TimeTrade has concluded a preliminary study of appointment data and the surprising results may help Credit Unions better prepare for the peak times their customers want to engage with them.
After a review of over 1m appointments across thousands of locations over the 6-month period beginning in June 2019 and ending in December 2019, the data revealed that August was the busiest month. Who would have thought that the dog days of August would see the busiest amount of Credit Union appointments?
For our top 10 credit union customers (by appointment volume), the average monthly number of appointments in August was 2% higher than the next highest month, which was also the hot summer month of July. Over our entire Credit Union customer base, August’s average volume was 2% higher than the next closest month, which was October.
So why was August a particularly busy month for our Credit Union partners to meet with their customers? Mortgage interest rates certainly had a lot to do with the increase appointment volume. According to macrotrends, the average US 30 year mortgage dipped to 3.58% in August ’20, which is the lowest it’s been since September ’16. And since Credit Union’s are generally structured as not-for-profit organizations and tend to offer slightly better rates than traditional banks, you can bet that many mortgage shoppers were finding the lowest rate possible at their neighborhood credit union, booking an appointment online, and hopefully getting a great deal from their lender.
The other reason customers tend to go to credit unions in August has to do with the annual flight of students off to college each fall. Every year, students and parents scramble to establish new accounts for their kids as they depart for college, and many times, this involves a trip to the local branch to establish that new account with IDs, signatures and other forms signed under the watchful eye of a parent. Google’s Trend product identifies that the relevant search term “student account” peaks in mid-August.
In fact, one of the reasons that our customers enjoy working with us is the ability to convert those web searches into branch appointments via our integration with Reserve with Google. As the leading Reserve With Google provider of appointments within the financial services industry, we see thousands of appointments a day being booked directly via google search results.
So while branch managers start to think about staff vacations and summer schedule challenges, take a look at the anticipated rate changes and start to plan ahead on staffing. Maybe Summer ’20 will be your biggest month yet!