You are Probably Out of Touch.
Odds are, you are out of touch with your membership, and it’s costing you business. At a Credit Union conference last week, John Ainsworth of MasterCard (a long-time champion of the cooperative movement who also happens to run MasterCard North America) said as much to a roomful of CU people, as he encouraged us to work harder to connect and serve our members. To be honest, many in the room were stunned. We’ve always prided ourselves on member service, but have we lost touch?
Denial: Not just “a river in Egypt”.
Well, let’s talk about it. Did you know: 80% of companies say they provide great service, but only 8% of consumers say they receive “great service” from the companies that serve them. In other words, 90% of companies who say they provide great service are just plain wrong. Are you one of them? Have you been living in the past? Credit Unions have the highest satisfaction scores among financial institutions. But are maybe you aren’t as good as you once were. The gap between what you think your service levels are and what they really are leaves you vulnerable to competition.
Credit Unions that rely on “word of mouth reputation”, or historical data from surveys is sometimes many years old. This is no longer considered good enough. Performing some sort of “Voice of the Member” measurement on a regular basis will help keep you up to speed, and reduce your exposure to losing members over issues of poor or inconsistent service.
…when poor service is the cause of a consumer leaving a company, 80% of these lost relationships can be rescued if proper steps are taken in a timely fashion.
Why Your members are leaving you
When enough is enough, and a member decides to move their accounts to another financial institution, it turns out that there most likely cause is something you did. According to a market-leading study by Accenture, 66% of consumers switch companies because of a poor service experience. That usually means that the situation:
- Could have been avoided in the first place.
- Could have been “rescued” and the relationship saved if a swift, appropriate response was provided.
Being in touch with the member experience in real-time provides an opportunity to use resources for “service recovery” missions when things go wrong.
You Need a “Service Recovery” Plan
Member service resources are valuable, and good MSR’s can be hard to come by, so is it worthwhile to use these valuable resources reaching out to upset members? Called “service recovery” activities, this is some of the most valuable time you can spend on member service.
According to Zendesk, when poor service is the cause of a consumer leaving a company, 80% of these lost relationships can be rescued if proper steps are taken in a timely fashion. This is very encouraging because even a 10% increase in retention rate will have a direct (and very positive) impact on your bottom line.
Four steps to Service Recovery
- Establish listening points (branch, call center, lending, online/mobile)
- Establish guidelines and some (very) basic scripts for reps to use when contacting the members, based on the type of interaction and the problem reported.
- Assign responsibility to teams when possible. It will be much more sustainable than a single person.
- Set up a system to route complaints to appropriate teams as close to real-time as possible.
We Credit Unions have always touted our service as the main differentiator when comparing ourselves to banks. That advantage hasn’t exactly allowed us to dominate the competition. If you want your member service to be a true differentiator that will propel market growth, you have to elevate the Voice of your Member to a place of central importance in your organization. Create processes and teams around member feedback channels and make sure everyone has access to what members are saying. Lastly, create accountability around responding to member complaints as quickly as possible.
Not every Credit Union will do this, but the top performing ones will. The question is: will your Credit Union be one of them?
If your Credit Union needs a simple, low-cost Voice of the Member program, contact LiveSurvey to see if we can help.