impact. So, Bailey challenged the audience to find their own small innovations by asking the question: “What’s your pancake?”
The highest form of relationship, he explained, is where businesses are not delivering services, but rather delivering amazing experiences for their clients. “Before they (customers) care about how much you know, they want to know how much you care.”
Therefore, you need to be personal. You need to know your customer. And you need to focus on creating great moments for customers that show how much you care. You need to develop an “above and beyond mindset” that will help you look at your industry with a fresh set of eyes. This mindset is something that everyone can achieve, he shared, by embracing the seven traits of brilliant men and women:
- Be Present
- Connect with Others
- Be Consistent
- Practice Authentic Listening
- Think Globally
- Be Curious
- Build Relationships
The applause in the room at the conclusion was indicative that Bailey’s message and his challenge to pursue service excellence was very well received.
Evolve IP’s “pancake” is providing an amazing cloud experience for our credit union clients. From world-class security, compliance assurance, and audit support, to enterprise-class communications and business continuity assurance, we specialize in making people smile.