The latest survey revealed a direct correlation between the age of credit union members and customer satisfaction. According to the findings, there is a 30 point difference in satisfaction ratings between older members (over age 65), and younger members (under age 30); older members are just more satisfied with their credit unions.
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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.
- 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?'"
- 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.
This happened Sunday night.
Can't remember what my girls and I were watching on TV, but Dara (14 years old) suddenly asks "What are baby boomers?" and I explain it. Dara asks why they call people that and I explain demographics and the different groups. I tell them how their grandpa was in the G.I. Generation, their grandma is in the Silent Generation and their uncle is a Baby Boomer. I am Generation X.
I tell both Taylor (16 years old) and Dara that they are part of Generation Y. Taylor says "I'd rather be a part of Generation Z. It sounds cooler." (She learned a little bit about demos in school.)
We chatted a bit more, and Taylor's overall take was this: Each person is different, and even though she can see how large age groups can have life experiences that shape their thoughts and opinions as a whole, she's cynical about companies that make assumptions based on generalizations (she didn't say it exactly that way, but that was the gist of it.)
That's why I believe terms like Gen Y should be kept as internal labels—instead of product or website names—because they are labels. And no one really likes to be labelled.
My credit union doesn't ask for my input. In fact, it doesn't ask me for anything other than my username and password. I would imagine this is typical for many credit union members, especially as we move away from personal interactions and towards doing all of our business online.
It's really too bad since one of the attributes credit unions lean on most is a claim of better personal service. This loss of personal interaction puts a lot of distance between you and your credit union members.
If you are looking for a way to reconnect with your members and to find out what they are thinking and needing, you should study this website.
This is some information from Starbucks' top-prize-winning entry in the 2008 Groundswell Awards in the Embracing category.
MyStarbucksIdea.com is the first social media website from Starbucks. Our mission is to help us connect with our customers by co-creating the future of the company with them.
MSI (as it is known to the community) has four components:
Share: Where community members post their Starbucks Idea. Anyone can post an idea.
Vote: The site let's you easily see what other people have suggested and vote on the ideas you agree with. The community decides what's important and what is not.
Discuss: Inline comment streams allow community members to discuss ideas with other customers and about 40 Starbucks Idea Partners from various departments answer questions and provide insights to the discussions.
See: The "Ideas in Action" tab is the proof. Here is where we announce what actions have been taken and have further discussion around top ideas.
These four components provide a ongoing loop of discussion, interaction and, ultimately, action.
MyStarbucksIdea.com is the first true two-way conversation point for customers and the company to interact on a wide scale. We've found that customers very much want to have this conversation.
Traffic to the site has been immense right from the beginning. But the participation rates have been what is truly exciting. We've had nearly 75,000 ideas submitted in less than six months, with many ideas receiving thousands of votes and hundreds of comments.
Some ideas have been surprising to us: the top all-time idea is around having "Great Conversations" at Starbucks. More often, however, it has helped us prioritize our current efforts and initiatives.
From big ideas, like healthier morning and food options and bold coffee discussions, to smaller initiatives such as a "reusable cold cup," in just a few short months My Starbucks Idea has become a major force in helping direct the future of the company.
People sure are passionate about their coffee! Being that credit unions are built on co-operative principles, I think something like this could work wonders for a credit union that is really open to member participation.
What do you think?
Let's start with the fact that I AM a woman. But here's what has led me to my marketing gender confusion:
- I own five lonely pairs of shoes. Four pairs for mostly practical reasons and one pair of runners.
- I really, truly, deeply don't like the term 'soccer mom.' I don't know why, but I'm sure it can't only be because I detest soccer.
- I set up my home entertainment system.
- I know who 'Gravedigger' and the '12th man' are.
- What is a pumice stone for?!
I don't say this to start an argument about stereotypes, or to take on the many women who proudly wear the 'soccer mom' label. I simply make the point that dividing individuals by age, income, occupation and gender is not the only way to determine who to target with your next campaign. I see plenty of shiny-happy-family faces in ads and posters, so I know this still happens.
If you have a new product that you think women 40+ will love, or teens 17 to 25 will flock to, terrific. Next, talk to those groups and see if they really need or want that product. If so, fantastic!
But you're not done.
Talk to those same groups and find out how they live their lives. This may sounds like an impossibly huge task, but it isn't. You'd be surprised what a simple five-question website poll will uncover. Or what key learning can be had by having your front-line staff ask a couple of questions. I always have time to chat while I'm doing my banking, and if the member services representative asked me to help out with a two-question poll of the day, I'd love to.
