Co-ops beat banks on problem resolution: EY survey

Member experience is key to driving trust

QUÉBEC CITY (October 7, 2014) — Compared to traditional banks, co-ops and credit unions do a better-than-average job of resolving member issues. According to EY’s 2014 Global Consumer Banking Survey, 51% of co-op and credit union members report they are “very satisfied” with problem resolution, compared to only 25% for banking customers overall.

“Customers see how they’re treated as a benchmark for how much they trust their primary financial services provider,” says Kaenan Hertz, executive director in EY’s Financial Services Customer Experience practice in New York. “When a customer requests help with a problem, it’s a defining moment for the relationship – if it’s not handled right, there’s a real risk of losing that customer.”

According to EY’s survey, the most common reason for customers opening (or closing) an account is a positive (or negative) experience getting a problem resolved with their provider.

Industry-wide, the most frequently reported problems involve operational issues with online or mobile banking, and lost or stolen cards. More challenging problems arise with disputes over fees and purchase charges, payment or deposit mistakes, denial of loan requests, or other processing snafus. These situations frequently have outcomes that are unsatisfactory to members, and result in the loss of trust in the co-op, credit union or bank.

“Across the board, customers want to feel as though their financial institution cares about them, and not just the bottom line. For co-ops and credit unions, whose members have come to expect a more personal relationship from their primary provider, it’s especially critical to cultivate their member’s experience,” says Hertz. “And the benefits go beyond simple retention. Satisfied customers who trust their financial services provider are more willing to increase assets, open new accounts and recommend the institution to others.”

In fact, 78% of co-op and credit union members surveyed who reported having complete trust in their primary financial services provider said they would be very likely to recommend that institution to others, compared to only 68% of banking customers overall.

“Co-op and credit union members are generally more satisfied with the ways issues are resolved, and with their primary financial provider in general,” says Hertz. “But co-ops and credit unions can’t rest on their laurels. These providers must deliver consistent satisfaction in every transaction, inquiry or problem. The successful co-ops and credit unions of the future will help their members – and themselves – by working toward a single higher goal: improving member experience.”

EY is a platinum level sponsor of International Summit of Cooperatives, a biennial gathering where leaders of cooperative and mutualist enterprises get together to discuss their concerns about the current and future business challenges they all share.

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