BMI Federal Credit Union (BMI FCU) is a financial services organization with over $450M in assets and 10 branches serving the central Ohio region.
The Small Business Member Experience project, led by Baker Tilly’s Growth Strategies team, consisted of a partnership between MDC, Corporate One, and BMI FCU. The small business ‘program’ at BMI FCU was the foundation for the project’s member research and innovative idea development. MDC and Corporate One served in a consulting/supporting role in the project.
Small business accounts represent an attractive and important member segment for credit union owners. On average, they contribute higher revenue margins and a greater propensity to purchase more services from their credit unions. BMI FCU sought to gain a better understanding of its small business members to better meet their needs and desires. The project set out to:
Baker Tilly utilized its proven member experience methodology and worked alongside BMI FCU to develop an approach to understand and meet the needs and desires of the small business segment. This was accomplished in three phases:
The current state assessment included a data analysis of BMI FCU’s small business accounts and gathering a better understanding of small business members’ relationships with their financial institutions through primary and secondary research. Primary research included Baker Tilly directing a national survey of small business owners about their financial institution relationships, as well as conducting BMI FCU small business member focus groups and staff interviews.
Secondary research identified several priorities that small business owners have when interacting with their financial institutions, including:
The national survey results revealed that while two out of three small business owners choose a large bank as their financial institution, those who bank at a credit union are 32% more satisfied with their experience.
The BMI FCU focus groups and staff interviews disclosed that small business members highly value the personalized service they receive at BMI. Members identified that international wires, technology, and business education were some of their top wants, while low rates/fees and personal care were top needs.
The results of the data analysis, survey, focus groups, and staff interviews helped guide BMI FCU into the Innovation and Kano Model Research Phase.
Baker Tilly and BMI FCU conducted a two-day innovation workshop where ideation exercises were used to generate ideas that could enhance the BMI FCU member experience. The team came up with roughly 30 innovative ideas that were then narrowed down to 13. The top 13 ideas were then tested with BMI FCU’s small business members for their attractiveness, using a Kano Model Survey.
The Kano Model categorized ideas into five different classifications based on small business member feedback:
These classifications helped BMI FCU understand the expectations of small business members and their reactions to the ideas. These understandings served as guidance for the future state roadmap and project charters in the next phase.
BMI FCU’s small business ideas generated from the innovation workshop resonated with members. Eight of the top 13 ideas generated during the innovation workshop scored as ��Delighters” in the Kano survey.
For example, one “Delighter” idea was a customized fee schedule:
Idea: When signing up for merchant services (so I can accept payments from my customers), I am able to select from several customized fee schedules depending on my business needs. For example, I may pay a high monthly flat-fee in exchange for low per- transaction fees, OR I may pay high per-transaction fees in exchange for a low monthly fee.
The customized fee schedule idea was a “Delighter” because it delivered on both the member’s want for personalization and need for low rates and fees.
BMI FCU to implement.
The BMI FCU team also created project charters for ideas that fell into the “Now” column (ideas to be This idea, along with the other “Delighter” ideas, were scored and plotted on a Now, Next, Later roadmap based on the importance of the idea to BMI FCU members and the readiness for implemented within six months). Project charters allowed BMI FCU to develop an action plan (human, systems, processes, etc.) to implement the ideas, and develop considerations for the resources that would be involved (people, process, and technology).
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