A core conversion can be a challenge for any credit union. It’s necessary in the long run to replace outdated systems and find robust new solutions, but the process of transition can be difficult. Here are five ways you can simplify core conversions for staff as well as for customers.
1. Set a Schedule and Stick With It
If you’ve ever moved your family from one house to another, you know how much easier the process can be if you set a basic schedule and stick with it. A core conversion is exponentially more complex. It’s a multilayered process involving software, hardware, human resources, customer service and many other moving parts. The better your schedule is planned, the more painless it will be.
2. Communicate Clearly With Staff
Unless your staff members know exactly what’s going on during a core conversion, there’s a risk of encountering problems. Consider holding weekly meetings during the critical period of conversion activities. Encourage staff to ask honest questions about the process.
3. Let Staff Know What Will Have an Impact on Customers
An important part of communicating with staff is letting them know which changes are most likely to have a direct impact on customers. Even people who largely work behind the scenes should have access to this information so they can better serve the whole company. Will the conversion take place during a payroll week? Will it be broken up into smaller subprojects or implemented all at once? How are customers being told about the changes?
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Spend Resources on the Conversion
Many credit unions find themselves facing reduced growth during the period immediately before a core conversion. Directing resources toward preparing for a core conversion can feel risky. Rest assured that the time and money spent on training and preparation is not wasted. It will simplify the actual process once you “pull the trigger” on the conversion.
5. Keep the Lines of Communication Open With Customers
Customers may be anxious during the critical period of a core banking upgrade. Even if they don’t fully understand what’s going on with your banking systems, they know that their money is at stake. They have every right to be concerned. Keep the lines of communication open and let them know what’s happening with their financial institution. Add extra customer service resources to deal with busy phones and online queries.
A core conversion doesn’t have to be a traumatic experience for your credit union. It can go smoothly and successfully if you keep these tips in mind.