Consumer Sentiments And Employee Insights (1Q 2017)

Real comments from online review sites to inform strategies, policies, and practices.

 
 
 

Comment

Staff in the branches are fantastic, but their website looks like 1992 and is slow and hard to use. The iPhone app is even worse, with limited features and incredibly slow loading times. Email support takes weeks for a response. I wish their tech would improve to match their rates and in-branch customer service.

— lylebarrere, Credit Karma

Lesson

There’s more to the credit union experience than rates and in-person interaction. The experience extends outward into every possible touchpoint a member has with the credit union, especially an institution’s technology offerings. As more members take advantage of mobile and online channels, providing a functional and up-to-date service is critical.

Comment

Remember where you came from and the standards that got you where you are today.

— Former Employee, Glassdoor

Lesson

As individual credit unions grow and add scale, the potential exists for institutions to compromise the cooperative difference for the sake of financial performance. But it’s the cooperative difference that allows credit unions to differentiate themselves from banks and attracts millions to the movement in the first place. Credit unions must not forget this.

Comment

We started using [the credit union] when we got a mortgage with them. It was so easy and straight forward that we decided to get a car loan with them as well. That was even easier! We were completely satisfied, but when they distributed their owner rewards bonus dividends we were beside ourselves. It was a good chunk of money that we didn't expect. That put them over the top for us. I will use them for all my banking from now on.

— Anonymous, Credit Karma

Lesson

As not-for-profit institutions, credit unions return profits to members in the form of reduced fees, higher savings rates, and lower loan rates. When financially viable, some credit unions even return a patronage dividend. For this Credit Karma commenter, the dividend was an unexpected perk — another benefit of their credit union membership. When properly communicated, these funds further differentiate the benefits of banking with a credit union.

Comment

I have been with [the credit union] for 10 years now and I couldn't be happier. [The credit union] treats all its employees with kindness and provides every opportunity for advancement. I started as a part-time teller in college and I have worked my way up the ranks and have a career for myself. Not only are there advancement opportunities, but they listen and use employee feedback in decisions.

— Current Employee, Glassdoor

Lesson

Often, employees just want to feel like their employer hears and appreciates them. What better way to do that than to show them their ideas put into practice? Additionally, clearly communicating organizational structure and different career trajectories provides prospective to employees who crave advancement. It can be reassuring to see where hard work can take an employee.

Comment

I used to brag to others about how great it was. Now, it is no different than the big banks like Capital One, etc. If you email them about any issues with their website, they give a generic response at best.

— GOMMOM, Credit Karma

Lesson

In today’s digital age, efforts to communicate with members must strike a balance. On the one hand, members expect quick and accurate responses; on the other, few prefer to be treated like just another number. Credit unions, which pride themselves on member service and experience, have much to gain — and just as much to lose — by providing the experience a member expects. As the average credit union grows larger and serves more members from a wider variety of channels, it will be imperative to retain the personalized banking experience that many of the big banks have already discarded.