Consumer Sentiments And Employee Insights From First Quarter 2015

Real comments from online review sites can help credit unions better tout their cooperative advantages, diffuse technology tensions, and decide when to send bad eggs packing.

 
 

Comment

“[My credit union does not have] any branches in my state so I kept an account with a big bank for the convenience. Then one day I decided to take a deeper look into the benefits of my credit union. I learned about shared branching, and it turns out that there are actually more accessible branches with shared branching than there are with the big bank.”
— Modelrea, CreditKarma.com

Lesson
Do your members understand all the benefits of doing business with a cooperative? If not, are you making it easy for them to learn? For example, shared branching provides members everywhere a real-world service option as well as allows your organization to accomplish more for them anywhere. Expanded branch coverage can greatly diminish the appeal of traditional banking, yet not all cooperatives promote these resources in a targeted, consistent way.

Comment

I have been using the credit union for about five months now and I am sad to say that I am dissatisfied. This credit union is not worth the trouble for a few extra bucks a month in APY.”
— SeekingSecurity, CreditKarma.com

Lesson
Developing a strong social presence is key in attracting the next generations of members, yet keeping their attention long-term is far more important — and difficult. If your real-life products, staff, technology, or other business interactions don’t live up to your digital persona, you might want to put down the keyboard and rework your operational playbook instead.

Comment

“Internal computer systems are obsolete and high maintenance. You have to log into a minimum of five to 10 different systems in any given day to do your job, and don’t even try to suggest an improvement. The IT department is pretty much content in maintaining what they are doing now. There’s no strategic vision in the IT area.”
— Former Employee, Glassdoor.com

Lesson
Employees are typically an organization’s greatest expense, and credit unions would be wise to invest in tools that allow these individuals to do their jobs in the most effective, affordable way. Unfortunately, such improvements are often stalled by infighting between traditional IT staff — who want to avoid major disruptions to infrastructure — and other technologists whose focus is more around improving the member experience. To better understand the merits of both perspectives and understand how to make all these individuals part of the solution instead of part of the problem, check out From IT to “WE”-T.

Comment

“I was recently out of the country (with no communication to the outside world) on a medical mission trip for orphaned children in Africa and this credit union started overdrafting my account. The first employee I spoke with at the bank treated me disrespectfully. I called to complain and was told by her assistant branch manager they are aware she can behave that way and they are sorry. WAIT! WHAT? This organization knows she acts this way and [she] is still employed.”
— Christie L. Arlington, TX, Yelp.com

Lesson
Document well in order to defend your employees from unjust critiques and offer additional training or guidance when they fall short of member expectations. But if systematic or purposeful shortfalls occur that hurt the brand and your members, don’t be afraid to let the ax fall for the greater good.

Comment

“On average my [credit union debit] card gets shut down by their fraud department once a month. When you call it is always 10-15 minutes of answering questions before they will finally release it again. I have since significantly cut back using this card.”
— Anonymous, CreditKarma.com

Lesson
Competitors are always looking to solve the user pain points you won’t, often snatching away your membership in the process. To avoid this, stay current on any new options that allow for more effective monitoring and tailoring of service options to their individual preferences, including the option to turn a debit card on and off remotely using a mobile phone.