Credit unions that conduct member experience surveys have a competitive advantage. They understand what their members want, what they dislike, and what changes they’d like to see. This information can help to drive the direction of the credit union over time.
But some credit unions get better information than others from their member experience surveys. Often, this comes down to the nature of the questions asked in the survey.
Read on to learn more about qualitative vs quantitative feedback, how to use each, and example survey questions that solicit each type of feedback.
The Difference Between Qualitative vs Quantitative Feedback
First, let’s discuss definitions and the importance of each type of survey response.
Qualitative feedback asks open-ended questions and provides the “why” for how people are feeling. It is based on observations and opinions, rather than on measurements or numbers. It provides a rich, detailed picture of what is happening and can be very useful for identifying patterns and trends.
Qualitative feedback is important in member satisfaction surveys because it provides a rich, detailed picture of the member’s experience. It can help credit unions understand the underlying reasons for any dissatisfaction and identify areas for improvement.
Additionally, qualitative feedback can provide valuable insights into the member’s overall satisfaction with the credit union and its products or services.
Quantitative feedback, on the other hand, is feedback that is based on measurements and numbers (such as a 1–5 scale). It is often used to evaluate performance and can be very useful for comparing different options and making decisions.
Quantitative feedback is important because it provides a clear, objective measure of the member’s satisfaction. It can be used to evaluate the overall performance of the credit union and can track progress over time (thanks to using the same scale to measure things, historically).
Qualitative Feedback in Surveys (with Examples)
Qualitative feedback is often provided through multiple-choice question formats or text boxes. This allows members to reply with either the answer that resonates best or uses their own words.
A generic example of a qualitative member experience survey question is:
“Please describe your overall experience with our credit union.”
While this example may be too broad and could overwhelm the member (or whoever reads the answer!), it does accomplish what it needs to accomplish. That is, it offers a detailed, personal account of the member’s experience and offers their own insights and opinions.
Other examples of qualitative survey questions could include:
- What do you like most about our credit union?
- What do you think we could do better to meet your needs?
- Can you tell us about any specific experiences you’ve had that you would like to share?
- In your own words, how would you describe your experience with our organization?
In our experience, qualitative feedback provides the best insight about member experience. However, it can be difficult to know which feedback reflects general opinions vs. which feedback reflects the views of a small minority of people.
Quantitative Feedback in Surveys (with Examples)
Quantitative feedback gives every question the same measuring stick. It turns answers into numbers (usually), which makes it easy to compare and contrast, especially over time.
One example of a quantitative member experience survey question could be:
“On a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is “not at all satisfied” and 5 is “extremely satisfied,” how satisfied are you with your overall experience with our credit union and its services?”
This question provides a clear, objective measure of the member’s satisfaction, and allows the credit union to track satisfaction over time. Other examples of quantitative survey questions could include numbered scales for:
- How easy did we make the last transaction for you?
- How likely are you to recommend our organization to a friend or colleague?
- How would you rate the quality of our services?
- How often do you use our credit/debit card compared to your other cards?
In general, quantitative survey questions should provide clear, specific options for the member to choose from, so that their responses can be easily analyzed and compared.
Because your scores are measured on the same scale from one month (or year) to the next, quantitative survey data allows you to track your performance over time. In our experience, this feedback is great for spotting trends and broader member sentiment.
Finding a Balance
It is generally a good idea for member satisfaction surveys to include both quantitative and qualitative questions. This can provide a well-rounded view of the member’s experience and help credit unions understand the underlying reasons for any dissatisfaction.
Quantitative questions can provide a clear, objective measure of satisfaction, while qualitative questions can provide valuable insights into the member’s overall experience.
By including both types of questions in a member satisfaction survey, credit unions can get a complete picture of the member’s experience and use that information to improve their services.