I was recently sitting in a restaurant. At the table next to me were a father and son. It was an average scene with seemingly nice people; the father apparently just off from work or on a lunch break and the child was about 5 or 6. What caught my attention was the dynamic between the two.
The father sat quietly looking down while eating and the child, with food of his own, stared down at a tablet playing a video game. I watched and waited. Minute by minute the scene played out the same way with only one variation; a request for ketchup which was quickly supplied. There was no interaction, no communication, the entire time.
This is not to say the man wasn’t a loving father or the child a devoted son. What it said, to me, was that something fundamental has changed in our society and I found myself wondering what the future held for us all. We can blame the technology, even though it has benefits. We can blame the people, even though they may be the kindest of souls. The blame is not the issue, the choice is.
It’s the same for Freedom. We push technology to make things quicker, easier, convenient, but it can never replace the human interaction necessary to forge a lasting relationship. Both people and technology, whether utilized or not, must be accessible for members. It’s not a question of one over another. It’s a service choice the member will make. ome members feel better when they deposit a check remotely; others feel better when they interact with an individual. The focus then in either case is the member experience and what we do to ensure that is positive. That’s what is remembered. Not that we have automation or people, but that we are there when you need us. So when we think about the convenience of technology also consider that if someone comes into a branch or calls us on the phone, it’s because they want that interaction, that connection, and that shows the important role we play in the credit union experience.