Online members who failed to complete their online loan applications due to
questions or problems are less likely to use this application channel in the
future, according to a recent survey conducted by the Callahan & Associates
Overall, 40 percent of online members reported either completing or attempting
to complete an online loan application. More than one-fifth of those who tried
using an online loan application did not complete it. Although some of these
applications were likely to have been made eventually via other channels, it
does represent a significant lost opportunity for credit unions looking to retain
their online members and steer members to more efficient channels.
Members who had successfully completed an online loan application were about
twice as likely to use an online loan application in the future (see graph).
However, members who had tried but abandoned an online loan application are
more reluctant to try one in the future than even the non-user group. This emphasizes
the importance of meeting members' needs on the first attempt.
As one member explained the barriers, "There was no example of what
I would be filling out. No explanation of the process in advance. How do you
ask questions? What info are you looking for? I may not have all of it available,
so it might require multiple sessions."
Simple Solutions Exist for Improving Online Loan Applications
Most reasons members give for abandoning their applications could easily
be addressed by enhancing the online information areas or by streamlining
the loan application itself. Credit unions should provide options for answering
questions upfront via tools such as links to loan educational content, a Frequently
Asked Questions page, or an online chat. Other improvements include making
the loan application more straightforward by eliminating unnecessary questions,
incorporating clearer wording, or providing definitions.
The key is making the information as accessible to the member as possible,
providing links and information that the member can access while completing
the loan application. Any time that the member must leave the loan application
increases the likelihood that the member will give up and turn to a more costly
service channel, as well as potentially damaging the member relationship.
For more details on this survey and information on how credit unions can
join the Survey Consortium group, please call Denise Senecal at (800) 446-7453
or visit www.creditunions.com.
This independent Callahan research is sponsored by: