Consumer Sentiments: Holiday Edition

Use online member feedback to shape your technology and operations strategy.

 
 

This holiday season, credit unions have many things to be thankful for ... including member feedback. These comments may not always be positive or easy to hear, but credit unions' ability to listen to members and put that feedback into action is one of the biggest advantages they have over their for-profit peers.

Each issue of Technology@CU highlights members’ thoughts, praises, and frustrations regarding technology and operations issues. Here is a selection of comments from the last four issues and the best practices credit unions can take away from them.

Comment

“[Members] no longer have a lobby where we can wait in a comfortable environment. We can only communicate with employees through a window, that is, when they are available. The average wait time is 10-20 minutes in a cold, drafty place without proper seating.” -  Laure O.

Lesson

Branches should feel safe and secure but not sterile. Maintain designated waiting areas with proper lighting, art, food or drink, and play centers for the kidsto make it feel more like home and less like the ER.

Comment

“Love this credit union.  I've seen lots of people bring their dogs into the branch.  Can you take your dog into your bank?  Didn't think so.” - Heather W.

Lesson

Share the values, priorities, and interests of your members and use the branch as an area to celebrate them.

Comment

I had several bills scheduled to pay and luckily had printed the on-screen confirmations. The checks were never sent from the credit union, resulting in late fees applied by the payees. Again, I had to spend much of my valuable time getting the credit union to rectify the situation and refund the late fees - JR.

Lesson

The more frustration involved with setting up and maintaining bill pay, the less use it will see.

Comment

“They aren't kidding about the no ATM fees claim. Unlike most of my friends I don't have to walk extra blocks to find my bank to avoid fees. I have tested this at all kinds of gypsy ATMs around the city as well as in Canada, France, UK, and the Netherlands (where some fees were upward of $10 per withdrawal) and have always been reimbursed.” - Kat F.

Lesson

Relish opportunities for members to test the bounds of your service network. Exceed their expectations and they’ll share it with the world.

Comment

I used this credit union for 29 years, but I am leaving because their new online banking system is positively useless. Here are some fun features:
-  Errors, all the time.  Basically impossible to use some tabs because it kicks you back to the login screen on an error.
-  Fun phantom charges!  I was using automatic bill-pay through the bank and cancelled a set of payments.  The system is still making the monthly payment for some reason!
-  All data from before the upgrade is lost.  No, they couldn't be bothered to hire a programmer who knew enough SQL to translate between the old system and the new system.  They said there was just too much data.  Last time I checked, time on the cloud was 44 cents an hour for a "huge" node.  So, hire someone who knows MapReduce and SQL?  No way. - Ben S.

Lesson

Member will be especially attuned to both positive and negative changes following a conversion. Careful management of this process will ensure you don’t just gain new capabilities, but maintain the quality of the services you already have.

Bonus Lesson

Know your membership! Institutions with technology-related SEG or membership bases will be held to the highest expectations for system performance.

Comment

I recently moved to South LA County and there is absolutely no branch coverage.  That's ok because I can go to shared branches and bank as if I were at [the credit union], right? NOPE.  Apparently my FICO score has something to do with a simple deposit and withdrawal and they have suspended my shared branch privilege.  I spoke to management who informed me “That's just the way the system is built."  LOL. That sounds like a “get off my back” answer to me. - B B.

Bonus Comment

The vice president contacted me after I posted this message and told me they would be hiring a team of developers to rewrite their program so that the issues listed above don't happen or there is an override in place for situations like mine.  Well, they did it and they overrode the hold on my account.  I have to say I was angry, but they came through as promised and I decided to stick with them because of this.  Yeah it was a terrible experience but at least they acknowledged my frustration and accommodated me as well! Well done and thank you.  - B B.

Lesson

Resist using limitations with “the system” as a way to dismiss member issues without resolution. This strategy can permanently damage their impressions of both your technology capabilities and your service culture. Instead acknowledge these shortcomings and keep members informed on how you’re addressing them. They may be more understanding than you’d think.

Comment

“Their online banking and mobile apps are easy to use and have lots of nice features. They have a nice online bill pay system set up and highly customizable text message alerts. These alerts can be set up for individual accounts and you can even set quiet hours so you don't get a text message waking you up at 2am.” - Stella R.

Lesson

Respect your virtual access to members.

 
 

Nov. 20, 2012


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