I am an unapologetic and unabashed advocate of credit unions (really ANY business for that matter) providing outstanding service at a every turn. In my book, Stop Complaining, Start Growing, it is no accident that the longest chapter is on the importance of delivering great service. But it seems to me that as the business environment grows more competitive, global, and interconnected, giving great service may not be enough anymore.
At this point, credit unions need to look beyond service levels and ask themselves if they are providing not only great service but also have the most innovative and technologically-sound products and services for their members.
Over the past couple of weeks, I interviewed 100 people all between the ages of 21 and 35. I wanted to find out how important great service actually was to these folks when it comes to dealing with their financial institutions – where it ranked in the scheme of things. I should tell you up front that 70 of the 100 were credit union members. The rest have their financial accounts at banks. Here are the results of those interviews:
- 96 of 100 said outstanding service was critical to keeping the relationship (no surprise there.)
- Just 28 of the 100 said that outstanding service was enough for them to keep doing business with an institution that does not use modern marketing (things like social media, e-mail, and digital marketing,)
- Only 24 of the 100 said that they would continue to do business with a financial institution that does not offer mobile banking services in the very near future.
It was very interesting to me (and hopefully to you) that the people who said that they would keep their accounts at financial institutions that didn’t use modern marketing tactics or mobile banking were not the credit union members. All of the credit union members that I interviewed said that their credit unions needed to have these things if they wanted to keep the relationships.
Of course, I only interviewed 100 people and that is a very small sampling. I get that. But this example should cause credit union executives to pause a little and think about the future. This is the direction towards which our industry is heading – there is no denying that. And while credit unions rightfully pride themselves on offering personalized, local, and caring service, the simple fact is that for many people, that just isn’t enough anymore.
I would bet that the trend of demanding things besides great service will continue and grow even stronger as time goes on. Are credit unions willing and able to adapt to a “More Than Just Great Service” model?
I certainly hope so.