Website Rebuild

As Sharetec takes on the project of updating its own website, I believe it is fitting to talk a little bit about websites. Now I am not going to waste anyone’s time by explaining why your institution needs to have a website. What I am going to talk about today is the importance of a well-built website that is updated at least every 3-4 years. Not only does this improve your image but it also ensures you are following all the latest security guidelines and updating to meet all the browser changes that happen. Your website is your virtual front porch (I am sure you have heard that before) but that is exactly what it is. Your website is often the first impression or meeting a potential member has with your institution. This is not always the case but in many cases, it is, especially with the younger demographic that is only interested in what they are able to do without walking into a physical branch. If this virtual front porch for your business looks attractive, then the potential member may want to walk in. On the other hand, if this virtual front porch is hard to navigate or not very attractive or modern then the potential member may keep walking to the next porch that may look a lot better. This is true in any other aspect of life. For example, we tend to eat food that looks and smells good. We typically do not want to eat something that smells or looks bad, since it will most likely not taste very well. I do not want to get too sidetracked, but you get the point.

Now let’s get into some details about websites. I hate to have to say this but first and foremost, your website should be responsive. This means your website should adapt (correctly) to any website browser on any screen size of any device. The person navigating through your site should have the same exact experience no matter what device they use. Again, I shouldn’t really have to say this is a must-have in 2022 but believe me, there are websites out there that still are not responsive and some of these websites are credit union websites I’ve visited.

Outside of the basics, your website should perform a few clear tasks. One would be to act as an information center for your members. These are things such as hours, locations, routing numbers, and other high-level information members should have access to without needing to call the CU branch. It should also provide important information to help new potential members that are interested in joining. This could be things such as online applications and requirements. Another would be to serve as your marketing hub. Any new products or rates or promotions should be front and center on your website for all members and prospective members to see. Another part of the website should be member services which would be online services such as HB/MB and any documents your members should have access to, whether for loans or other CU services. These are the bare minimum requirements that your members and prospective members expect you to have. There are certainly other advanced or customized features that can make your website a better overall experience. Social media links, chat feature (we have a blog post about the importance of chat on websites), and special effects that set your website apart from all the average Joe websites that are out there.

I hope by now you understand why websites are so important for any type of business, especially ones that deal with money and people’s finances. Not only do members expect an easy-to-use modern online banking experience, but they also want the added security and the sense of security. If a CU has an outdated website, there is an immediate assumption that the technology and security are also outdated and that will be a huge turn-off for not only a new member looking to join your institution but also current members that may not feel as comfortable. It is important to pay attention to your virtual front porch and keep it nice and tidy because, in this highly competitive and dynamic space, first impressions are more important than ever before.