Analysis from the Credit Union Satisfaction Index 2016 study shows that despite strong membership growth for credit unions of almost 4% in 2016, as reported by CUNA Mutual Group, there remains some cause for concern. Credit union member satisfaction is at a 4-year low, as measured on a 0-100 scale, slipping 3 points from 87 in 2015 to 84 in 2016. The lower score serves as a wake-up call to credit unions. As credit unions celebrate a strong 2016 and look to 2017, they must be on guard to protect against member attrition.
CFI Group identifies four opportunities for credit unions to reduce member attrition and grow in 2017. Each of these opportunities involves a managerial shift that includes continuing to manage current practices while simultaneously developing new practices.
1) Measure the Member Experience —In addition to managing key financial ratios, develop key member engagement metrics to provide a holistic view of performance.
2)Target Millennials — Maintain engagement with Boomers and Gen Xers, but also further develop Millennials as a customer segment for future growth. Millennials are generally less satisfied with credit union services, and growth with this sector will require additional focus.
3) Lower Deposit Account Interest Rates — Limit fees, deliver fee transparency, and be generous with fee cancellations; in return, Millennials will accept lower deposit account rates. Older Millennials (age 26-34) are of particular interest, since they tend to carry high checking and savings account balances.
4) Improve Online Processes — Current availability and functionality for online banking and apps are falling behind, particularly for older Millennials. Credit unions must continue to develop processes that are robust and seamless to keep up with these high expectations.
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