CUs Can Learn from Apple Watch’s Onboarding

Original article

Original article

Personalized training could really pay off.

Apple did a fantastic job making sure that my experience with the Apple Watch was amazing. From the online shopping, order tracking, unboxing to initial setup, every detail was easy and thoughtful. A couple days before the watch arrived, I received this email message from Apple:

"Dear Tim, Your Apple Watch will be in your hands shortly. Once it is, we can help you get started right in the comfort of your own home with online Personal Setup. It’s a video session where we show you how to set up Apple Watch with your iPhone, walk you through some key features, and answer your questions. We’ll also point out some great apps, and help you personalize your device."

I took Apple up on the offer. I signed up online and I immediately received a personalized message from my Apple Watch specialist, Taylor. The message included instructions about the session and finished with a smiling photo of Taylor in his email signature. The next day I logged into the training session on my computer and was greeted with live video of an Apple Watch on a desk being controlled by Taylor’s fingers. After chatting for a minute, Taylor knew my knowledge level and calibrated my training session accordingly.

Over the next half hour, Taylor demonstrated the functionality on the Apple Watch and the Apple Watch app on the iPhone. He had me copy what he was doing on my watch and answered all of my questions along the way. It was a fantastic use of technology and felt extremely personalized. I came away with the impression that Taylor genuinely loved teaching people how to use this new device.

This is a brand new product category for Apple and the Apple Watch does take some learning and getting used to. By ensuring new owners are trained and delighted, Apple is making sure customers fall in love with their new gadget instead of being confused, frustrated and disappointed.

After my call, I received a series of emails with additional tips, suggested apps, links to guided tour videos and more. The onboarding experience has been absolutely first class.

Credit unions can learn from this. Imagine if you took a proactive approach like this for a new or existing member. I bet a personalized video call to walk a member through your online banking system or your mobile app would surprise and delight. You could teach members how to use bill-pay or your new remote deposit capture service. If your online banking platform has personal financial management functionality, I bet you could increase adoption by teaching your members how to get the most out of this service.

Even if you think all your technology products are easy and intuitive, don’t underestimate the power of personalized connections and the opportunity to interact with members who are coming into branches less and less. I really like my new Apple Watch and I will remember how good my training specialist, Taylor, made me feel during my personalized training session.


Tim McAlpine is president and creative director of Currency. He is a credit union advocate best known for developing CUES Next Top Credit Union Exec and the Young & Free program that credit unions from around North America are using to connect with new, young adult members. Subscribe to his blog and follow him on Twitter.