Waterford Credit Union
“When it came to developing our new website, we were very particular with who we trusted with the design, development and security. Márla Communication’s experience shone through from the start; they were always on hand to answer any questions we had, or to provide solutions to any potential issues . All the team were excellent from start to finish”
– Ann-Marie Drohan, Marketing & Business Development Officer, Waterford Credit Union
Opportunity / Challenge
The onset of Covid in early 2020 presented a number of challenges to Waterford Credit Union, most notably the number of customers wanting to access their accounts remotely. In the first couple of months of Covid, the number of online banking registrations with Waterford Credit Union almost doubled. The existing website had worked well up to that point, but important functionality such as the on-line loan application was cumbersome and not user-friendly. In 2021, the Credit Union team agreed that the time had come for a complete site overhaul to incorporate the Credit Unions enhanced goals and website requirements.
When we initially met with the team at Waterford Credit Union, they were very clear on their goals and expectations of the new website. The website needed to create a strong first impression, with clear call to actions; it needed to be easy to navigate with a modern design; it needed to encourage potential and existing members to use the website and all its features to maximum effect. Ann-Marie explained that it was of critical importance that visitors to the site should be able to easily calculate loan repayments and submit their application via a new interactive loan calculator. Also required was a chat function which would allow members to get in touch with WCU in real time.
In addition to the design and development of a new website, we were asked to advise on, and in turn provide the best hosting and website security package available. The hosting package needed to be upgraded to facilitate 25,000 visitors a month & the chosen security package had to protect against the increase in the number of cyber-attacks.
Throughout the process, we worked closely with Ann-Marie and the team at WCU to deliver a bespoke, impactful website which can be easily update and managed internally. The new website was not only built with the end user in mind, but also ensured that the placement of information and functionality helped the internal team in undertaking their daily tasks.
When asked how the new site helps each department, Ann-Marie advised:
The improved loan application form gathers more information from members, which means the lending team do not need to call each member to obtain further information to underwrite the loan application. It has effectively streamlined the process for the department, which means quicker turnaround on loan decisions for members.
The online department can now answer queries as they come in through the contact form, e.g., queries on direct debits, online and mobile banking. This has created a better user experience for members. On the old website, all queries went directly to email@example.com inbox – which resulted in some queries not being circulated to individual departments until the end of the day.
The new site allows for more options to track and measure visitors to key pages such as; individual loan pages, online banking and current account/debit card webpages.
The development of a new interactive user calculator was a key part of the website brief. Our web developer, Gary Hearne, worked closely with Ann-Marie to create a user friendly calculator to that provides users with loan repayment options based on selected criteria. The calculator needed to be very user-friendly but also to be responsive across all devices and screen sizes. The loan types and rates are displayed on individual pages, making the information clear and easy to understand.
The Credit Union were involved at each step of the process, which is exactly what Ann-Marie wanted “we wanted to be involved at each step, in order to ensure our bespoke website turn out just how we imagined it. We could have gone with cheaper options and other website developers, but we found they all followed a very basic design and development structure. We wanted to create a bespoke and highly responsive website and that’s exactly what we got!
When the site was near completion, we set about implementing an SEO strategy; part of this project included one to one training with the team at Waterford Credit Union. Ann-Marie advised that it was great to have received in-depth training on how SEO works, what’s needed for good SEO and what’s involved in the process. Although paid advertising on social media and other online platforms was generating traffic to their website, Ann-Marie said she didn’t realise the extent of how online traffic is driven by search engines, and how they need to see past well written content and consider both on-page and off-page SEO.
“All the team are super helpful and approachable. Obviously when it comes to building a site there are a lot of technical phrases that one could use. With Márla Communications, they always explained options clearly, advised and made recommendations using easy-to-understand terminology! I would highly recommend Márla Communications based on their vast experience in digital marketing, website development and training”
Ann-Marie Drohan, Marketing & Business Development Officer, Waterford Credit Union