Knowing what members want and expect from a credit union is crucial to member engagement and loyalty. Without this information, a credit union is not able to deliver the best customer service or support, and they may lose members or fail to attract more.
This is why studies like the FIS "2016 Performance Against Customer Expectations (PACE) Index" is so important. Through this survey, FIS found out exactly what consumers want and expect from their financial institution of choice. The results should guide credit unions in their strategic plan to continue to evolve and improve according to industry trends and customer demands.
Paying attention to the younger generation
It is not surprising that one part of the survey focused on connectivity in banking. From mobile apps to digital payments, the financial landscape is continuing to incorporate technology and mobile capabilities in many traditional banking services. In particular, the study found that millennials value digital connections over transparency and reliability, Payment Week reported.
"This year's PACE Index shows that consumers worldwide generally turn to their primary financial institutions first, but those institutions must be prepared to serve their needs immediately," Anthony Jabbour, chief operating officer of banking & payments at FIS, said in a press release. "That's particularly true of millennials, who stood out in this survey for how deeply they expect their banking services to mesh with their daily lives."
Giving millennials what they want in this regard would benefit the credit union in more ways than one. First, it would give members more incentive to continue utilizing the credit union's services and display greater loyalty. It would also give them greater incentive to use an institution's financial management app rather than seeking out professional advice elsewhere.
One of millennials' biggest complaints is the amount of time it takes to get a loan processed, Paul Schaus, who wrote about the survey for consulting firm CCG Catalyst, pointed out. Incorporating loan applications into a mobile app would greatly benefit both the member and the credit union.
Planning for the future
Increasing the scope from young adults to financial institution customers as a whole, the study found that many would like greater support for their aspirations. That is, they want to be able to access resources at their credit union that could help them plan for a comfortable retirement, or help them figure out how to open a small business.
"The survey shows that, if a financial institution wants to be a customer's bank for life, it must first become that customer's bank for living – meeting all the needs a customer may have in his or her daily life, so that customer thinks of the bank first, always," Jabbour said.
FIS noted that these desires increased in each of the 10 countries the study was conducted in, and that improving these services would help foster strong relationships between the financial institution and its members.
As many as two-thirds of U.S. consumers would seek out an external source when planning out major life events that involve money, such as retirement and investing strategies. This means that credit unions have plenty of room to grow in this department. Therefore, credit unions need to show their members who may be approaching these life events and decisions that they are a trusted source for these matters.
Even beyond planning for retirement and carefully choosing investment strategies, trust plays a key role in credit unions' relationships with their members. In fact, there were five related attributes that members sought out in their financial institutions:
Scores on each of these have gone up compared to last year, showing that many U.S. financial institutions have shown improvement that their customers appreciate.