The credit union website plays a significant role in the decision process for online members, according to a recent Internet Strategy Consortium survey regarding online member loyalty. About half of the more than 10,000 online members surveyed (46%) reported researching financial products or services during the past year.
Members were asked to indicate which two resources were most helpful in their decision process. Six in ten online members cited the credit union website (58%) as being one of the most helpful resources, followed by a conversation with member service either in person (34%) or by phone (27%). This finding reinforces the need for cross channel coordination as well as the importance of the credit union website in the decision process.
Where do Members Go When The Website Is Not Helpful?
Two-thirds of members who researched a financial product or service did end up obtaining a loan or new account, typically through their credit union. Only 15% turned to another financial institution. However, within the Consortium, this proportion ranged from a low of 11% up to 27% of members who went elsewhere, and in many cases were valuable higher income members.
Members who used another financial institution were far less likely to cite the credit union website as helpful and turned to a wider range of resources, including Google searches, other consumer information resources and other financial institution sites. The Internet makes it easier for members to research competitive options, and members who don’t find detailed information at their credit union website are likely to turn to other online resources instead of waiting to contact the credit union. This increases the likelihood that they will ultimately select another provider.
Reason for Not Using the Credit Union
Rates are by far the primary reason that members did not select their credit union for their loan or new account. Other reasons include not being approved or the desired loan type was not available. Customer service issues were mentioned by about one-tenth. Members with higher incomes more often cited rates. Not being approved was more often mentioned by lower income members (19% of those under $45K), but it’s important to note that these members did receive their loan or account from another financial institution.
One-fourth of members described other reasons for not using their credit union. These reasons were typically related to customer service issues, such as difficulties in getting information, or problems obtaining approval. It’s clear from their feedback that being denied for a loan that is ultimately obtained elsewhere can have a strong negative impact.
Almost $200k was deposited this year and I can't even get a line of credit.
Was very angry with CU's Mort. Dept. for saying my daughter "probably wouldn't qualify" without checking. She qualified for a 6.375% rate at another institution the same week she called
Consistently turned down or given higher rate than other institutions who have no problem extending me credit/ opening new money market accounts
After I was not approved for my car loan 3 years ago I have found that it’s easier to deal with other loan companies.
Improving Online Information Areas
Members who are most satisfied with their credit union website tended to visit a wider range of online information areas. Credit unions should ensure they have more detailed product information online, particularly in terms of rates and requirements for qualifying for particular rates or loan types. Ongoing promotions to increase awareness through a variety of online and offline media can also help ensure members will first turn to their credit union.