Darlene Johnson

The power of personal relationships

Suncoast CU uses Net Promoter Score as more than a measurement tool.

October 11, 2016

The increased ability to leverage data makes tools such as Net Promoter® Score (NPS) more valuable than ever for credit unions seeking to deepen member relationships.

For instance, Suncoast Credit Union in Tampa, Fla., uses NPS not just as a measuring stick, but also as a stepping stone to loan and product growth, as well as improved operational efficiency.

The $7.6 billion asset credit union has generated $3 million in product sales since it implemented NPS in May 2015. And its three-employee member relationship team doesn’t get paid through sales incentives, according to Darlene Johnson, Suncoast’s senior vice president of member experience.

“It’s really about member relationship-building," she says. "If you deepen relationships, sales happen organically.”

NPS gauges the loyalty of an organization’s relationships with its customers, or in a credit union’s case, its members.

The score is determined by the answer to a single question: On a scale of zero to 10, how likely are you to recommend a company to a friend or colleague?

Suncoast digs deeper in its NPS survey, asking respondents about the reasoning behind their score and about their interest in its products.

The credit union’s NPS team calls every detractor (those offering scores of zero to six) as well as promoters (those issuing scores of nine or 10).

When Suncoast can’t reach members by phone, it emails them. The credit union also asks for referrals from its promoters.

“We have taken on a very personal relationship with these members,” Johnson says. “What we have found interesting is the power of that personal relationship.”

For example, Johnson displayed a tree which demonstrated how one “saved” relationship turned into three additional memberships through referrals, and generated nine additional accounts.

Each employee on Suncoast’s member experience team has lending authority. “These are employees we expect to take action and make decisions,” Johnson says.

Perhaps the best evidence of Suncoast’s success is its NPS of 87. The highest attainable mark is 100, and the lowest is minus 100.

Johnson addressed the CUNA Technology Council Conference and CUNA Operations, Sales & Services Council Conference in Las Vegas.