Filene Research Institute launches advisory program: Member Journey

MADISON, WI (January 26, 2016) — A new advisory program by Filene Research Institute, Member Journey, helps participating credit unions identify and eliminate member barriers to key credit union services such as obtaining a new membership, opening a new account, applying for a loan, or resolving an issue by focusing on the member journey and ease of use. 

 The Harvard Business Review recently published research on factors impacting customer loyalty. They asked this single question: “How much effort did you personally have to put forth to handle your request?” They found a high correlation between low customer effort and loyalty.

In a new Filene report, Member Effort Benchmarking: Measuring Ease of Use, researchers explore a similar question: whether reducing member effort increases member loyalty. Measures such as Member Effort Score (in coordination with satisfaction or Net Promoter Score) can be used to track progress as credit unions seek to improve core lending and member engagement. Filene found significant variation in ease of use across credit unions.

 “Credit unions generally enjoy strong market share in consumer lending, especially with auto loans but mortgage lending lags at around 7% market share,” said Jenny Darroch, professor at Drucker School of Management and author of the Filene report. “One reason for this difference in market share might be a more streamlined process, therefore, a better member experience.”

Constance Anderson, President of MemberXP, is collaborating with Filene to deliver the Member Journey program to credit unions. “The first step is to collect data to ensure we understand member and prospective member needs—but data is a dead end on the road to an exceptional member journey unless you have the analytics and tools to drive improvement.”

The Member Journey program leverages research and learning from other successful Filene programs to help credit unions meet their goals—whether that’s improving mortgage lending, problem resolution, or new membership processes. Filene advisors walk each credit union through a three-step process that is customizable each step of the way: Benchmarking Ease of Use, Journey Mapping, and Amplifying the Member Experience.

“As people have simpler and more engaging experiences with organizations like Uber and Amazon, their demand to save time and effort will grow,” said Tansley Stearns, chief impact officer for Filene. “Credit unions must respond to this new market demand to really differentiate themselves.”

Learn more about Filene’s Member Journey program at, or contact Tansley Stearns at 608.661.3753 or

About Filene Research Institute

Filene Research Institute strengthens organizations through innovative research and incubation to improve consumer financial well-being. As an independent cooperative finance think tank, Filene’s membership network connects a community of leaders and bright minds to change lives through innovation, truth and cooperation. In addition to delivering cutting-edge, actionable academic research, Filene also provides incubators to test and scale solutions, events to spark organizations into action and advisory services to help accelerate and implement innovation. For more information, visit and @fileneresearch.


Holly Fearing
608.661.3758 |

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