'We've always done it this way'
“Internal processes might have been in place for many years at credit unions,” says Robert. “The assumption is that it is simply the way things are done.”
That answer doesn’t cut it for Robert. He cites the response of a credit union FI Strategies once worked with: “When I hear, ‘It’s always been done this way,’ it’s like hearing somebody scratching fingernails on a chalkboard.”
A credit union might approach a process with good intentions, but not consider the effects. For instance, Robert says one CEO talked about instituting a culture that features no tolerance for errors.
“What it created instead was paralysis,” Robert says. “Everybody was afraid to make a mistake, so staff members would swap documents to get a second set of eyes on them.”
During the onsite observation, Robert says his team saw one new account representative close on a loan, then spend 45 minutes in her office poring over the loan documents for mistakes. During that review time, members who had stopped into the branch for a quick transaction were left hanging in the waiting area.
The value of member feedback
Vendors don’t deal directly with clients’ technologies, aside from making recommendations for better-performing solutions or improved use of current versions. “What a credit union does with feedback goes beyond technology,” says Andrew Park, senior director, customer experience strategy, at InMoment.
“We custom-configure our feedback channels’ software ourselves,” he adds. “This lets us design structured and unstructured feedback that delivers responses to topics that are topmost in C-level managers’ minds. For example, one client might want feedback about account closures. Another might want to track members’ responses to an offer of more services.
“We also offer predictive modeling where we can forecast the likelihood that a member will soon leave a credit union,” Park continues. “When the credit union responds to that member’s complaints, it can track how well its efforts worked.”
InMoment software treats feedback as a whole, gathering two types:
Structured, where members rate something on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being terrible and 5 excellent.
Unstructured, where members may write comments. To avoid responses that offer no real feedback, such as “great” or “lousy,” the InMoment software prompts a more detailed response by asking for additional information.
The software then asks members to rank their concerns in order of importance. Park calls this approach “active listening.”
“We’re asking for more detailed information from a member,” he says. “Our approach is to move from simple scores to active, real-time intelligence. We also leave our software open to working with other software. The whole goal for us is to free employees’ time.”