“As a member for over a decade, I have been quite satisfied using [the credit union] as my primary bank. Unfortunately, as they have grown it has become apparent their customer service teams are having trouble keeping up, both in staffing and training. I’ve referred a number of new members over the years, but recent experiences have not been up to snuff, which is somewhat embarrassing.”
- forum1, CreditKarma.com
“The more banks they build, the worse their service becomes.”
- Anonymous, CreditKarma.com
Growth is generally a positive attribute for a credit union. After all, with increased size comes greater access to resources and members. But growth also increases the potential for lapses in service quality. To ensure consistent, or even improved, member service, strive to continually educate and train employees as to the credit union’s service expectations, and promote clear, transparent communication across all departments and levels. Chances are, the credit union’s service quality helped it grow in the first place, so don’t discount its importance.
“Loan officers have stayed late for me to close on an auto loan on a Saturday! Try that with another bank.”
- Anonymous, CreditKarma.com
“I’ve been with [the credit union] for about 16 years. I’ve always been happy with their services and how personal their customer service is. My husband and I went into [a branch] on a Friday to open a joint account. They were REAALLY busy but [an employee] stayed late to help us out. [He] is AMAZING!!! The doors were locked and everyone was waiting on him so they could leave and [he] got it done in a calm, relaxed, professional manner. Feels good to know we are in good hands. [He] is a STAR employee!!!”
- Val e., Yelp
Few decisions are as stressful as what to do with money. Credit unions are member-owned institutions that exist to not only hold money but also improve the financial lives of all who share in ownership. Part of this mission requires institutions to work creatively - and sometimes unconventionally - to get the job done right and in the member’s best interest.
“Communication is not consistent across departments, so you end up getting confused members, which makes for a hard job. You get told to reach out to management when you need help. When you do, most have no idea what they are doing, which makes the few who do overworked and overwhelmed. Don’t even think about asking another department for help. Even when they are the ones to speak to about the issue, get ready for a whole lot of attitude. They may even tell your manager you asked for help and then in the next team meeting they bring up to ‘not contact this department directly for help since they are busy.’ Even though we are literally being SCREAMED at by members for something they screwed up.”
- Former Employee, Glassdoor.
Poor or clouded communication creates a hard workplace environment. Members interact with credit unions through different channels and employees, but maintaining a service culture requires the participation of all levels of an organization, from top to bottom. When communication is an issue, service falters and the overall member experience declines.
“Have been a member for several years now. Their Web Branch online site is outstanding, full-featured, and easy to use. So much so that I seldom have the need to visit a physical branch location (especially since they’ve implemented mobile check deposit feature - so easy!).”
- jgoltz, CreditKarma.com
“Technologically, their systems are back in the 1990s. Their portal is horrible on a good day and not user-friendly even for a techie. Their default is to make you go to a branch for everything. Hello [credit union], it’s 2016! They just started offering check deposit via image/smartphone, but as a techie, I cannot trust their systems to handle it right.”
It is 2016, and member expectations for financial technology have never been greater. But simply adopting the newest in innovation is an overly broad - and, for many, unfeasible - solution. Every credit union has a distinct member base that carries its own set of wants, needs, and expectations. Therefore, it behooves credit unions to analyze the needs of their membership before implementing expensive technological solutions that might not actually solve member problems. And updating a 90s-era website isn’t such a bad idea, either.