Research: Think You Know No. 1 Way Folks Get Information About Your Credit Union?

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What is consumers' No. 1 source of information about where to bank? It's not marketing, advertising or brochures: it's word of mouth.

As a result, member referrals are strong indicators of your CU's likely growth and success. This is why savvy institutions track their Net Promoter Score (NPS): a word-of-mouth referral index. This survey methodology provides insights into member perceptions by assessing their willingness to refer the financial to someone else, and even more importantly - and what many credit unions miss in implementing NPS - the underlying reasons for it.

How can NPS and member satisfaction surveys translate into helping your credit union grow and thrive? One credit union implementing an NPS/Satisfaction transaction survey discovered that its call center acted as a dramatic impediment to its growth. (Their NPS was 30, and likely resulting growth minimal.) Through a friendly, probing phone survey, the research analyzed members' specific answers (the "drivers") as to why they would or would not recommend the CU. They learned that the call center hours were too limited, the phone-tree frustrating, and the time to reach a real human being way too slow.

The credit union acted by extending the hours of the call center and making it simpler and faster to reach a live representative. A follow-up survey conducted six months later literally found a doubling of its NPS to 60%.

Another CU had implemented a number of transaction protocols for staff to use in greeting and offering personalized service with every transaction in the branches. A combination NPS/Satisfaction survey detailed by branch revealed that members using rural branches enjoyed this extra personal touch; members using branches in the city, however, felt that it slowed down the lines. The credit union chose to modify its service strategy to match the needs of the different markets In rural branches, they continued to use the personalized protocol with every transaction; at the city branches, they adapted the program to be used as time allowed. The result: an improvement in NPS at both types of branches.

NPS/Satisfaction transaction surveys may also be used to develop more account relationships with members when segmenting by product penetration, services per household, and more. By gathering detailed information, management may see a trend of a product that is appealing to a specific target market on a consistent basis, and develop a campaign to promote the product to members with similar demographics in the future.

NPS/Satisfaction transaction surveys can be conducted very quickly and immediately upon a members' experience. As a result, they can help you create a more responsive and thriving CU.

Mike Anstead is Senior VP with Member Research For info: (949) 833-6901 or

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