How to Improve the Emotional Side of Credit Union Member Experience

In today’s digitally focused world, a great deal of emphasis is placed on the technological side of credit union member experience. Technology is certainly a tool that can be used to influence and enhance the experience members have with their credit union. But the emotional dimension of member experience is WHY digital transformation matters. Let’s explore that emotional aspect and the impact for your organization.

Why Do People Become Credit Union Members?

Although there are certainly practical advantages to banking with a credit union vs. a big bank, many of the driving factors are about alignment in core values… and how the relationship makes them FEEL. Here are some of the emotionally driven reasons people join credit unions.

  • Members want to support an organization that cares about bringing value to the community
  • They want a friendly, more personal atmosphere 
  • They want to be recognized and known by the team that serves them
  • They want to know that their financial institution cares

Why Do Members Leave Their Credit Union?

According to research from Rivel Banking Benchmarks, one out of three people are seeking to change their financial institution. Sometimes, it’s because they can get a better rate elsewhere. But usually, it’s because they are UNHAPPY. That’s an emotion. And it can hurt your member retention numbers.

Here’s an example of a respondent to the Rivel study on the experience of getting the runaround and the impact on member experience. “You look on the website and can’t figure it out. You call the call center and they are no help. You go into the branch and the teller immediately picks up the phone to ask the call center. Seriously!” 

These members aren’t leaving out of a lack of loyalty. They just need their credit union to pay attention to the emotional impact of things like:

  • Staff not having enough training
  • Bad UX on web or mobile
  • Challenges with accessing their account
  • Low availability of service (branch closures, limited hours)
  • Call centers being understaffed
  • Difficulty completing simple tasks without jumping through hoops

All of this adds up to an emotional experience of not feeling known, seen, heard, or valued.

How Do You Know Members Are Unhappy?

  • Members leaving your credit union or leaving bad reviews is a lagging indicator of a negative emotional experience. By then, it’s difficult to repair the relationship and the damage to your reputation. 
  • Common leading indicators (advance warning signs) are found in measurement tools from NPS (Net Promoter Score) to member satisfaction surveys
  • The advent of AI and analytics that can interpret caller sentiment is a more modern and proactive approach to measuring emotional states. It even has the potential to help agents course correct during a call before things escalate.

Brand, User, and Member Experience: What’s the Difference?

These are all interrelated concepts. In a nutshell:

Brand Experience is the big picture. It’s how your market and your members perceive your brand, including how it looks and feels, the imagery and words you use, and any touch point that impacts how people view your organization, especially in comparison to your competition.

User Experience (UX) is how people (including your members and your employees) are impacted by the practical side of getting things done. This includes the design and function of your workflows and processes, especially when delivered through a technology platform (whether that’s on the web, the phone, or a combination of interfaces).

Member Experience is how the humans you serve experience interacting with your organization. It covers what they hope will happen, what they fear will happen, and how they feel they are being treated by your organization.

Questions to Ask to Improve Member Experience for Happier Outcomes

One advantage of being on a credit union team is that you really can put yourself in the shoes of your members…because you are one. A primary goal of EVERY decision you make to improve member acquisition, retention, and satisfaction should be to increase the ‘feel good’ factor for your members. 

  • Does the new technology you are considering make things more complicated or easier for members? 
  • Is your team being equipped and trained to recognize and address early warning signs of frustration?
  • Are team members being valued and recognized in a way that makes it easier for them to show up at their best for every member in every interaction?
  • Are you looking at the most common areas of angst and addressing those first? 

Credit Union Member Experience Needs to Be Fixed in the Call Center

The call center is a great place to start since almost 1 out of 4 members are dissatisfied with the call center experience. Read our blog here to learn more… “Credit Union Contact Center Member Experience Is Declining”

We built Illuma Shield™ to directly address the thing members hate most – security Q&A. The response has been more than satisfaction. It has been pure delight.

We love hearing from our credit union partners about the responses they get from happy members.

“Members are often amazed or impressed when they find out that they’ve been authenticated just using the natural sound of their voice during the introduction of a call. We get a lot of those wow moments.” – Connexus 

Want to learn more about the impact of passive voice authentication on member experience? See success stories here.

For a demo, contact our team.