Consumer Sentiments And Employee Insights (1Q 2019)

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

Every quarter, Callahan & Associates rips real consumer and employee comments from social sharing and review sites to highlight what credit unions can learn from members, employees, and the public. This quarter, Callahan offers four pieces of advice on how to manage brand in the modern age.

We’re Halfway There

Comment

I have banked exclusively with (credit union) for essentially my entire life. I am 30 years old, and set up my account initially when I was 10 years old. I was able to open this account due to a family member being a member already, but the process of joining the credit union is very simple.

I currently keep a savings account at this particular credit union, but not my normal checking. I choose to use a national bank for that, due to the number of available ATMs. I have however, used the credit union for two auto loans and will do so again if I ever finance another car. The rates were MUCH lower than any other national outlet, and the process was very simple. I will be purchasing my first home in a few years, and will finance the mortgage through this credit union.

DONTABURCH, Depositaccounts.com

Lesson

This happy member is halfway to using their credit union as their primary financial institution. This isn’t an unusual situation. Perhaps some consumer education is in order here to help ensure this credit union’s members know that, along with 23 branches (most with ATMs) around its home state of South Carolina, it’s a CO-OP credit union, making another 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs and 5,000 shared branches available nationwide.

What Is Anti-Establishment Anymore?

Comment

The culture overall is great at my branch. I feel open to talk about how I feel about certain areas of the company and how I want my career to progress. I don’t feel limited, but rather encouraged to tackle my dreams no matter how crazy they may seem. The company offers amazing benefits from retirement planning to health care and bonuses. PTO is better than most other banks I’ve worked at.

I do wish there would be more employee involvement on certain policies. I think we could move more towards accepting others’ freedom of expression (hair, nails, tattoos) and realize that no members’ accounts are hurt from this. Half the time it goes unnoticed (tattoos/nails) and if it is mentioned it’s a compliment (hair/nails/tattoos).

Current Employee (MSR), Glassdoor.com

Lesson

This member service rep is a happy camper who appreciates the culture and wants to extend that positive ambience further into the 21st century. Tattoos and blue hair are not anti-establishment anymore, they are establishment. Credit unions that want to keep their employment pipeline full may need to come to grips with that.

Learn From Legacy But Recognize When Change Is Good

Comment

I have been working at (credit union) full-time for more than 20 years. I love the company, awesome employees, and great benefits and salary. But there are too many Capital One executives coming in and not understanding and not willing to understand the family-oriented culture of (credit union).

Stop allowing these bankers to come in and change the culture here. It’s not working and tenured employees are leaving because of it.

Current Employee (Loan Officer), Glassdoor.com

Lesson

Interestingly, this is from the same credit union as the tattoo fan in the previous comment. There are multiple reviews, in fact, about this same credit union and they frequently cite culture (along with good pay and benefits) as reasons for their happiness there. Banks and credit unions are similar but not the same. These longtime employees know that and appreciate that and exemplify the difference. Senior management might do well to heed their call. But the flip side is true, too, as some longtime employees can hold the credit union back from necessary change. In this case, both parties need to be accepting and understanding; learn from the legacy and accept the need for evolution.

A Merry-Go-Round Of Non-Service

Comment

All calls go to a call center that has no information except balances and payments. The center tells you to call the local branch to find out anything else, but the branch phone numbers all lead back to the call center. I have had an account for years but I am moving to a financial institution that has better service.

Anonymous Account Holder, CreditKarma.com

Lesson

Certainly can’t blame this longtime member from getting off this merry-go-round of non-service. Contact centers have long been able to do far more than provide balances and payment histories. This one seems hard to believe, especially from a billion-dollar credit union, and let’s hope someone’s watching the store and responding to these online critiques from members who could be saved.

June 1, 2019

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