23 June 2010

Upright and Locked Positions

I'm 5'7". Unless you're blue and live in a little mushroom village, that's not tall. Still, I am almost always cramped and uncomfortable on airplanes. And when the person sitting in front of me reclines his seat (I'm talking about you, Mr. Snoresalot), I have no space at all. I couldn't imagine how horrible flying would be if I had eaten more vegetables as a child.

I know the score. I know that the more seats you can jam into an airplane's cabin, the more revenue each flight can generate. I know that people have learned to expect discomfort on planes. I also know that there's a reason first class seats are more expensive. If you want flying to suck less, you have to have money.

Banking sucks too.

The more transactions a teller can perform in a day, the lower operating costs become. Consumers have learned to expect lines, discomfort, and divided attention. Special lines (or account terms, or phone numbers) are open for special customers. If you want banking to suck less, you have to have money.

I'm not sure what my point is other than to say this: 1) Don't recline your seat on a plane; 2) Efficiency is important, but you need to balance it with service; and 3) Seems like there's an excellent opportunity for planes, banks, and credit unions to redefine first class, and eliminate second class.

We have an obligation as credit unions to be as efficient as we possibly can. I'm in absolute awe of the credit unions who have succeeded at focusing on the training, processes, and strategies necessary to minimize operating expenses. Still, I would have to think there's an appetite out there for premium banking relationships (no waiting in line, no automated phone systems, 24/7 accessibility) open to the masses. Price it right, and you may find that there are people out there who are willing to pay an annual fee to make their lives less miserable.

1 comment:

sonyajmills said...

There is technology out there that can dramatically speed up back office processes & cut costs freeing up time & money to focus on what really matters, your members.

Banking, and flying, doesn't have to suck for those without the big bucks. It may come down to both improving efficiencies and limiting what's offered while at the same time, improving the quality of that offering dramatically. Take Virgin America for an example: reasonable flights, limited locations, nothing but glowing reviews for their seating & inflight service...