Credit unions exist to serve the needs of their members. Unfortunately, that’s not always as easy as it sounds. Sometimes it’s difficult even knowing what their members need. That’s where credit union member surveys come in.
If you work at a credit union and you’re looking for ways to identify your strengths and improve on your weaknesses, you might want to start with a survey. A well-administered survey can reveal what your members want, what they need, and what they don’t like at your credit union.
If you’re already familiar with relationship surveys, transaction surveys, and understanding NPS scores, then this article is for you. If you’re not—no worries! This will be here for you after you read a little more about how surveys for credit unions work.
Why Transaction Surveys?
Relationship surveys measure the strength of your relationship to your members. It measures broad performance across several metrics. On the other hand, transaction surveys measure each interaction that your members have involving your credit union. As such, they’re better at evaluating your performance in individual areas.
Transaction surveys measure your credit union’s particulars. Are the wait times too long? Are the tellers friendly? Is it easy to manage your account online? Does the mobile app crash unexpectedly? Transaction surveys allow you to zoom in to evaluate the many services your credit union provides.
What Questions Should I Ask?
Here’s the trick: there are no “best questions” to ask. The best questions you can ask your members are those you want to know the answer to.
For example, if you’re updating your bill pay feature, you might want to see how people feel about the system you already have first. If you want to gauge your loan process, you could ask people how easy it was to apply for an auto loan. If you’re worried that your tellers are rude, you could ask members about their experience visiting the branch.
The best questions you can ask are about things you want to know. If you’re about to expand, you might want to know about branch layout. If you’re concerned about ATM access, ask about that. Those are the answers you should care most about.
Time Is of the Essence
One thing that you should definitely value is the time it takes between your member’s transaction and when they receive a survey about it.
When you’re measuring your performance for any transaction, it’s important to respect the primacy of the immediate impression.
Opinions about things change over time. Usually, that’s a good thing. However, when you want to understand someone’s experience of an event, you’re better off with an unmediated opinion about it. For example:
The Situation: A Member Waits in Line 15 Minutes Before Being Helped
That’s a long time to wait in line at a credit union these days. Nobody wants to wait to be helped, especially when they took time out of their day to visit the branch for something they couldn’t accomplish online.
If you ask the member about their experience visiting the branch, you might get three different answers, depending on the time it takes for you to ask about it.
1. More than a day
If you wait more than a day to ask about their recent experience with wait times in your branch, they may have already thought about other things. At this point, the aggravation they felt doesn’t seem so bad.
They’ll tell you that it was acceptable. Your survey results will skew positive. Nevertheless, they’ll think twice before they visit the branch for anything urgent again. That weakens your relationship.
2. More than a day (again)
Twice? Yes. This time, they mention to a friend of another member in line that the wait times are getting out of hand. Now they’re late to something. They both commiserate about how something needs to be done. After a bit of time, the aggravation they felt seems worse.
They’ll tell you their wait time was unacceptable. It made them late to a thing. They’ll think twice before they visit the branch for anything urgent again, and they might tell others. That significantly weakens your relationship.
3. Within ten minutes
If you can ask a member about their experience at the branch within 10 minutes of them finishing their visit, you’ll get much better information.
Their opinion won’t be filtered through days or a week’s worth of interactions. They won’t have gotten angrier over time or decided that it was inconsequential.
By sending a transaction survey immediately after the transaction occurs, you get a fresh, unmediated report of your member’s experience.
Plus, if you can follow up with that member very quickly, they’ll see that you’re taking steps to rectify the situation. They’ll be more likely to visit the branch again to give it another shot. Plus, they’ll know that their opinion—and overall experience—counts.
If you’d like to know more about credit union member survey best practices and strategy, follow the links below! We’ve compiled several resources and years of survey experience to get you ready to run your own surveys.
Or, if you’d like to see what you can do with an intuitive survey platform, try a demo of LiveSurvey.