Thing 15: Measure something other than satisfaction

September is 30 things I would implement or consider implementing at my credit union if I was a credit union leader.

Thing 15 of 30: Measure something other than satisfaction

The credit union industry loves its member satisfaction surveys. Stats like "95% of our members are satisfied with our credit union" make for great pull quotes in the annual report, but they don't do much to propel your credit union forward. All you have to do is look at the plateaued member-growth numbers to see this fact.

At my fictitious credit union we would concentrate on measuring something else. But to be honest, I am still unsure of what! I am certainly not a research expert, so my first step would be to really explore alternatives to the standard annual long-form member satisfaction survey.

Looking beyond the satisfaction survey, there are two main options to consider.

  1. Measure loyalty
    The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is growing in popularity. Denise Wymore has been an advocate of NPS and championed getting the Member Loyalty Group off the ground. From Denise's blog, "I am very passionate about loyalty. And many of you know that I’m a Kool-aid drinking Fred Reichheld NPS purist! That’s why it’s so important that credit unions develop a standard methodology for calculating their relationship Net Promoter Score. The Member Loyalty Group has done just that. The beautiful thing about NPS is its simplicity. Fred Reichheld intended the survey tool to be open source, meaning anyone can do it. You don’t have to hire a statistician to calculate the score. Simply ask a random sample of your members the ultimate question: 'How likely is it that you would recommend the credit union to a friend, family member or co-worker?' on a scale of 0–10. Those that score your credit union a 9 or a 10 are fiercely loyal promoters. They will do three things for you:

    1. Buy more from you
    2. Market for you
    3. Tell you how to improve their credit union
     
    Number 3 is done by asking the simple follow-up question 'Why did you answer the way you did?'"
  2. Measure member advocacy
    Ron Shevlin, a senior research analyst from the Aite Group has this recommendation for credit unions, "Measure customer advocacy (not referral intention). It's a lot more important for credit unions to be perceived as doing what's right for their members than worrying about whether members intend to refer them to family and friends. Why? Because members that think their credit union is an advocate for them will refer them. And referral intention isn't nearly as important as referral behavior."

Denise and Ron are two of my favorite people who just happen to have very different opinions on what credit unions should be measuring. I have heard both arguments on a number of occasions and I do see the merit in both approaches. As a credit union leader, I would make a point of really understanding my options, deciding on the best fit for our credit union and then diligently stick to a standard measurement system over time.

Tim