An alternate approach to segmentation
An interesting alternative to standard demographics is the Filene Research Institute's Why Choose a Credit Union? An Ethnographic Study of Member Behaviours, published in 2007. It looks at people from a financial needs perspective instead of the traditional age, gender and income categories. It would be great if Filene continued the research, expanding beyond the 40 credit union member sample size. I myself am 'learning and growing.' There is a fee for non-Filene members to purchase this report.
For real simplicity, try googling 'psychographics.' Psychographics is the use of demographics to study and measure attitudes, values, lifestyles and opinions. For example, you can learn the ins and outs of appealing to non-aggressive conformists (sheep).
But the best advice is talk to your members. They're real people with specific wants and needs. They are the best research candidates you could invest in. They'll answer you, I swear on it. Especially if you share with them what a pumice stone is for.
Like I said in yesterday's post, I attended day one of BarCampBankSeattle. In retrospect, this gathering makes all of the one-way, sit-in-the-audience listen-to-the-smart-person-on-the-stage sessions that I have attended seem so positively old-school. Did I mention the event only cost $35 and included four meals! It has definitely struck a cord—all the bloggers that attended are feverishly posting their thoughts about what a positive event it was.
Before it all mushes together in my head I will attempt to summarize my learnings from day 1. There is a Wiki being put together at the BarCampBankSeattle website that will capture everyone's take on all of the sessions.
Session 1 was a discussion on loyalty economics and the net promoter score led by Denise Wymore. Based on the theories put forth in the Ultimate Question by Fred Reichheld, Denise believes strongly that the traditional annual member satisfaction survey used by most credit unions are worthless and are actually working against the credit union movement. Credit unions are very proud of their 80% to 90% satisfaction rates yet wonder why their member numbers are stagnant. Without real information to impact real change, credit unions don't improve with this information.
She proposes a new monthly survey with two questions: 1) On a scale of 1–10, how likely are you to recommend the credit union to a friend or family member? and 2) Why?
Here's the scale
- Customers rating 9–10 are called promoters
- Customers rating 7–8 are called neutral
- Customer rating 0–6 are called detractors
The difference between the percentage of a company's promoters and detractors is the Net Promoter Score (NPS). For example, if 50% of a company's customers respond with a 9 or 10, and 30% respond 0–6, the company's NPS would be 20%.
To put it in perspective, Harley Davidson has a NPS of 81%, whereas the average credit union is at 50%.
Denise's big question to the group was can software be developed to sift through and analyze and make sense of a massive database of why answers? There are huge enterprise solutions out there, but nothing for the small credit union. Sounds like a great opportunity for a software company to contact Denise and get the ball rolling!
To sum up:
- Marketing is dead (her opinion not mine!)
- Word of mouth is it
- We are in the experience business but we don't talk about it
- What your organization measures is what it values
I was very impressed with Denise. If your credit union is looking for a culture consultant who gets it, check out her website.
I'll continue to make sense of my notes and memory over the next couple of days!
I know there are some designers and marketers reading this, so I hope I have some kindred spirits out there when I say that the credit union Hands and Globe logo is out-of-date and out-of-touch with the credit union movement. Before you send out the secret credit union ninjas to erase me, hear me out.
Here is the official rationale for the Hands and Globe logo:
The Hands and Globe logo has symbolic and historic significance for the credit union movement. The cupped hands symbolize both the financial security and support offered by the international credit union network, as well as the fact that the success of the movement is in the hands of its members.
The globe symbolizes the worldwide scope of the movement and suggests the impact that a truly united movement can have on the financial development of all countries. The people within the globe represent the real focus of the credit union movement. It is the human element—the harmony of people working for people—that distinguishes credit unions from other financial institutions.
The Hands and Globe became the official World Council of Credit Unions trademark in 1966, and today it is the recognized credit union symbol in more than 70 countries around the world. The principles represented by this logo are timeless—as significant today as they were 40 years ago.
This rationale actually sounds good and is still relevant, but the visual is a let down. I am not necessarily saying it has to go entirely, but how about a simplified update that all of the credit unions using the Hands and Globe can be proud of?
Here is my top five reasons why this logo has run its course.
- It's too complex and does not reproduce well at small sizes.
- It's not distinctive as it is too similar to so many other symbols.
- It's old-fashioned and looks like it was designed forty years ago.
- It won't connect with the young people that the credit union movement really needs right now.
- It's boring and perpetuates the myth that credit unions are traditional and old school rather than today's dynamic and leading-edge organizations.
I have not conducted research to back any of this up. I am simply a graphic designer who cares about the credit union movement and has dedicated our business to helping credit unions convert bank customers to credit union members. So I have a vested interest in making this industry as appealing as possible. Just one guy calling an ugly spade an ugly spade!
We need a new logo that is in tune with today's dynamic credit union brand. So who do I talk to get this project going?
P.S. Hey, you know you all agree with me!