Consumer Sentiments And Employee Insights (1Q 2020)

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

Dissatified Member

Comment

I’ve used [credit union] for 15 years and only had two issues over that time. They inaccurately calculated the payout on a savings bond and then were very rude when asking for it back. I let it go because the money was rightfully theirs and assumed they were frustrated they made a mistake.

More recently they took fees from me for not using their bill pay service; they did this over a three-year period but refused to refund the full balance. I am disgusted between the incompetence and the blatant disregard for customers. I have moved my funds out and will not be returning.

JAKE1234, DepositAccounts.com

Lesson

There’s an old saying:There’s no education in the second kick of a mule. In this case, perhaps there was. This member gave his longtime credit union the benefit of the doubt after his first experience arguing with a billion-dollar institution over what was surely pennies.

The second experience proved too much. There are some details missing such as how much the fees totaled and how clearly they were disclosed but this East Coast cooperative perhaps could have done more to keep this member. The depth of this relationship is unclear, but it was long. Perhaps the credit union was not ready to give back three years’ worth of fees, but it sounds like a solution could have been reached. Sometimes a gesture is all it takes.

An additional lesson: Are you reviewing your data to identify which members are incurring non-usage fees over long periods? Make a point to reach out to members or close the account. Act in the member’s interest rather than empty the account one fee at a time.

The Effortless Process

Comment

I’m a young adult who was making his first very nervous auto loan application, and [staff member] was extremely helpful and responsive in making this a smooth process. All my questions were answered promptly and completely, and he was able to get my loan approved in the span of half an hour after our brief phone call! Highly recommend his expertise [staff member] made the process effortless

Erik E., Yelp.com

Lesson

This one hits on all cylinders: Smooth, efficient service offered over the phone without asking the member to come in. A young adult recognized his own lack of knowledge and found just the assurance and help he needed to navigate a rite of financial passage.

This West Coast cooperative might have earned a new member for life. Not incidentally, this staff member is mentioned in several other positive reviews on Yelp; he’s doing something right.

Remember, Yelp isn’t just for restaurants. Keep an eye on online reviews to identify your own high performers and make sure to give them the recognition they deserve.

Constructive Criticism

Comment

My last raise was basically a quarter added to my hourly wage, which was a tough pill to swallow after knowing I am a valued’ employee. Reviews are based mostly on numbers, but when said numbers are not always reliable, it doesn’t seem like a great system.

Communication is very poor from upper management to the rest of the employees. The website is juvenile in comparison to other FIs, members even relay that to us. Hours are not the same between [two area branches] and, honestly, they should be since the merger was 7+ years ago. Parking at some locations is a bit ridiculous.

Anonymous Employee, Glassdoor

Lesson

Although at first blush this might seem like a negative review, the overall tone is actually more of an engaged observer who cares about the institution and the members, someone whose observations merit some consideration. The comments about the website, merger, and parking sound more like reasonable observations than egregious complaining. And, the reviewer included some positive attributes such as good benefits and some perks to working at this $400 million Midwest cooperative. The anonymous employee also said their colleagues were generally pretty pleasant and that it’s not altogether a bad place to work.

To wit, the reviewer provides this succinct advice:Communicate, it’s the least you can do. The writer also recommends job shadowing to boost knowledge among departments and offering culture-shaping acts like a monthly catered meal for staff or casual dress for back-office staff.Let your employees know how valued they are and not just how lucky they are to have a job here, the writer advises.

June 30, 2020

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