Deploying a new core system for your credit union can be daunting, to say the least. However, developing a rock-solid core conversion roll-out plan at the very beginning of the process can go a long way toward ensuring a smooth transition for everyone, from your members to your staff and executive team.
Here are several well-proven tips for how to create a core conversion roll-out plan:
Create a Timeline and Keep the Team Informed
Detailed, well-crafted core conversion timelines are only as good as an organization’s ability to follow the plan and keep the staff engaged. It’s imperative that team members remember when important deadlines are approaching, as well as when and why those deadlines must be adjusted.
Don’t Skimp on the Details
Problems arise when employees encounter unclear directions. Without the details necessary to complete each step and process, people begin guessing — and there’s no room for guesswork during a core conversion project.
Show and Tell Your Customers What to Expect
A modern-day marketing plan for a core systems conversion should take advantage of the broad communication toolkit that credit unions have at their disposal.
Essential elements of a core conversion roll-out marketing plan include:
- Consistent language
- Diverse mediums ranging from email blasts to letters
- Multiple touch points beginning months in advance and continuing after the go-live date
Finalize Staff Training Expectations Early in the Process
Any switch to new core software will directly and deeply impact staff, which is why your credit union’s employees will need mandatory training sessions set up months in advance. They need advance notice so they can make the necessary vacation adjustments, and you need plenty of time to formulate the best type of education for your employees.
Prepare Customer Service Team to Stay on Message
There’s no way around it: Regardless of how well you and your team prepare, your core conversion will be met with negative feedback. How you address customer frustration most certainly will affect member retention and the reputation of your organization.
From social media responses to phone conversations, presenting a united front with completely consistent messaging from all corners of your organization is an important part of any core systems conversion.
The bottom-line benefits of a core conversion are virtually irrefutable, but the process isn’t without its challenges. If your credit union has a core conversion on the horizon, carefully mapping the steps toward this significant change is essential.