The Members' Voice

In the old RCA commercials for the first high fidelity record players, a dog was pictured sitting next to the speaker listening intently to his master's voice. Credit unions have long honored the vision of listening to the member's voice, but only recently has technology allowed this to be a-real time experience.

 
 

This Article first appeared in the May 2001 issue of the Callahan Report

In the old RCA commercials for the first ''high fidelity'' record players, a dog was pictured sitting next to the speaker listening intently to his master's voice. Credit unions have long honored the vision of listening to the member's voice, but only recently has technology allowed this to be a-real time experience.

In this era of change, listening becomes a critical business process. One company CEO expressed it best: ''Real-time feedback from customers is the most incredible quality control tool. It is live hot data.''

Collecting hot data was time consuming and expensive before the Internet era. Mail surveys take anywhere from 30-90 days to create, mail and tabulate responses. The report analysis and writing can take another 30-60 days. Six months after a project starts, management begins responding to the information. Focus groups, a second alternative, are expensive, often of small sample size, and generally limited to few topics. But the Internet offers a flexible, fast and cost-effective medium for collecting members' opinions and assessments. Moreover the ''voice'' that is speaking is often straight from the shoulder, without any inhibitions. In the words of the authors of The Cluetrain Manifesto, the natural human voice is the language of business. Nowhere is that voice clearer than in Internet communications.

A Cooperative Approach

To develop this Internet capability for ''listening'' more effectively, a group of credit unions decided, in February, to work together to ''survey'' their online members' attitudes and experiences with their credit union's Website.

The group of 22 credit unions agreed to conduct surveys every other month. The advantage of this survey consortium was that each credit union could draw upon others' experiences in all phases of the process. From topic selection, survey design and data collection, through interpretation and action, a group dialogue shapes each step.

The business purpose was short cycles of learning about Web activity followed by action followed by further surveys. The first topic was members' satisfaction with the navigation, content, design and speed of their credit union's Website.

The survey was presented on the Website via a pop-up window or a link. After one week, or approximately 1,000 responses per credit union, the survey was taken down. All of the data were tabulated and both individual and group results were sent to each of the credit unions.

The continuation to this article appeared as part of the September 3, 2001 weekly site articles. Click here to read the rest of this article.

 

 

 

June 11, 2001


Comments

 
 
 
  • Good insight...need more stuff like this..will be interesting to see if our upcoming survey results are similar.
    Anonymous
     
     
     
  • Very informative, I liked the use of comparisons with other industries, financial institutions and memberer expectations
    Anonymous