Attrition, and how to curb it

The War of Attrition

Any activity, any game, any bit of work, is a numbers game. If you look at any objective that needs reached in any field, you’ll find that you need to put forth X amount of hours for success, or make X dollars to stay afloat, or draw at least a crowd of X number of people.

The financial services industry? It has a lot of numbers, but one is more important than the others: the number of people who use your services. And that number is taking an attrition hit. A big one.

According to an article by The Financial Brand, dissatisfaction with a financial establishment represent 50% of the attrition rate for consumers1. This is clearly the highest percentage of the four reasons, the other three being death, divorce, and displacement. The only bright-side to dissatisfaction, as opposed to the other thee “Ds,” is that it can actually be changed and influenced with your actions.

There are three reasons for dissatisfaction that routinely show up as a reason for consumers leaving a company or product behind:

  1. A Poor Product
  2. Poor Service Quality
  3. Inconvenience of Using Services or Product

These three problems are some things you can manage, so here are some suggestions:

  1. Poor Product

It might seem like a given, but having a good product will keep people coming back. This is your checking accounts, loans, debit cards, and all the facets of your business that you offer to your members.

Today, consumers want more for the same price and it’s up to you to give it to them. With new and emerging fintech options for the consumer’s banking needs, you need to better your own product arsenal to keep your loyal members…well, loyal.

Whether it be lowering loan interest rates, improving your mobile app, or attaching a rewards program to your debit card, it is of vital importance to shift and enhance the way you do business.

A debit rewards program, in particular, is a good place to start improving your products. After all, multiple consumer surveys show rewards for basic banking activities are the highest ranking consumer desire from their financial institution2. Buzz Points is one such rewards program that delivers what consumers want, while also turning it into revenue for credit unions. The 2X “buy local bonus” is another enhanced feature of Buzz Points that adds more sparkle to your product.

A better product can make up for deficiencies in other areas, and a better product is just an easier sell.

  1. Service Quality

Show of hands, who here has ever been into a store and had to deal with bad customer service? Easier question, who here as ever called a company’s customer service line and had a terrible experience? (I’m looking at you call center guy in India.)

Did you enjoy that experience, or did you dread every second? Exactly. Good customer service matters.

Which brings us back to the better product example above. Product and service go hand-in-hand in the mind of the consumer. But servicing a rewards program can be labor intensive. So be sure your rewards provider is delivering ongoing engagement for you, and that cardholder support is included.

After all, 80% of highly effective loyalty programs have a dedicated team3. Be sure your provider is providing that team, not just a promise.

Of course, the basics of member service always apply to all your staff. Friendly demeanor and helpful conversations in phone calls. Experienced and knowledgeable service reps who know the products. Basically, the entire experience should be tailored to avoid being something that you yourself would hate to go through.

  1. Inconvenience

If you’re going to give people an option to do something, at least make it easy on them. Making it difficult to pay a bill is the worst. The consumer wants to give you money, but it’s a struggle. Checking statements can be difficult, and that’s disconcerting as well. Transfer money from one account to another? It should be simple. Inconvenience is a major problem for retention.

Make it easy, keep it simple, make it intuitive. Most of these problems apply to online and mobile banking, so we’ll focus on those. For a website, strive to make it intuitive and easy to navigate, make getting to your goal simple and easy to accomplish.

For an app, it has to be able to do those same things, but even easier. Phone screens are small and the best apps aim at making easy smooth transitions. For instance, the Capital One credit card app makes it easy to make payments from saved back accounts and is very easily navigable.

Excellent app service can lead to rave reviews from members. Fort Community CU won Credit Union Journal’s 2015 Best Practice award for their mobile app, an app that is intuitive, easy to use, gets the job done, and their members loved it2. Coupled with the fact that the app is also integrated with the Buzz Points Reward Program, which seamlessly integrated with their app and allowed consumers to check and spend their points, and you have covered two of the three dissatisfaction areas.

Dissatisfaction is a problem in today’s world, but that doesn’t mean the financial industry has to be plagued with the same problems others are. In short, be better than the rest.

(And if you’re interested in how the Buzz Points rewards program can enhance your product offering, and add depth to your customer support and marketing teams, visit

Todd Swoope

Todd Swoope

Todd Swoope is a marketing professional and content creator living in Austin, Texas, who hails from the mountains of Pennsylvania. With Master’s degrees in Communication and Public Relations, Todd ... Web: Details