This Article first appeared in the May 2001 issue of the Callahan Report
Comparisons with Competitors
In addition to satisfaction ratings for each area of study, members could add open-ended comments. Examples of both positive experiences and areas for improvement were sought. Frequently, respondents mentioned other financial sites to make their point, as seen in the following comments drawn from three different surveys:
“I used to have an account with Citibank and their whole bill payment feature was better. It allowed more options in setting up multiple payments to one vendor and more flexibility in naming the vendor.”
“Look at Citibank’s direct access website. The functionality and feel is good. Instead of drop-down windows they use an index of options to click on.”
“It looks like a small time website. It is not nearly as elaborate as some of the huge banks like Citibank. This is not a complaint because it functions just as well.”
Members referred to Schwab, Fidelity and other credit union Web experiences to illustrate their comments. At no point were members asked to compare with other sites or about their other online relationships. But as these examples show, the Web does facilitate comparisons.
Members and Security
This first survey did not ask any questions about security. But members did not hesitate to volunteer assessments. The comments below again are from several different surveys:
“I am not happy with the password being only 4 numbers-I feel that it should be alpha-numeric at least 6 characters in length. Not as easy to gain access. This is a security issue that is very important to me. . .”
“My biggest concern is security. Any improvements in this area are welcome.”
“I love the security password features you’ve provided for the integrity of information. It’s wonderful you provided a password cracker for our protection.”
“Times out a little quickly for my convenience, but great for security.”
“Always have difficulty finding the form to provide instructions for maturing CDs. The form should be moved to a secure server. . . requires social security number for processing.”
“There are 3 steps I need to take to get into my account, my password and pin. I think that’s too many, but for security reasons I guess it is OK.”
“My overall concern is security. I wonder why don’t you force a change of password monthly . . .my password has not changed for years.”
The Opportunity to Listen
Many of the members’ comments are about their service experiences, even in an online environment:
“Your email response is terrible. I have emailed some questions that I needed answered and no one ever responded.”
“I filled out a form on car insurance and didn’t get any response back.”
Members also compare information consistency across the service channels:
“Mortgage rates are a negative. I realize they change rapidly, but that’s the logic behind a web site. Get current information out quickly.”
The Opportunity to Win
Three years ago the Internet was new. It was possible to be the first credit union or financial institution in town to offer home banking. This is no longer the case. Most firms have interactive Websites. But that does not mean every web experience is the same, even if the functions offered are similar.
As the comments above suggest, there is a “service” expectation behind virtually every Web experience. Members expect information to be timely, complete and secure; they expect the same responsiveness that a live channel would bring and more.
Recognizing this opportunity to create a truly winning or satisfying experience is what brought the survey consortium together. Winning will require a never-ending series of enhancements based on member needs. Acting together can help determine the best way to upgrade the e-channel using data points from across the country and many institutions.
Listening better is only part of the exercise. The critical factor is action. As one member stated in his/her expectations for credit union response:
“Take corrective action on worthwhile suggestions. Publicize intent and the schedule to fix or update. Disseminate info on why certain updates may not be practical. Re-survey.”
Following this process will make the member’s voice indeed the master’s voice.