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  Written by Sarah Jess, Director, Business Development sarah.jess@visifi.com

The Financial Services Market is more dynamic than ever. It is important, as industry experts, that we are out in front of what is trending in order to help maintain that competitive edge. From buzzword to boardroom, keeping up with the latest trends and knowing where and when to jump in is an art; and one that requires considerable time and effort.

I have had the opportunity to serve at the C-level of a fast growth financial institution and I know from personal experience the challenges of tracking the latest evolution of market demands. And the pressures of trying to find the right balance that fits within the budget!

About the time you feel very good about your products, services and technology, you get to start all over again. The time I spent doing research and developing business justification seemed unending. And that doesn’t even consider the time to roll it out, train staff and document procedures. It requires discipline and determination to stay out in front of member expectations.

Being able to partner with our clients, is what attracted me to make the move to VisiFI.
I love the opportunity to engage as a partner with our customers and share the knowledge and tactics I learned when I was in their shoes. And then offering solutions that make an impact and position them for success. We grow when our clients grow, so I love the opportunity of being a true resource to help share the knowledge I learned and help them maintain their competitive edge.

Working together is crucial to learn and to adapt
I found that knowledge is key and having an environment to share and compare ideas was a tremendous help for me. Being able to sit with peers comparing notes and sharing ideas was a great resource and helped me make better decisions. Reading industry articles is informative, but I found spending personal time, getting down in the trenches of what was really occurring in each area of the organization or with our customers gave me invaluable insight into what was needed to improve performance and value for our customers.

In an industry where there is a lot of “follow the leader”, I found that to be dangerous. My company had distinct challenges, expectations and standards. I had to filter each idea and concept that was sweeping the market with a keen sense of personalization. What is good for them may not be for me.

I have certainly confirmed that wasn’t unique to my circumstances. At VisiFI, none of our customers are the same and there is no cookie cutter approach that fits them. Member profiles differ, budgets and staff experiences vary and every credit union has a distinct value proposition that makes them unique.

Asking the right questions to assess the next strategy
Although our company is focused on the technology applications for credit unions, one of the first questions I like to ask is what are your organizational goals?

Everyone says grow. But in what way or manner will you drive growth? Is it growth in new member attraction or organic growth within the existing membership base? Is it growth in member satisfaction and retention or is it increasing the financial performance of the credit union through improved operating efficiency? Each challenge might have a different solution, so it is important to know what is important, to the customer.

Whatever the goal or strategy, having this information allows me to customize a mix of technology to provide a platform for success.
So, I guess, in my current role with VisiFI, once again knowledge is key; to help me help them deepen their member relationships, growing their portfolios and finding the best mix of innovation that meets their specific needs.

I joined VisiFI because I wanted to be a part of a thought leading company that truly understands the unique challenges of a credit union. The average employee tenure in the Financial Industry within VisiFI is about 25 years. Being a part of a team that has been there, and done that, is exciting and seeing our customers achieve their goals and become top performers is the best part of my job.

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