Apple Federal Credit Union: Delivering Member-Centric Experiences Through Search


Apple Federal Credit Union’s built-in CMS search was falling short of meeting their members' needs.


Committed to improving the online member experience, the team at Apple FCU knew building a robust search feature required extensive time and resources, leading them to Cludo.


Apple FCU established its role as a trusted financial partner by addressing existing challenges while fostering stronger member engagement and loyalty.

Apple Federal Credit Union logoThe foundation of every credit union lies in its members, with the primary objective of fulfilling their needs. For over six decades, Virginia-based Apple Federal Credit Union (Apple FCU) has stood as a pillar of financial support for their community. Apple FCU has expanded to 21 branches across Northern Virginia and continually strives to offer the best resources and support to each unique financial situation its members face.

“We are trying to inform and educate our members, whether they need a loan, a savings account or a checking account,” says Andrew Reilly, Director of Web Development at Apple FCU. Andrew has been with Apple FCU for 18 years and oversees a team of three that maintain the internal and external web properties. He knows the website is a key resource for members but also pivotal for the Apple FCU marketing, community engagement and member experience teams.

“Websites have two functions, informational and conversions,” says Andrew. “Our site is a portal to online banking and providing that informational piece to get people to understand what we do and what we can offer.”

Enhancing the online member experience

In their pursuit of enhancing the online member experience, Apple FCU faced a familiar challenge: an inadequate existing search solution. Their CMS’ built-in search functionality fell short in meeting their members' needs and providing an enriched experience. Recognizing the urgency to improve search efficiency, Andrew and his team had an important decision to make.

In the search for a better solution, the discussion of coding their own search or integrating an existing solution was a hot topic.

“To make it a robust search feature is not easy, and to do it right requires time and resources,” says Andrew.

Upon evaluation, Cludo, a solution they've now trusted for five years, proved to be the ideal fit for their requirements, promising to personalize their member search experience and deliver on Apple’s continuous goal of innovation.

Meeting members where they’re at

Transitioning to Cludo marked a significant improvement in search performance while providing unforeseen insights. One such instance arose when a member struggled to find wire transfer instructions, despite entering ‘wire transfer’ into the search bar. This information exists under ‘external transfer’ information on the site, but highlighted the importance of refining content to match the language and terms they are using, while using tools to direct members.

AFCU Capture

On creating a useful search, Andrew noted: “It’s meeting users where they are with the behavior that they have.”

The right content at the right time

After the implementation of Zelle within the credit union, the term ‘Zelle’ emerged as one of the top site search queries, despite extensive promotion. This trend highlighted the growing reliance of members on search, and the invaluable insights into member preferences and behavior.

With the high frequency of search queries for Zelle, the team at Apple FCU implemented a Quicklink that would bring visitors to the dedicated page, bypassing the search results page altogether, and getting members to content in less clicks.

AFCU quicklink

Apple FCU utilized Quicklinks to help guide visitors


Continually refining their search

Being a Cludo customer for over five years, Apple FCU has had extensive time to finesse and refine their search. With advanced methods of personalizing member interactions, they have been able to deliver tailored content and recommendations based on search history and preferences. They even plan to use their search data to create a business glossary that members can use to improve their financial knowledge.

“Your timing is key when getting to people,” says Andrew. “It's like good comedy, timing and delivery. You have to be there, and you have to know who you're talking to.”

On staying relevant to their members, Andrew says: “Another feature of Cludo that we like is you continue to improve. You continue to find new ways to do things that are relevant to how consumers use the search feature, and how we want to engage with our members.”

This personalized approach to their members has helped foster stronger engagement and loyalty, further solidifying Apple FCU's position as a trusted financial partner.

Commitment to their members

Apple FCU’s evolving journey with search illustrates the power of innovation in enhancing member experience. Through the adoption of Cludo, Apple FCU has not only addressed existing challenges but unlocked opportunities for personalized engagement and growth.

As they continue to evolve and innovate, Apple FCU reaffirms its dedication to empowering its members and supporting their financial journey.

“Every person that I’ve talked to at Cludo made me feel as if I was a valued customer,” says Andrew. “Go straight to Cludo. Don't waste your time looking for potential products."

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