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The Challenge

Northern Inland Credit Union (NICU) is a mutually owned-authorised deposit taking institution (ADI) delivering financial services to benefit members. It offers a full fleet of banking products to its 16,000 members in north-western New South Wales.

Banking and consumer behaviours are constantly changing, and that change has only become more rapid over time. While NICU has been running a successful banking business for over 50 years, they recognised their current business and Member service model will need to change to adapt to the digital evolution currently occurring in many industries, none more so than banking. They needed to make some imminent changes, including adopting new digital technologies and offering more digitally-led Member journeys. NICU also needed to address growing Member expectations for consistent Member experiences and services across all channels.

Direct competition from other similar mutual competitors, as well as the market domination of the big four banks, meant NICU needed to make digital transformation a priority and leverage as much of its business intelligence assets as possible.

The key challenges NICU aimed to address with its digital transformation included:

  • Offering Members a seamless customer experience
  • Capturing all relevant Member and interaction data accurately
  • The systems were previously not open and agile to accommodate data capture, feedback loops, and customer relationship management (CRM)

The systems were not integrated – NICU had separate email and SMS systems that were not integrated with other systems. Only about 10% of enquires lead to a sale with no data to explain why this was happening or how to improve the conversion rate within the sales funnel.

The Solution

With the integration of communications systems such as website enquiries, email and SMS at the top of its priority list, NICU started assessing available marketing automation systems. The goal was to respond to Members rapidly, and begin coordinating integrated marketing campaigns.

With an existing platform that was focused on transactions rather than relationships, NICU selected Squiz, an Australian-based technology consultancy specialising in digital transformation, as its implementation partner to overhaul its business and enable more digital ways of interacting with, tracking, and delivering personalised solutions to its Members.

As well as provide strategic consulting and support, Squiz’s technical team implemented a leading marketing automation solution, Marketo, and renowned customer relationship management solution, SugarCRM.

NICU worked with Squiz’s experienced transformation consultants to support and train employees throughout the company, from the C-suite to the sales and operations teams. A dedicated Squiz consultant met with the NICU leadership team in Sydney for a full-day induction.

In subsequent weeks, Squiz visited NICU on-site several times, which enabled the Squiz team to answer questions as needed, learn the team dynamic and understand how to make the implementation a successful first step in NICU’s digital transformation journey.

Squiz also worked to understand the key stakeholders within NICU, as well as assist those who were finding the transition to digital challenging. There were numerous 1-1 sessions and workshops to ensure staff felt supported during the time of change. Squiz provided guidance on the key benefits and uses of the technology for staff and the business overall, and this on-the-spot nature of answering queries made the process smooth and efficient for staff members.

The Result

By working with Squiz to implement and train the organisation on new technologies like Marketo and SugarCRM, NICU now has a more holisitic view of how Member relationships are developed, and a consistent sales process that contains all the information it needs in one place.

NICU chose Marketo for its use of dynamic data lists and its ability to integrate with its CRM and other systems. Specifically, NICU was attracted by the capability to run automatic campaigns based on data-triggered events and data drawn from information in the core banking system, to offer more personalised information to the Member at each step of their journey.

Integrating systems and leveraging the available data to build pictures of Member behaviour has added significant value to NICU and its Members, providing NICU staff with a single view of the entire Member journey, starting from a branch visit or website enquiry, following it through to each banking transaction, Member service call, and subsequent interaction with the NICU team.

NICU staff have responded very positively to the digital changes within the organisation so far. Having a digital vision from the CEO to drive a digitised Member experience and integrate all of its platforms has lifted the experience for all team members, and provided the foresight to boost motivation and excitement around the transformation.

Next Steps

The next step for the NICU team will be to build a new personalised and optimised website with full integration into Marketo and the SugarCRM system. The new digital interface and first point of call for Members will be designed with the next generation of digital natives in mind, prioritising the Members’ needs and expectations to develop a journey that is highly personalised, convenient and data-driven. This means each Member’s experience will differ depending on their relationship with NICU.


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