Consumer Sentiments & Employee Insights (2Q 2016)

Real comments from online review sites to inform strategies, policies, and practices.

 
 

computer_comments_messagesComment

“I’ve been working full-time at [credit union] for more than three years. The pros are they care about their employees, they care about their membership, it’s a fun place to work, and there are lots of promotional opportunities. The cons are each branch is different. Some branches are absolutely amazing to work at and others are just miserable. If you get stuck with a numbers-driven manager, it’s hard to get out. ... My advice to management is not to promote by numbers. Some that have been promoted didn’t really master their role, they just looked good on paper. It’s discouraging. Not promoting over-qualified people due to numbers is how good employees are lost.”

— Anonymous, Glassdoor.com

Lesson

Numbers matter, there’s no getting around that at even the most altruistic organization. But the message here is clear: look behind the numbers. There’s more to a member than a FICO score. Likewise, there’s more to an employee than how much they sell. It takes work to assess that kind of impact, and it’s not black and white, but the results can be well worth it in terms of satisfying members and keeping good people on board.

Comment

I had been with [credit union] for 30 years and they’ve financed six vehicles for me with competitive rates. I’ve had the occasion to visit their locations and have been treated professionally and efficiently. However, I was denied a refinance last year for some reason even though my credit is excellent. I went to my local [branch of another credit union] and was approved immediately with a lower interest rate on both properties. Sorry, [previous credit union] — your loss!

— Anonymous, CreditKarma.com

Lesson

Here’s an argument for relationship lending. This member, despite a long history of satisfied service, jumped ship when turned down by the credit union. Any credit union can have the processes in place to immediately reach out to a longstanding member who has been denied a loan. In the best case, the credit union will find it can make the loan. In the worst case, a lender can explain why “for some reason” the member was denied. Giving members more information and alternatives, if possible, can save relationships if not loans.

Comment

“I’ve been a member of [credit union] since I was 13 years old. In the 15 years since, I’d have to say their service is probably just OK. They do not charge fees for silly things, and I’ve had a few car loans with them. I’ve been impressed with all that, but they haven’t kept up with modern technology and their website is awful. That wouldn’t really be a problem if they had great customer service, but, sadly, they do not. When I had a problem with an unauthorized person accessing my account, they could not help me nor could I remove the person without talking to several people and waiting on hold. For some reason I have to be in the branch to remove someone from my account. … Overall, although you won’t be mistreated by [credit union], there are better credit unions out there.”

— Anonymous, WalletHub.com

Lesson

Technology is clearly a problem here. Fair loans and fees are important, but credit unions can’t leave members out in the cold when it comes to security. Many financial institutions offer account “on-off switches” online, and even when they don’t, any credit union can get a manager on the phone to take care of matters. Moreover, overall deficient digital offerings is a deal-breaker more and more these days. If your institution has problems like this, consider investing in modern tools and a well-trained, empowered staff.

Comment

“I’ve been a member of [credit union] for about seven years now and have nothing but good things to say. I have a personal loan and an auto loan with them, both with good interest rates. I also have a checking and savings account with $500 overdraft protection. They’ve always solved any problem I’ve had in a professional and timely manner. I also never get any ATM fees seemingly no matter what ATM I use. It’s a great place to bank and I’d recommend it to anyone. If I had any qualms, I’d say I wish they would open a couple more locations in my area, but that’s about it.”

— Anonymous, WalletHub.com

Lesson

A financial cooperative by definition should be able to offer good rates. That’s the base line. But to solve problems “in a professional and timely manner” takes a front-line staff that is competent and empowered. Combined with service, the little things, like no foreign ATM fees, start to add up. Members don’t distinguish between all those network logos on an ATM. But they do see their fees. Such fees might add much-needed non-interest income, of course, but doing without them when possible can make for an effective strategy, too.

 
 

Oct. 18, 2016


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