Credit unions provide numerous advantages over banks. That much is for certain. And some of those intangibles have to do with how credit unions treat their members.
Basically, credit unions build communities and relationships. They are champions for the prosperity and wellbeing of their members. Credit unions that put the needs of their members first can expect closer bonds, more engagement, and higher loyalty. Their own success is predicated on the success of their members.
At least, that’s the goal: to be a member-centric credit union.
But how can a credit union become more member centric?
How to Become More Member-Centric
We’ve seen more than a few blogs and articles outlining the path toward becoming more member centric. A good many of them suggest such broad, nebulous steps that they’re almost useless. They might as well suggest, “make your members happier” or “do better.”
Those tips aren’t going to help anybody. What will help are a few concrete, tangible steps that any credit union can take.
Here’s our go at it:
1. Journey mapping
Map your members’ experience from the start. Track their major interactions and transactions from the moment they join. Just make sure you aim for “attentive” rather than “creepy.”
Here are a few member milestones you may want to measure:
- Account opening
- Check depositing or direct deposit setup
- Drive through transactions
- Branch visits
By assessing the member experience at these major touchpoints, you can adjust your services as necessary to better meet their needs.
2. Member effort scoring
Some surveys are specifically designed to help you understand member pain points. Those surveys are also very good predictors of ember loyalty.
“Some surveys” are member effort score surveys. You can read more about member effort score surveys here if you’re into that sort of thing.
The great thing about member effort scoring is that it measures a very specific thing: member effort. (We’ll file that under “duh.”) Member effort scoring checks the degree of difficulty or friction for any given task, process, or transaction. The more difficult something is to do, the less happy your members are likely to be about it.
Setting up member effort score surveys can help your credit union pinpoint where your credit union needs to make changes. Anything that is too difficult, time-consuming, or confusing is going to frustrate your members. Anything easy, quick, and intuitive will make them smile.
3. Listen to your members
There are many ways to listen to your members. The classic version is when someone at your credit union actively listens to a member, in person. Face-to-face conversations are increasingly rare in our digital culture though, so you can always use a workaround:
- Phone calls
We’ve had such luck with surveys that we built a whole CU-specific platform for them. When you do listen to your members, here are a few things you should do:
- Analyze what they’re saying and look for pain points
- Look for ways you can alleviate those pain points
- Question your existing policies and processes to identify areas for improvement
Change can be scary, but it’s never as scary as hearing that your members really don’t like something.
4. Start an NPS drip campaign
Net Promoter Score surveys, or NPS surveys, are great at tracking member satisfaction over time. The responses you get from NPS surveys indicate broad member sentiment about your credit union’s performance.
If you send out only a few thousand random NPS surveys per month, you can see a gradual, real-time view of how your members feel about you. You can start to track trends from month to month to see the effect of any changes you make—or to see if changes in the industry are affecting your members’ perceptions of you.
The Common Thread
Maybe we’re a little too close to this. Maybe when you’re a hammer, the whole world look starts to look like a nail. But there is a common factor in all four of the above keys to becoming a more member-centric credit union:
Surveys are among the easiest, most well-known methods of member experience tracking.
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