Credit Union Mistakes Are More Forgivable

Members are willing to overlook a credit union's blunders more than many service providers, according to a recent consumer survey.


I served tables through college and I must say: I wasn’t graceful. I didn’t mean to spill that red wine all over some lady’s white leather jacket, but when you’re speed-walking for hours on end, sometimes trays slip!

While I was arguably the clumsiest server there, I was armed with very good – and very sincere – apologies. And for some reason, people forgave me. Miraculously, I was never fired.

How willing are your customers to forgive you? Having a customer base that is willing to forgive your mistakes is invaluable and credit unions’ have a forgiveness factor that’s stronger than most companies, according to a recent survey by Temkin Group, a customer experience research group based in Waban, MA.

Credit unions ranked fourth in the 2012 Temkin Forgiveness Ratings after USAA bank, USAA insurance, and Hyatt for having consumers’ good graces when it comes to mistakes. The survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers included 206 companies (which included the broader category of “credit unions”) from 18 industries. They were asked to rank how likely they’d be to forgive a bad experience. Also ranking high: H.E.B, HyVee, Dollar Rent A Car, Chick-fil-A, Publix, Costco, and

Other companies were not so lucky, with customers more likely to hold a grudge when they’re wronged. They include Citigroup, Charter Communications, HSBC, Chrysler dealers, EarthLink, Bank of America, and Comcast.

Credit unions are not only among the top most-forgivable companies, they’re also increasing their Forgiveness Rating at a rate that’s faster than most companies. The Temkin Group analyzed year-over-year changes and found that credit unions – along with TD Ameritrade, Lenovo, and USAA – were the only four companies to improve their rankings by more than 25 percentage points.

The research group also examined how individual companies rated relative to their industry peers. Credit unions scored more than 15 percentage points above the financial services industry averages.


May 21, 2012



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